Volunteer for Development
Overall, one cannot but be impressed and humbled by the whole experience and you will come away (with difficulty and a heavy heart because of the love and lessons those children with so very little have taught you in such a short time) inspired to take back home some of those simple “rules” and customs of teaching, so often lost or forgotten in our modern obsession for league tables and political correctness.
Friday’s are a bit different because that’s test day, the children LOVE this though, as they get to see what they’ve learnt through the week and after an hour or so of tests are free to play. One Friday it was so hot we all ran through a fence at the back of the school and jumped in to a huge pond to cool off. All the kids who could swim were jumping in with us and the ones who couldn’t we were hugging and splashing.
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.
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.
Along with two workers and four other volunteers, we worked hard to build an eco-cabin constructed from a mixture of earth, sand, and hay. We enjoyed regular trips to the pool during our breaks and ate family-style meals three times daily. Here, I fully embraced Israeli culture and learned more about the Hebrew language as well as how to prepare traditional Israeli food.
That afternoon, we started our work. Girls were assigned to work with mud while my job was sifting sands for the preparation of the mud. Then I “made the mud” by mixing buckets of earth and sifted sands and straws. Honestly, it was so tiring, especially under the sun, but this was something I had never done before, which made it really fun.
The project was located in the Golan Heights in a small village called Nimrod. I was honestly not sure what to expect and I was slightly nervous to be volunteering in Israel for three weeks by myself. I was picked up from the bus stop from one of the project managers. He was very cheeky and had a great sense of humor. He showed me to my cabin which was equipped with cooking facilities, a fridge, bathroom, and beds.
I am so pleased to have had my internship in Israel. The course was a discovery for me architecturally, culturally and linguistically... Moreover, the will and the work performed by Guy is unbelievable. This is a man who knows a lot. On his own, he manages the maintenance and construction of the whole eco- lodge. It is because of Guys wealth of knowledge that I was able to learn about insulation, carpentry, plumbing and electricity.
I have had competitive table tennis sessions, I have met wonderful people, I have had interesting conversations with different types of people, I have made great friends, I have seen beautiful beaches, I’ve swam with pigs and local kids, and I have eaten a ton of spicy food. Simply put, a unique experience and great times volunteering in Thailand!