First Time Volunteering Abroad

With very little research I convinced myself that it was a step that I should take and signed myself up. Fast forward to sitting on an old school bus filled with 30 additional volunteers, traveling down a gravel road to a small fishing village on Western coast of the nation. Though the first 12 hours were a little awkward and intimidating that I grew to love that bunch of strangers and some of them are still my good friends now, four years after. We started in the little town of Jiquilillo building homes for unmarried and abused mothers and worked our way into Little Corn Island, teaching children and working with a recycling plan.

Poverty in a few of those places were large, I saw things that I had only seen on the news earlier and never thought I would experience first hand. But I also gained a new respect for the world, for my family and friends and all that we have.

It was once my flight landed in Chicago that for the first time in my life I had a passion for something. I’d done things I liked, like cooking and taking art courses, things that I thought could be interesting to do but I hadn’t ever craved something like this passion before. I had spent the past two weeks traveling around and volunteering in Nicaragua. And those two months were the most meaningful weeks of my 18 years of life. At moments it was terrifying, I asked why I went, I got sick and missed home and my mom, but the longer I did and the more I feared, the more I grew along with the more I realized the very best things in life are held in the opposite side of dread. I needed to elongate past my anxiety to jump on that plane and it ended up leading me on an adventure that I can never forget. That experience sculpted me as an individual. It lead me into the love of my profession, and the work I do around the community.

When I was offered my internship in Marcfirst my friends told me I was stupid for not searching for an opportunity that would provide pay. I knew it’d be time consuming and though doing the work for free wasn’t my first option, it was a company that consisted of some thing that I completely supported. It was that fire to relinquish in the community of doing good and helping others no matter what form it arrived in. I’m currently seven months to my internship and I really like every single second of it. I’d go in longer if I had the time, the money means nothing to me and that I completely support the work . Volunteering programs has proven that money is not the greatest prize in life, and that delight in what you are doing with your life will be.