Sitting on hour 18 of my flight, I had no idea what to expect of my Child Care and Community Work project; coming in alone as a 17 year old to a new country with not much background as to what I would be doing was nerve-wracking.
However, never would I have guessed I’d make friends to last for a lifetime while benefiting the community and feeling genuinely good and wholesome. I began every morning eating fruit overlooking our river, than walked to the local private preschool, where I was brought back to my earlier days of making macaroni robots and coloring in the letter “U”, while half the class chanted unicorn in English while the other chanted in Sin Hala.
Following preschool, I headed home to eat lunch, take a quick rejuvenating nap, then head to the village kids. The village kids would meet me at the top of the hill, running and laughing as they held my hand and pulled me to the house, eager to show me their homework and whatever lesson plan I had in mind for the day.
The most rewarding feeling was when the kids homework was 100% correct, and they would get a sticker for writing three good characteristics, or correctly solving a math problem. Every day volunteering in Sri Lanka was a new adventure, and every night as I lay in bed wrapped tightly in a mosquito net and doused in mosquito repellent, I felt that I had made a difference; and alongside me was my friends from numerous other countries, relishing with me in the same feeling of and overwhelming joy.