Name: Kaephas Kain
Hometown: Auburn, Washington
Nationality: United States
Languages spoken: English, Spanish (beginner)
University: Green River College
Bachelors: Network Security and Administration
Occupation: IT Director / Manager at Marlene’s Market & Deli
Past travel experience: Moderate
Volunteer Abroad: Caring for Disabled Children in Cusco, Peru
Duration: 3 weeks
Start month: December 2015
Claim to fame: Enjoys learning Spanish, as well as studying Hispanic cultures and helping others. Way to go, Kaephas!
What was your impact on your volunteer project?
I don’t think I made a long-term impact on the project, but instead, I was part of a long string of volunteers who have provided extra support to the project and made things a little easier on the permanent workers and a little more fun and interesting for the children.
What is your favorite memory?
My favorite memory of my time there was near the end of my stay. I asked one of the kids how old they were and in turn they asked me how old I was. After, I told them, one of the girls started laughing and bent over and pretended to have a cane and called me “Abuelo”. They all got a kick out of it and we laughed about it the rest of the day! And the next day they decided to call me “Abuelito”. Such fun kids!
What advice would you tell a future volunteer?
Be prepared to work hard (having fun and playing), but don’t be nervous about your responsibilities. The workers and kids are glad to have you there and will tell you what they need, and if they don’t, it’s because what’s needed is for you to be there with the kids giving them attention and having a good time (and usually a dance party, because dancing is fun).
In a sentence or less best advice for fitting in with the local culture.
Cusqueños are very easy going and love travelers–their economy depends on them, so the only advice I can think of is to be patient–Peruvian time is a little different than American time!