Monday, December 7, 2015

It's Already Almost Over!

Okay. Almost over is a little over-exaggerated with 18 days left in my project and 3 months of travelling after that. But let's say it’s almost almost over! Because that is certainly what it feels like. Working with FORRU I don’t experience a break like all the other CCT volunteers that I live with but that's totally fine by me! The last weeks are jam packed with super cool stuff! But there are most certainly things I will not relive. For example the first time I rode the pickup truck up to my work site. I was almost certain I would die. I did not and my fear was completely based on the good roads back at home and TV shows like “the most dangerous roads” where this trail, if filmed correctly, would be perfect!

Or the one time we got stuck in the mud having to pull out trucks for local farmers and drone pilots. Written down, this seems like a really odd aggregation of individuals but at that time all I could think about was how to get my feet dry and, again, not die on our way back down. But it’s not the unbelievably cool Automated Forest Restoration conference or the numerous field trips with the most incredible views that stick out to me the most. But rather the people I met along the way.

One of the best days I spent with my fellow Intern / Volunteer / Student, Ibren from the Netherlands. For a science project he needed 1g of plastic cable. Approximately 3000 pieces of said cable. It took us around 5 hours to cut all of it but I guess you can imagine us sitting in a really small lab as happy as only people in Babyfood commercials and organic wheat burgers can be. Listening to great music and just talking with someone who has traveled the world quite a bit was an enlightening experience! 

After the five hours of finger numbing scissor action and a really nice coffee at my new favourite place I didn’t even realise it was time for pickup. But of course all the other people I met and most certainly the ones I have to meet are fascinating. I really didn’t know the world was filled with so many awesome people until I started to travel!

Thursday, December 3, 2015

You Are Never Too Old... Or Young!

Hi there, my name is Silvana, an Italian / Swiss woman, living in Switzerland, and only 63 years young! 

When I applied for a volunteership I had the feeling people were smiling at me. And when I went for the introduction evening before I left Switzerland I was absolutely the "old lady" amongst teenies. I thought "Oh dear......"

Meanwhile I have started my voluntary services at the Wildflower Home. The home provides safe shelter, education, health and other services to young single mothers who are either pregnant or have young children. WFH offers emotional and educational support to help them move from crisis and poverty to steady jobs or continous education after leaving the home.

I immediately noticed that the children (up to four) were quite agressive to each other. They tore away each other's toys. Young volunteers seemed to always try to be nice to them. I learned that they needed firmness and limits to their behaviour. You would not believe it, but after three weeks everybody noticed! The children became calmer, they now play together, they share, and they politely ask if they want something! I am amazed how quick they learn. 

I just love them. Everyone wants to be hugged in a different way....... their background has certainly not been easy.

In the next edition I will talk about the young mothers!

As you can read, I am still eager to achieve a lot, step by step, whilst just being a little bit over 30!