This year I celebrated my 15th Global Volunteers service program in as many years – a testament to the success of Global Volunteers and, of course, a reaffirmation of my personal education and profit from serving as a Global Volunteer. During my Global Volunteers “career”, I’ve travelled to seven communities and participated in a variety of work projects.
For the past six years I have concentrated on serving in Rarotonga of the Cook Islands as a teacher and tutor in the primary school English education program. What a great experience to see students I have worked with progress over time, and to greet them again a year or more later! I am also proud to have earned the name “Papa Dennis” from Rarotonga teachers, students, and locals alike, but most proud of having contributed to making a difference in young lives. A three week program seems such a short time – but the impact viewed over years is most rewarding…and one of the reasons I keep returning.
So, as I plan my ninth service program to the “Cooks” in 2015, I congratulate the Global Volunteers staff (many of whom have become friends), my fellow “vaka” Global Volunteers (many of whom return), our Global Volunteers Cook Islands Country Manager and Team leader James Puati, who has seen it all, and Bud and Michele for giving us all such a rewarding opportunity.
Dennis Killeen – 15 Time Volunteer