A day in the life of… Academic Coordinator

As well as having tonnes of great volunteers teaching English, HOOP has a small team of interns helping behind the scenes. One of them is Rhona Mackay (21) from the UK. Rhona made the awesome decision of doing a year abroad as part of her degree (in Hispanic studies and History), and joined HOOP as our Academic Coordinator in September. Her job is all about being in charge of the day-to-day running of the school and making sure all the kids’ classes run smoothly. So in this week’s blog we asked Rhona to tell us about her typical day at HOOP…

8:00am – I’m usually woken up by a variant of Fur Elise, the song played by most of Arequipa’s garbage trucks as they make their way slowly round the city. I try and get a few more minutes sleep before going downstairs to have breakfast with my host family – fresh fruit juice and eggs every morning!

10:30am – After I get to the office, I meet with the HOOP staff about anything from school supplies to volunteer coordination, and more often than not, I do some last minute lesson prep (the kids love my hand drawn worksheets, promise).

1:00pm – Time for a quick lunch, usually a delicious sandwich of avocado and cheese sandwich.

2:00pm – I catch the combi (think small bus crammed with as many seats and people as possible) to school. Hopefully I get a seat, otherwise I spend 40 minutes trying to stay upright as the bus jerks around.

2:45pm – I arrive at school with the other volunteers and everyone prepares their classes.

Rhona teaching

3:30pm – English classes start, lasting an hour. For me no day is the same, sometimes I could be filling in for a sick volunteer in one of the classes, or overseeing the general activities in the school, chatting to our moms and making sure no kids arrive late.

4:30pm – As classes end it’s time to start the other activities – homework help, art class or cancha (playground) time. I make sure all the volunteers know where they are that day and try and herd as many kids to their different activities as possible.

5:30pm – School is finished for the day, and all the volunteers head to the bus to get back to the city. Once we get back plans differ from day to day, some people head for dinner, to cook or to our weekly pub quiz fundraising event.

Words by Rhona Mackay
Photos by Elise Fjordbakk

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