We all smile in the same language

Lisa Maurer, an international volunteer serving as a tutor at NPH Peru, shares her experience adjusting to life at NPH.
June 13, 2019 - Peru

"Look, tía!" Rita and volunteer Lisa read books.

Buenos días or good morning from NPH Peru’s Casa Santa Rosa in San Vicente de Cañete, Peru. My name is Lisa. I'm 28 years old, and since February 2019, I have been volunteering in the NPH Peru home.

Back home in Germany, I worked in a kindergarten for five years, but decided I wanted to try something new, gain experiences, meet people, and get to know new cultures. When I think back to my first weeks here at NPH Peru, I immediately start to smile. Everything was new for me—a different country, unknown (but incredibly delicious) food, a culture I didn´t know, and language skills I needed to improve.

At the beginning when my new pequeños hermanos (little brothers and sisters) would talk to me, I didn´t always understand all of it. Sometimes I would have to simply smile and continue on as best I could. A smile is understood throughout the world, especially when it comes to kids.

The most important difference between my tasks here and back home is the direct and very personal contact with the little ones. In our small, familiar community, I frequently work with kids on an individual level. That´s what I really like and enjoy a lot.

Every morning, while having breakfast with my fellow volunteers, I prepare classroom activities for the children. Afterwards, I have time to work directly with them in class. We learn about colors, numbers, letters, and animals, and I help the older ones practice their mathematics, reading, and writing skills.

After my regular work day, I go to one of the girls’ homes to share dinner with the children. Before dinner starts, we spend time talking and laughing together. On weekends we get more creative and artistic, tinker with colorful beads and bracelets, or just spend time hanging out together. On Sundays, all of us go to mass in the local church, and some of the kids are visited by their families in the afternoon.

On my days off (every other weekend) I love to visit the nearby beach, relax for a few days in Lima, or explore the parks and nature here in Cañete.

A place for many to live and laugh together, seeing the results of difficult and impactful work, and a chance to become part of the NPH Peru family: all this and more I have found in this wonderful place called Casa Santa Rosa.

Children’s names have been changed to protect their privacy.

Lisa Maurer   
General Tutor




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