Monday February 9th: Day 11
New Volunteers Robin, David, and Katherine arrived while I was gone in Puno for the weekend and I’m so excited to meet more people. By far one of my favorite parts of living in a volunteer house is the great company. I now proudly have friends from all over the world (who I definitely plan on visiting).
Alvaro: He is the oldest in the house (at a whopping 33 years old) and is from Rio, Brazil. He calls himself “the grandpa” of the house as he is the oldest. He’s honestly so hilarious as he brings his umbrella (which he calls a sunbrella) everywhere, which constantly makes him look like a tourist. He also is a bit of a drama queen as he can’t even imagine going a day without a shower, or staying out super late night, or walking home alone. In fact, his students walk him home every day and he carries his sunbrella with him for protection. It was so fun spending all weekend in Puno/Lake Titicaca with Alvaro and listening to his hilarious commentary.
Linda and Carlotta: Both girls are 19 years old and from Switzerland. Together, they are taking a gap year before starting University in September. They started backpacking in November, where they spent 5 weeks in Costa Rica, 1 weeks in Nicaragua, 2 weeks in Panama, (currently) 8 weeks in Cusco, then they will be in Bolivia and Argentina until May. Linda is hilarious and always laughs at everything (especially her own jokes). Carlotta is a sweetheart and always wonders how everyone is doing. Together they make a great a friendship, and seem to be the perfect two to travel the world together.
Nacho: Nacho (Ignacio) is 20 years old and from Madrid, Barcelona. He is basically taking a semester off of University to travel. Obviously, he is fluent in Spanish so the transition here has definitely been easy for him. I am very lucky to be sharing my teaching English project with him as it is SO helpful that he can communicate with the girls (I try my best but definitely struggle).
Mallory (20) and Cristal (21): Mallory is currently going to school in Boulder and Cristal is going to Denver, although both are studying medicine (specifically nursing). They have been friends for many years, and decided that this year they would together plan their own semester abroad through IVHQ. I’m so impressed by their ability to work at a hospital during the morning, take Spanish classes, and then do their online college classes. Somehow after all that work they still have the energy to spent time with all of us and I have enjoyed their company so much. They are both the kind of people who hug after knowing you for just a few days, which are my kind of people.
Julie: Julie is 20 years old and from Denmark. She has the kindest heart and incredibly intelligent. She is probably the most mature out of all of us. It was really amazing going to Yanapay with her and seeing how much her heart was touched by the children-she is a truly beautiful person.
Robin and David: (23) Both Robin and David are from London and just arrived over the weekend. They have been friends for around 20 years and are two of the funniest people I’ve ever met. They have that hilarious best friend banter where they go back and forth cracking each other and everyone else up. They are two of the sweetest guys I’ve ever met and their accents really add to how incredibly funny/nice they are. I keep catching myself cracking up when they use terms like “jumper” and “spitting rain”.
Katherine: Finally, I have a roommate! I’ve been in a three person room all alone for a week and it’s started to feel a little weird. I’ve never had a roommate before but damn it has been fun for these past few days! Katherine is 22 and from Australia, and basically rooming together is like having a friend to joke with/eat lunch with/have a sleepover with every day. She is struggling with the altitude as back home her elevation is 0 feet, but she is doing better every day! We are official roommates now as we have bought matching roomie necklaces from some markets in town.