On our final day of volunteering, we visited Mother Teresa of Calcutta Orphanage which houses children and adults alike with special needs who had been abandoned by their families. We were not permitted to take photos inside but the experience is imprinted in our minds. The resident physical therapist provided therapy multiple times a week but was not present when we visited. Due to this, we could not gain enough clinical insight to provide meaningful and lasting educational exchange. We spent our time playing with and observing the children, geriatric, and adult groups. We were blown away with the beautiful space and equipment the orphanage provided. This orphanage was such an important resource for the city of Cusco as it provided a safe place for those who would otherwise be without a place of refuge.
After this intense morning, we gathered at Celeste’s home for tea and debriefing. We discussed our experience, gave feedback, and expanded the case files for the children with multiple disabilities that we worked with most. We were then treated to a ceviche lunch with Amilcar, Celeste, and our host parents where we said our goodbyes to those we would not meet with again before our departure.
~Sam, Maddie, Nicole, & Mica