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“Qué será, será, whatever will be will be!” - Julie Curran, Teaching volunteer, Australia   (published in Peru)

July 30, 2010 by   Comments(0)

My choice to volunteer in the Sacred Valley ticked these boxes:



v      An opportunity to live amongst mountain landscapes with spectacular starry nights;

v      A long held desire to learn another language and find it really useful;

v      The opportunity to “sample” a career that was different to working as a nurse;

v      A chance to live in a non-Western country and perhaps have an impact.


I don’t want to mislead you with sunny Doris Day quotations but there is wisdom in her warbling “Qué será, será – whatever will be will be!”  Those words sum up for me, the union between expectations and experiences whilst volunteering in Peru.


So the hot showers may only be a trickle, the roads will be noisy and dusty, the bus from Cusco will be crowded and you will find out how a sardine feels, you like potatoes but more so when they are ‘chippies’.  If teaching, the best lesson plan is flexibility and the home cooked foods are better than anything in the restaurants. 


The most memorable moments of my volunteering experience occurred during the challenge and excitement of teaching. My preparation commenced 10 months prior to my arrival in Spanish language classes; a very useful endeavour as the students and local English teacher had limited English skills. Great for my Spanish language challenge!  Now, as I recall, the title of the English grammar book from which I learnt English when I was at school, which was some years ago - was “Let’s make English live”.  Indeed, ...

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“Qué será, será, whatever will be will be!” - Julie Curran, Teaching volunteer, Australia
“Qué será, será, whatever will be will be!” - Julie Curran, Teaching volunteer, Australia

A life in the day of Marion Frankland   (published in Sri Lanka)

July 30, 2010 by   Comments(0)

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A life in the day…Sri Lanka


   My day starts at 6.30am when my alarm goes off. Of course, I set it to snooze a couple of times and eventually get up at 7am. This will no doubt change when my room mates arrive in the next couple of weeks.  The morning starts with a nice cold shower (eurgh!) just as the call to school starts up from over the road. This is a collection of songs, blessings, prayers and chants to remind the students to get a move on and lasts for about half an hour. Once I’m ready, complete with sun cream and insect repellant, breakfast is a bowl of cornflakes and a yogurt then it’s off to catch the bus. There’s one about every 10 minutes and it’s only 20 metres or so to the bus stop.  Once on board we travel slowly for 10km to get to work – for the price of 18p!  Work is at an orphanage for girls with learning and physical disabilities – although for a couple of them the ‘disability’ is dyslexia and those are the girls who need lots of stimulation.  In the mornings I work with the adults who don’t go to school. Some of the girls have been abandoned by their families. Those that can usefully work after the age of 20 do so, the others stay here and help look after the youngsters, do the washing in the river, help cook meals and keep the place tidy.  We generally spend our mornings doing puzzles, playing games and having a go at art and craft work, with varying degrees of success.  We then serve lunch for the school aged girls (and the boy or two who live there as well). It’s rice and curry, brought each day by neighbours in turn and usually fish based.  We put a helping each onto a metal plate and put each serving ready for the girls when ...

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A life in the day of Marion Frankland
A life in the day of Marion Frankland

Big Day Out - Yvonne Van Persie   (published in Sri Lanka)

July 30, 2010 by   Comments(0)

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Hi everybody!


I’m Yvonne van Persie, 24 years old and from the Netherlands. In my first month I’m working in Karapitiya (near Galle) in the Ruhunu Orphanage. I’ve collected some funds from family, friends, neighbors and from people in the restaurant where I work in the Netherlands.


The travel with the vans

With the money I’ve collected I arranged a trip for a group of the children for one whole day! At Wednesday morning 14th of July we went with two big vans to the orphanage. There were 18 children coming on the daytrip and 11 adults (staff members from the orphanage and volunteers from Projects Abroad). The children were very excited and when we left the orphanage at 9.30 o’clock, they couldn’t stop saying ‘bye, bye’ to all the people on the street! It was really adorable to see and hear!


