My first service program with Global Volunteers was to a small town in southern Spain called Rota. I taught English to a middle-school class of lovely children. The kids we taught were so alive and full of life. They loved it when I’d make a mistake pronouncing a Spanish word but they were always cheerful. This was the experience that hooked me on volunteering abroad.
Since Spain I have taught English to high school kids in Italy, to college students in Mexico (twice) and in Portugal, where my partner Noreen and I visited several classrooms from pre-school to high school. In addition I spent three weeks at the Puericultorio Perez Aranibar (PPA) children’s home in Lima, Peru. In all my experiences I met many wonderful fellow volunteers and many hard-working and welcoming teachers in the schools.
For me this is a wonderful way to travel. I get to meet local people up close and learn about their lives. I also get to learn about their culture and history in ways that can only happen by having a one-to-one relationship.
Another great part of all my experiences has been the quality of all the Global Volunteers Team Leaders. Each one is dedicated to helping local populations, very well prepared to lead the group, and always helpful to individual needs. I continue to have warm feelings for each these wonderful people.
I’m already thinking about my next Global Volunteers service program; should it be someplace new or should I re-visit a place I had grown to love. In either case, I’ll make the right choice.
David W. Johnson – Six Time Volunteer