Summer Report from Cricket Peru Development Volunteer

  Posted on: March 16th, 2016

img_92481Samantha Hickman arrived in Lima from Australia in January this year, in order to assist Cricket Peru‘s Development Officer, Steve Hallet, with the Development Programme. A keen cricketer, Sam has been playing in the National T20 Championship, as well as coaching junior cricket in various locations around Lima. Here is a summary of her activities since arriving:

‘Well, basically for the past 2 months, from about a day after I arrived in Lima, I’ve been working (volunteering) at Lima Cricket & Football Club during the summer sports academy, with kids ranging from the ages of 7-14. This program went from Monday – Thursday 8am-1pm, (although the real hours from when I had to wake up were more like 6am-2pm before I could leave).

I have also been working in Magdalena some afternoons during the week, as well as on other nights, setting up combined cricket matches for the kids to get experience playing actual games.

So it has been a busy, exhausting, yet mostly rewarding couple of months.

I teach all the classes in Spanish, which means I’m speaking Spanish all the time, which is what I want.

img_9272The kids are unforgiving as well, but only in the best of ways! Whenever I make a mistake or pronounce something wrong, they will correct me and a few special ones have made it their priority to help me out when needed.

I hope my Spanish is getting better, it is one of those things that you can never tell yourself how much or little you have improved!

Anyway, the classes I’ve been teaching, I have had to make detailed lesson plans each week (in Spanish), which has been even more practice!

All the little kids (the good ones!), always come up too me and give me hugs and call me ‘profe, profe‘. They are so cute, for the most part.

img_92491Anyway this week we had the ‘clausura’ for all the summer academies, which is basically the graduation where all the parents come to watch the classes to see their kids progress. I was a little nervous having to teach all eight classes in front of all of their parents … but it went so well! All the kids had a lot of fun, which is the main goal for me, when I’m designing the classes.

We gave our certificates to everyone at the end and then we all shared traditional Peruvian snack food together.

It was an incredible end to an intense two months. I didn’t realize how much work I have put in until now, and after the last summer class yesterday I could finally breathe a moment and reflect. These kind of challenges are so great for your self-development. Even though I’ve had some terrible days, I really did – and still do – learn from every experience.

Every smart-ass remark a kid makes about me saying a word wrong or using a verb in the wrong context, I learn from it, and then I appreciate it all the more so when I’m speaking to someone else, and I am aware of the errors … and then gradually I replace the wrong conjugations with the right ones, and that mistake ceases to be a mistake and rather a lesson instead.

I’m so content that I started off this trip like this, it has pushed me to my limits, but it is only from these situations that we grow the most!’

To read more about Sam’s experiences in Peru, have a look at her blog here.