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Adieu to Peru and home again!
I have never been so grateful to step barefoot on my hardwood floor, dig into my refrigerator for odds and ends, and plop onto my fluffy bed. I am finally at home after 17 hours of traveling and feeling blessed in my little Richmond, Virginia. Learning and serving in Piura—a medium-sized Peruvian city grappling with poverty and the forces of nature in a desert climate—has, predictably, changed my perspective on many things.
This was my first real-world encounter with the struggles people in a developing country face every single day. The poverty I saw in Puerto Rico in 2011 or in Mexico in 2012 does not truly compare to what I witnessed in Peru this past week. No amount of reading could make up for actually encountering naked children and cardboard houses in real life. I'm glad I went mostly because I'm less likely to take the relative ease and convenience of my life for granted. That alone will change how I approach volunteer projects and simply relate to people on a daily basis. I am also happy I had a chance to meet the family I'll be sponsoring.
As promised, my adventure has also yielded some original art and writing. That includes a community art project, Palabras a Dios, which I did with children at a Catholic school and teens at a girls' orphanage in Piura, as well as Poems from Piura, a more personal project. More on those soon. Until then, check here at QuailBellMagazine.com as we post away this week. And don't forget to visit our table at the Richmond 'Zine Fest on Saturday. We'll be hosting a workshop at 2:30 p.m. that day, too.
Christine Stoddard/ “Luna Lark”
Welcome to our staff blog, where you can learn more about The Quail Bell Crew.
Christine Stoddard conceived the idea for Quail Bell in late 2009 after writing a children's story by the same name, and launched the website as a college blog in 2010. In June 2013, Christine and former art director Kristen Rebelo officially launched Quail Bell Magazine as a global web magazine. Read our editorial mission statement to learn more.