Vive Peru staff meetings are something to behold. So far, I’ve participated in four of them. They happen every Friday morning and are a time for the staff to share what they’ve been working on for the past week and get everyone’s to-do lists ready for Monday.
Basically, what happens is we go around the table and depending on the level of complexity or specific information needing to be shared the conversation flows between spanish and english.
Fantasia is in charge of our Parasite Prevention Program and activities, so she typically shares information like, “today we taught the mom’s the importance of using clean water for cooking” or “yesterday we did home visits to check in on how the families are doing, some good, some okay, some not so much”. She takes the volunteers to the community twice a week to work with the moms to provide interactive workshops to help them understand why parasites are a problem in the first place, and then how to prevent them. Parasites are particularly prevalent in this community because A. they have dirt floors and B. the children generally don’t have/wear shoes and C. they don’t necessarily know why they keep getting sick.
Gary is our Medical Coordinator. He’s a nurse, and his job is helping all of our Clinical Medicine volunteers explain what the heck is going on. He checks in at their worksites, helps arrange the medical campaign and their surgical rotations, and also takes them into the community to do workshops twice a week covering topics such as the importance of brushing your teeth. He usually shares information like “today at -insert volunteers name here- worksite they were able to scrub in to see a cesarian birth so now they are happy” or “our planning for the workshop went well, and they are practicing their lines in Spanish now”.
Diego is a psychologist who covers the social work side of things. He helps out volunteers at Hogar San Jose and Hogar de la Niña plan their activities for the week and arrange special projects. For example, one of the volunteers wanted to create a Job Fair for the boys at Hogar San Jose and Diego helped her make that happen. He shares things like “the boys are really getting attached to the girls, especially because -insert volunteer name here- already knows how to play soccer” or “the girls created a new english workshop for boys who want to practice with them after school, so that’s cool”.
Melissa (my Peruvian BFF, remember?) is the Regional Coordinator, and she basically is in charge of everything else on the Peru side. She helps oversee all the programs, and makes all the arrangements for the volunteers while they are in-country with us. For example, she helps book everyones hostels, buses, tours, etc for their weekend trips. She books everyones hostels and buses to and from Lima at the beginning/end of the program, and checks in with the host families. She also started the Economic Empowerment Project, Cinco Madejas which is pretty darn awesome. I can explain more about that later. Her updates sound like lists of what she’s done and what she needs to do that day, since inevitably there is that one volunteer who waited until the last minute to ask her if they can join in on a weekend trip, and she is too nice so she almost always says “okay”.
Then there is Rachel, she is the founder and head of Vive Peru. She is everyones boss, and oversees all the financial technical business-y stuff. She does more listening at the meetings, as really it is a report-out to her in a lot of ways.
That’s the staff, and they’re pretty great.