Volunteer Reflection: Naveed Poursadeghi


What you do in Peru is the work of a saint - to put all of your time and energy into healing a corner of the world that thinks they've been forgotten. There is really no trophy for something like that. I really didn't expect the level of detail that went into organizing everything. When I left Los Angeles, I really didn't know what to expect and was petrified. It was my first time traveling alone and my first time to South America. But as soon as I met up with Reya, Franke, and Miguel in the Lima airport, I felt at ease and instantly felt at home there. I clung to Miguel's leg until Anita came to welcome us at the Iquitos airport with a bracelet and a water bottle. She repeated this for every member of the trip!

Everything flowed so well in the moment, and I really commend the planning for everything. This has really been an incredible week in my life and everyone I've met, everything I've learned, everything I've done and everything I've seen is so valuable to me, that I want so much more from another trip. The work that we did was one thing - helping so many people in so little time with the supplies we had, was amazing. But what really placed a strong backbone into the mission was the people that were a part of it.I didn't expect that everyone I would meet would be such a character and so worth-while to get to know. The chemistry that we all created, worked wonders during and after clinic hours - and amazingly created a family-like union that wouldn't be expected from a week long trip. My belief is that when you group up, people who have the hearts to go to a distant place to give their service to strangers together, they're bound to form lifetime connections with each other. My only regret is that I didn't get to know many of the locals that weren't part of the mission, and that I didn't pack more shirts.

- Naveed Poursadeghi, EMT (age 18)

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