The beach (Unawatuna)

First we took the children to a small, quiet beach in Unawatuna. When one boy, who looks like the boss of all the kids, saw the sea, he started crying and didn’t want to come near the water.. We were all a little bit surprised, but laughing. Unfortunately for him, the sea ruined his image;). The kids were allowed to go in the water en play with the toys I bought for them, under good supervision of all the staff members and the volunteers of course! The kids loved it! The directress told me that some of the kids have never left the orphanage, so it was really good for them! Everybody got some water and yoghurt.



After the beach the children could shower near the hotel where we had lunch. The lunch was real Sri Lankan food, so the kids (and the volunteers also!) filled up our tummies! For the children there was also a special Sri Lankan, very sweet, dessert!



Around ...

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Big Day Out - Yvonne Van Persie
Big Day Out - Yvonne Van Persie

My Sri Lanka by Tara Siches   (published in Sri Lanka)

July 30, 2010 by   Comments(0)

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There’s a travel quote I love that says the following: “Twenty years from now you’ll be more disappointed by the things you didn’t do then by the ones you did. So throw off the bowlines. Sail away from the safe harbor. Catch the trade wind in your sails. Explore. Dream. Discover” - Mark Twain. And that’s exactly what I, in my case, did... I dreamed, I abandoned my safe harbor in Spain and I went exploring in Sri Lanka.

 And Twain is right, I’m never going to regret this trip.

My firsts days in Sri Lanka were difficult -as the culture shock was hitting hard. It isn’t that easy to get into a totally different culture, all by yourself, and live there. But, as they say, time heals everything... and the pain of leaving home soon disappeared. My host family was great (Malika’s house in Demanhandiya, Negombo) as was the pre-school and orphanage there. Every morning we went to the pre-school and stayed with the almost 60 kids, trying to teach them some basic english and make them talk. We sang, drew, talked and played. Then, we had lunch and in the afternoon we went to the orphanage, where we helped with some tasks but most of all stayed with the kids.

I’m not going to explain my trip (I have an online blog of everything: because I prefer to explain my highs and lows of the whole trip.

What I’ve learned is impossible to teach to someone else, you have to experience it yourself. Living with the basics during three weeks is awesome, and in no time you start enjoying and appreciating everything 100% more. It’s silly how long you have to travel to figure this out. To wake up every morning with a coffee and then going to the pre-school to teach the ...

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My Sri Lanka by Tara Siches
My Sri Lanka by Tara Siches

Almost Twins of Twins- Dutch volunteers get introduced to placement. Written by Denise Morgan (Social Manager)   (published in Jamaica)

July 29, 2010 by   Comments(0)

Ooohhhhhhhhh! So cute! This is definitely a picture that can speak a thousand words if you simply tap into your imagination. Marloes and Brigitte Goverde are Dutch sisters who arrived in Jamaica on July 24, 2010 with a mission to do voluntary work for 1 month. On the first day of visiting their placement (July 26, 2010) at the Windsor Lodge Children’s Home, they kept asking, “Where are the babies?” Both sisters patiently or impatiently waited through a tour of the institution and introduction to staff members to finally have their hearts desire-holding the babies. As the sisters stepped into the nursery they were greeted by a pair of female baby twins, one enthusiastically stretched her hands up to Brigitte. Marlores quickly took up the other twin saying, “How wonderful!” I then remarked, “Twins holding Twins, well almost; more like sisters.” Both ladies were genuinely caught up with the young ones, saying, they could not wait to come back the following day to start their voluntary work.

In the Netherlands, their homeland, Marloes the older sister is a teacher who previously worked with children in the four- twelve age group. However, on this trip she is anticipating spending more time with the babies. Brigitte on the other hand is a nurse who has worked with babies before, but said those babies unfortunately were sick; she is therefore looking forward to hanging out with healthy babies. The sisters immediately warmed to the new environment, saying, “I definitely think I am going to like it here. The Goverde’s kept remarking that the Winsor Lodge Children’s home is very clean, nicely painted and decorated. They examined their surroundings like health inspectors ready to pass a failing grade. In the end they ...

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Almost Twins of Twins- Dutch volunteers get introduced to placement. Written by Denise Morgan (Social Manager)
Almost Twins of Twins- Dutch volunteers get introduced to placement. Written by Denise Morgan (Social Manager)

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