There have been some early starts and some late nights, some emotional times and endless smiles and laughter, and I have thoroughly enjoyed every second of this incredible experience. I would like to share with you just a few of the millions of things that I have learnt:
During my time here my Spanish has improved so much. I’ve learnt the vital everyday things like how to speak with children, when to use polite forms, how to greet and question and chat, how to joke and explain. I’ve learnt to throw myself into the language and stop waiting for someone else to speak up first. As a communications volunteer my confidence when speaking Spanish has grown so much because I have learnt to get out there, get chatting with anyone and everyone even if you’re not certain on the vocabulary or grammar; and I have lost my fear of asking questions.
The Power of The Small Things
A huge lesson that I have learnt is that being a volunteer is not attempting to change the world overnight. I have learnt to appreciate the incredible power of the little things and how they add up to make the big changes, how even just brightening the day of someone in a tough situation is a step forward. I’ve realised that it is important to stop looking for a huge reformation in the community after a number of weeks and open your eyes to how those three words you taught that 7 year old girl count in her journey learning to speak English, or how that half hour you spent helping ladies in the kitchen dry the plates or asking the boy from the neighbourhood about his favourite sports make a person feel important, valued, noticed. Don’t ignore the little things. It is a philosophy I have learned to apply not only to local development and community change, but to all goals in life. I no longer underestimate how the tiny steps I can take each day, the small changes I can bring into my life, can help me on the way to big goals.
How To Connect With Others
More than anything I have to thank Voluntario Global from the bottom of my heart for teaching me how to truly connect with people and the power that these relationships that we create can have on lives, communities and the future. I know now more than ever that it doesn’t matter where you’re from, what language is your mother tongue, what kind of house you live in or what kind of job you have, we are all human and we get so mixed up in focussing on other unimportant aspects that we forget that deep down we’re all the same. After 3 months in Buenos Aires, I feel love for people who come from worlds so different from my own in so many ways, but their compassion is all that matters. I see how the power of friendships, bonds, teamwork helps people to reach their goals.
More About Myself
Meeting some of the most inspiring and kind-hearted people over the last 12 weeks, from the Voluntario Global coordinators, the people at the organizations and the other volunteers, has pushed me to want to help more. I have become more confident and aware of the way others live, and I have realised that everyone has something that they can give to help someone in need. Being a volunteer has also taught me what truly matters in life.