Volunteer for Community Aid and Development
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I managed to FaceTime my cousin when I gained access to WiFi again and she asked me, 'So what did you learn from all this?' I simply responded with, 'If you don’t cut the weeds you cannot see the beautiful temple.' That statement meant to me that only when you get rid of all the impure, damaging things around you, can you reveal the beautiful temple within.
I was the first intern to work at this placement as a Medical Social Worker, so it took some time to feel out what my role would be. As I mentioned, my supervisor gave me space to work independently often, but was also available to check on the progress of my work, as everything was conducted in Spanish.
When my plane landed in San José, I was as nervous as I was excited. It was my first time traveling on my own, and I had no idea what to expect fro the. However, after five minutes of talking to the driver from the Teaching and Social Work program in San José, an incredibly friendly man full of stories about his city and himself, I forgot to be nervous. My host family matched his friendliness; my host mother was always willing to work with my level of Spanish...
The second place that I volunteered was at the Escuela Granadilla Norte. At this school, I volunteered as aid in a kindergarten classroom. I felt incredibly welcome and at home as I volunteered at the school. The teachers there were very sweet and willing to speak slowly to me in Spanish to help me understand things. I learned a lot about the culture and language in Costa Rica from the teachers at the school as I helped out in the classroom.
Volunteering in Indonesia was more than a simple experience, it was an opportunity I had to challenge myself as I have never done before. I have met some of the most interesting and passionate people on the planet and shared with them my life, my interests, my pictures and my dreams. Together we had the unique opportunity to discover the country, its people and its amazing environment from the privileged viewpoint of a volunteer.
This first week was an introduction week which was a great way to meet new people and familiarize oneself with the surroundings that I would be living in for a month. During this week we visited the Monkey forest, had a tour around Ubud, went to some rice fields, learnt some Balinese language and cooking and went to the Holy Water temple. It was a jam packed first week but a great way to really embrace the Balinese lifestyle. We also went and watched a Balinese dance show and had a Balinese offering and painting class. All of which contributed to a great first week.
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