Rachel Volunteer in La Serena, Chile

My Favorite Memory: I was able to see great changes in the growth and development of the babies I worked with because they were so young (all less than 6 months old) so my favorites memories occurred when a baby began to respond to me and enjoy my attention (smiling, giggling, cooing) for the first time.

I was surprised that: I didn’t need time to adjust. Despite being thousands of miles from the place I call home, I felt like I had a home and a family. I learned home can be wherever you make it.

The most difficult thing I experienced was: Different standards of personal space and what is socially acceptable (staring, unwanted attention, etc.).

My best received lesson: Let your guard down and let people in. The possibilities are endless.

Rachel Volunteer in La Serena, Chile

Tip for future volunteers: Pack light! I found that extremely nice and just did a couple loads of laundry while I was there. I pre-bought all of my personal/bath items (Kleenex packs for toilet paper, hand sanitizer, shampoo, soap, etc.) but found I could’ve just bought those items upon arrival. This would’ve saved me room in my suitcase and money, seeing that I over-bought in some cases. I realize this depends on your placement location (urban or rural).

How would you describe your accommodation: I lived in a home with a family. My host mother took extremely good care of me and I felt right at home. I had my own bedroom and shared two bathrooms with the family. I had everything I needed right at home (washer, computer, etc.) and was very comfortable my entire stay.

Are you willing to speak to other potential ABV volunteers? Yes.

Rachel Volunteer in La Serena, Chile

Rachel Volunteer in La Serena, Chile

Volunteer Name: Rachel Czech Volunteer Location: La Serena, Chile Dates: April 30th - May 28th, 2011 Program: Language Immersion & Orphanage

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