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Tags: chile, la serena
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.
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.