Laura volunteering at an Orphanage
Volunteer Work 2013
The beginning was the hardest for me: I first had to get used to dealing with the tías, the way they do things in the orphanage and, of course, the children. The fact there was another volunteer from Switzerland, made things a little easier for me.
My main responsibilities included homework supervision, playing games, running little projects, excursions, picking up children from school, bathing children, and putting them to bed.
Little by little, volunteering became more and more fun for me because I became more confident with the tasks and the children, got to know them better, and improved my Chilean Spanish. I learned more about the children's past and could see changes in their behavior. Things happened between them, which were probably invisible to outsiders, but gave me a unique interpersonal insight. That's why I went home shocked, angry or sad on some days. Many more times though, I left the orphanage in the evening satisfied and proud, because I always learned something new. Especially in the last few weeks I noticed how much love the children have in their hearts and that I will miss them very much!
I find it particularly important, if you decide to work in a children's home, that you really take your job as a volunteer seriously. After all, every person in the there affects the children´s lives in a certain way.
Overall, I had a very intense time in the children's home "Fundación Pleyades". For me it was definitely a very important, formative experience and I am grateful for this oportunity.
In my free time, I enjoyed the time in my house with many people from all over the world, explored Santiago, and traveled around Chile and other countries. I cannot say what I liked best: Cajón del Maipo, Valparaíso, the Atacama Desert, Isla de Pascua - that's all beautiful. I especially recommend a trip to Uruguay.
In 3 days I'm going to volunteer in Bolivia and then in Peru, before I have to fly back home …
Many thanks to Chile Inside for support and information!
(Lauras' report was translated from German, look here for the original post.)