Main Menu

My Once in a Lifetime Opportunity

When I initially landed in Goa I was experiencing extreme culture shock. It was something completely different from what I was used to back home in Canada. Upon arrival at the house, we were introduced to our coordinators and housemates. Personally, my trip to the Teaching and Community Work in Goa project is extremely memorable because of the relationships and friendships that were created through my coordinators and housemates. The introduction week allowed us to become comfortable with one another prior to volunteering. I choose to volunteer in the school and the slums because my stay in Goa was very short. A typical day would consist of starting at the school around 10am and then returning to the volunteer house for lunch. After lunch, we would go to the slums for the rest of the day. Our day normally finished around 5pm so it gave us time to go home and eat before exploring Goa during the nighttime. 

I chose to volunteer in this project in the beginning of May as it worked best for my schedule. The only difference was that the month of May was the children’s summer vacation. Instead of teaching the kids and having planned lessons for them, we played games and made crafts. That in itself was rewarding and personally I feel like I made an impact on the kids through improving their English. It was a totally different atmosphere “teaching” in Goa versus Canada. The kids warmed up to you immediately and wanted constant affection and hugs. Even in the +40 degree weather it was hard not to chase the kids around the yard and pick them up to put them onto your shoulders. Our last day volunteering in the slums involved the coordinators and volunteers taking the children from the slum to the beach. I would say that is one of my favourite memories of India. It was surreal seeing how excited the kids were as they were jumping into the waves and swimming alongside each other.

For myself, I have never had the ambition to travel to India and I choose this project solely for its purpose of working with children. I can say now that I am so grateful I made the decision to visit India and I hope to visit again next year. The community members are so kind and very welcoming to tourists. I would encourage anyone to work with this program and I am forever thankful I made this decision. It was definitely a trip of a lifetime.