Making community connections

Study Abroad |
Aida Zaki

Wow oh wow, I am amazed by how much I can learn, experience and gain from my time here. I was introduced to the community where we will be doing our service-learning projects. We are building stoves, ovens and chimneys out of available materials including, bricks, mud and water for the community homes. 

ASU students pose inside a community member's home by a mud stove they just built
Aida Zaki and her fellow team next to the stove they just built. Photo courtesy: Aida Zaki

After our first day out there, I was absolutely exhausted but impressed with how my team and I built a stove with MUD! Though I have zero experience with building things, our in-country leaders walked us through the process and assisted throughout. The results from our work are absolutely incredible, and I am so excited to see the community use a better resource for cooking.

We also got the opportunity to paint the community's school and homes. The kids were adorable and excited when they met us. Their energy gave me the motivation to create and design pictures for their school’s wall! It was a challenge, not going to lie, in the hot weather, nevertheless, I would love to do it again and again for the kids.

ASU students stand inside a classroom outside of Cusco, Peru with local school children
Edson College students meet with instructors and their students in a school outside of Cusco. Photo courtesy: Aida Zaki
ASU student paints part of a mural on a school.
Students went back out to the countryside an hour outside of Cusco to paint kid friendly murals. This is a picture of the outside of the school’s bathroom. Photo courtesy: Shaniece Randolph

Lastly, I had the opportunity to visit the clinic to observe and watch doctors and nurses working to help patients. This experience was an eye-opening moment, where I was exposed to a different medical culture. Everyone was engaged, ready to assist patients and excited to have ASU volunteers come to help in any way possible. It was an honor to spend my time in the laboratory with a doctor who explained the things he does, showed me his work and even let me help him with samples from patients. I was in awe of the fact that he did all of this on his own. His organization, determination and energy inspired me so much.

ASU student peers through a microscope in a laboratory
Aida Zaki looking at samples as the local doctor looks on. Photo courtesy: Aida Zaki
ASU Student sits in a medical office next to a community health worker
Shaniece working with the obstetrician in prenatal care. She spoke with patients in Spanish, took height and weight, witnessed vaccinations, and assessments. Photo courtesy: Shaniece Randolph  

Peru has so much to offer, and I am so ready to take it all in! Ready for the next blog? Well I am too!! See you next time!