I have the voice of a mermaid.

Growing up, I always told myself that I had a magical voice. Whether it was singing the Backstreet Boys or singing another Backstreet Boys song (because they were really churning out the hits in the late 90’s/early 00’s) I could hear the songbirds sing with me. I was like Snow White. If that happened in Snow White or else I’m confusing myself with another classic disney heroine. The point is? I was great. Great is subjective. There is a reason I am not asking for anyone’s opinion other than my own during the writing of this post. But hey, I did star in musicals! Sure, they may have been local affairs but I was the darn tootin’ star. I was a prince. I was a sherriff. I was, well, that was it but those are pretty cool. In the later years post childhood onto the road of adolescence I seemed to lose my pipes. My voice got deeper, my ability waned until I was but a shell of my former self. Vocally that is. Can I still bust out an amazing rendition of Africa by Toto? You bet your ass I can. But that’s not the point. It’s just a fun fact. The point is that my family, my friends, myself, they told me I didn’t have IT. They told me that my voice was grating. They told me that my dreams of Broadway would never flourish. That I had to get it through my head that I wasn’t that boy belting out tunes as Sheriff Billy Bold. Some of what I’m saying may be exaggerated right now. Most of it is. Minus the youthful history of selling out sold out church summer theatre program shows. I did that. What is the point you ask? The point is that there must be something in the Peruvian water. Twice, maybe even thrice today I was told that I have a great voice. A soothing voice. The voice of a mermaid. That I should join an acapella group. I do not know what these people are hearing but I shall not stop them. If they think that I somehow have something that isn’t soul crushing then that’ll be a first. Have my parents been lying to me this whole time telling me that I can’t sing only in order to inspire me to try harder? I imagine not. Regardless! In South America, I can relive the highs of my past. I can sing Taylor Swift and be regarded positively for it. Or well, these people are just lying right to my face because they don’t want to be mean and make me cry. Either way…I’ll take it!

Though I’d be remiss to not speak of the beautiful work being done at our volunteer placements. In particular, my placement. Which I do think is mainly due to the fact that there are nine of us there and if you can’t accomplish big things with nine bodies then that’s just pretty sad. With things being out of order due to the start of the new year which really does mean new year to them (as in every classroom has now aged one year and/or been simply abolished in some cases). The school is a mess. And by mess I mean at one fifth capacity of what we’ve become accustomed to. Or at least what I’ve become accustomed to. That plus an influx of new people=chaos. Or it at least has the potential to. Not with these people though. The gist of it is that we’re painting a wall. More so a brick structure that surrounds something in a square shaped fashion. Like you know, a wall. Maybe an enclosed area with a brick fence? The exact word doesn’t matter. It went from a dusty, drab brick something or other, to a rainbow colored shining beacon of awesomeness. You’re right. I didn’t do all that much work on it myself. But I did a little. I’m not writing this to brag about my conquests though, I’m writing this to congratulate the other volunteers on coming up with this and making something awesome when this was definitely a more off week than we had intended. So far we’ve gotten two sides of the wall painted, today we had older children working on it, there are tiny murals being done, it’s pretty amazing. There are ideas for kids to put their handprints on it, there are already flags of the Americas on it, it’s definitely brightening up the area. Especially since the majority of the volunteers that are leaving are leaving from my site, I’m super stoked that they/we were able to get so much done during their limited time here even when it got hectic. It’s awesome. They’re awesome. Peru isn’t half bad either. So it goes.

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