When people ask, “Why do you volunteer instead of just travel?” I say it is a wonderful opportunity to get to know the people in various countries. We have learned so much through our volunteering and had experiences we would not have had as tourists. If there were interesting places near the volunteer sites like Machu Picchu in Peru or the Galapagos offshore from Ecuador, we would visit them after our volunteer weeks were complete.
Some highlights of our 8 volunteer projects include –
1. In the Romanian orphanage, getting 18 month old Sari to jump up and down for the first time in her life. She had the biggest smile on her face.
2. Talking personally with the women elementary school English teachers in China about women’s rights, how it is to vote for the President of the United States, and celebrating Christmas with them. It was December 25th.
3. In Costa Rica, watching Spanish speaking Costa Rican children and English speaking American children play ball together, laughing, and enjoying each other. Language and culture presented no barriers.
Global Volunteers has given my husband Jim and me a perfect opportunity to know that the world is a universe of people with similar needs, wishes and desires. We have had opportunities to fulfill many of our own needs and desires; others are in need of help. When I first started working with Global I thought, “What difference can I make in two or three weeks?” But when I realized that other volunteers will come after me and continue the work, it made sense to me. Global Volunteers does make a difference.
Carolyn Brueggemann – 8 Time Volunteer