1. How was the local AVB Coordinator and the support provided in-country?
Beatriz was very accommodating and helpful. She checked in with us frequently, was helpful to me with the language barrier, and even went out of her way to give one in our group a gift on her birthday. She was great!
2. What was the most surprising thing you experienced?
I was most surprised by the willingness of the girls at the orphanage to open up to us and shower us with love, even without really knowing us. It made the time we spent together so special, and those girls will always have a special place in my heart.
3. What was the most difficult to experience?
Working in the kindergarten was very tricky at times, although it was fun. The teachers would have us sit at tables with the children and assist with group work. It was difficult to discipline the children and convince them to do the work, especially when I only knew limited Spanish. I wish sometimes the teachers had been more attentive to the groups so that we did not have to discipline the children, because I don't really feel qualified to do so, but it all worked out.
4. Any tips for future volunteers... (clothing, travel, personal items, donations)
Bring toilet paper! With 6 girls all living in one house we go through many rolls and we feel badly asking our host mother constantly for more.
4.1. Other things volunteers should know:
a.- Be flexible and keep in mind that you're here to serve the needs of the organizations you're working for, even if those needs aren't what you pictured. Be humble and willing to work, no matter your task.
b.- Bring a bank card or extra money- $200 was not enough between shopping, excursions, and food.
c.- Do some research about the culture before you come to enrich your experience. d.- It's best if you know some Spanish. A lot of Spanish is best!
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