First Time Volunteering Abroad

A couple of months before I left on a trip by myself to meet a group of strangers, I was sitting in my Chemistry class in Felmey Hall when a recruit came in to spread the word about a company I had never heard of, GIVE Volunteers. With little research I convinced myself that this is a step I should take and signed up myself. Fast forward to sitting on an older school bus full of 30 additional volunteers, travel down a gravel road to a little fishing village on Western coast of the country. Though the initial 12 hours were a little awkward and intimidating I grew to love that group of strangers and some of them are still my good friends now, four years later. We began in the small town of Jiquilillo building homes for single and abused moms and worked our way to Little Corn Island, educating children and functioning using a recycling program.

Poverty in a few of those places were high, I found things that I’d seen on the information earlier and never thought I’d experience first hand. However, I gained a new respect for the world, for my loved ones and friends and all that we’ve got. Little did I know at the time that this trip would change who I was, the way I viewed the world, and what I’d want to perform for the rest of my life.

I’d done things I enjoyed, such as cooking and taking art courses, things which I thought could be fun to do but I had never craved something like that fire before. I had spent the previous two weeks traveling volunteering in Nicaragua. And those two weeks would be the most purposeful weeks of my 18 years of life. At moments it was frightful, I asked why I moved, I got sick and missed house and my mom, but the longer I did and the more I feared, the more I grew and the more I realized that the very best things in life are kept at the opposite side of fear. I needed to stretch past my anxiety to jump on that plane and it ended up leading me on an experience I can never forget. That experience sculpted me as an individual. It lead me to the love of my profession, along with the work I do throughout the community.

When I was first offered my internship in Marcfirst my buddies told me that I was stupid for not looking for an opportunity that would provide cover. I knew it would be relatively time consuming and though doing the work for free was not my first option, it was a company that consisted of some thing that I fully supported. It was that fire to relinquish into the community of doing good and helping others no matter what form it came in. I am currently seven months to my internship and I really like every second of it. I would go in longer if I had the time, the money means nothing to me and I fully support the work being done. Volunteering programs ’s shown that money isn’t the greatest prize in life, and that happiness in what you are doing with your life is.