Pia´s Stay in Chile
Voluntary Work 2015
In early January, I flew to Santiago de Chile to work there as a volunteer. In the airplane I was incredibly excited but also nervous and at times I wanted - coward was I am – to fly back home and cancel my whole stay abroad – thank God I did not!
When I arrived in my flat, I immediately realized that I had made the right decision to try this whole new adventure. The plan was to attend a language school for two weeks, and after that volunteer in an orphanage for four and a half months. Because not everything in Chile is quite as organized as in Europe, in the end I volunteered for only three months - the rest of the time I spent travelling throughout Chile. Chile is one of the most diverse countries that I have known so far. In the north there is the Atacama Desert and in the south it looks almost as in Central Europe but cooler and with a lot of trees. You cannot decide where it’s more beautiful, because everywhere it is great. With a friend I did the famous W trek in Patagonia, which we are incredibly proud of.
The volunteering I did was really nice. It always made me very happy when I saw the children laughing and having fun, in spite of their difficult childhood. I was especially proud to be able to experience how the children started to walk their first steps or to walk independently. All my efforts have paid off, even if not everything worked the first time. I worked in two different orphanages and both were very nice. It was not always easy, especially because the Chileans do not understand that they should talk a bit more clearly, or that if one does not understand something immediately, it´s not necessary to switch to English right away… But you get used to it quickly.
To anyone who would ask me, I would definitely recommend to spend some time abroad, because you will get to know yourself better, can try different food and can get to know a completely new and different culture. And most importantly, because it is simply a fun time living on your own and you will be proud of yourself, when everything worked out. In addition, you will make so many new friends around the world that it will be always nice to fly back to Chile.