Reflections of a Long Term Volunteer

Posted on April 29, 2015 by Perry Simmons

When I first arrived in Trujillo for my long-term volunteer program with WindAid, I had no idea what to expect. I found myself in a strange city, in a strange country, and soon enough, in the back seat of a strange car. The official WindAid vehicle, affectionately referred to as “the beast,” is covered in artificial grass. As we rumbled down the road on a warm January night I quietly wondered what I had gotten myself into.

Fast forward three months and I feel as though I am leaving home all over again. The people I befriended here have become another family. It is hard for me to believe the time has passed this quickly and that it is already time for me to move on.

WindAid is a special organization with special people. Everyone involved is so enthusiastic and committed to the mission of providing sustainable energy to people who otherwise wouldn’t have it.

WindAid is a place to learn and ask questions. Ask Nick, or Jess, or Gean, or Sr. Abel, or Lewis anything and they will bend over backwards to help you understand. Welding, soldering, wiring, the Spanish language, knot tying, Peruvian cuisine, surfing, card games, dancing; if there is an interest or skill you wish to pursue you will find a teacher or, at the very least, an enthusiastic companion to learn with at WindAid.

WindAid is a place for ideas. Any idea you have is taken seriously by the team and thoughts to improve aspects of the organization are encouraged and incorporated on a regular basis. Since WindAid is a relatively small, but rapidly growing organization, there are ample opportunities to take initiative and do something that meaningfully that impacts WindAid’s development.

WindAid is a place for fun. From good times in the work shop and installation, to roasted marshmallows at a fugatta (bonfire), to multicultural dinner parties, to long weekends in Cajamarca, to days on the beach at Huanchaco, to salsa dancing at Segovia, to intense games of extreme solitaire, WindAid is about so much more than simply putting up a turbine. It’s about experiencing something new and different and enjoying the people that you are with all along the way!

A fond farewell, but never goodbye! -Perry Simmons, now former long-term volunteer at WindAid
Posted in Blog.