The first day at the Chalice office

Great impressions from Day 1! Everyone was very friendly and although I know I won’t remember all of their names tomorrow when I return at 8am, I think I’ll enjoy getting to know people and pondering the beautiful, colourful artwork from around the world which adorns every hallway and office.

By chance, two lovely middle-aged women from Chiclayo arrived for the first time at the office this morning; they work in two different NGOs, Centro Esperanza (supported by Chalice) and another called Santa Angela. They had just visited Ontario (where another NGO supports their work).

Later, the representative of Centro Esperanza did an excellent presentation to explain to the Chalice staff where money raised in Canada ends up and told some heart-warming stories about the successes of the programs, but was honest in admitting the challenges to overcome, which stem back to Peruvian politics and the machismo which still exists. Most of the work of Centro Esperanza is performed by women in some of the poorest districts of the city, although there has been recent improvement in the involvement of fathers in workshops and training offered by the NGO. The other señora briefly explained what Santa Angela does in a heart-felt way and there was a joyful energy in the room.

I enjoyed taking turns interpreting Spanish-English, after a delicious lunch, as the other two lovely interns and I ‘toured’ around the building along with the Peruvians. We were all happy to chat with dos otras latinas cálidas (two other warm-hearted Latin women) who work full-time at Chalice. It was also great to have some interesting conversations with the two Peruvians about the politics of our respective countries. One of the women said that for her whole life she has worked in NGOs, that as she gained experience, her skills were eventually requested and that she loves what she does and could never imagine doing anything else.

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