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Reflections on My Volunteer Experience in Ecuador. Nina

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Hi everyone, my name is Nina. I volunteered for 6 months in Ecuador at a school called «Maria Troncatti.» I supported the English teacher by checking homework, answering questions, and preparing exams. As the children were very interested in my home country and in German, I ran a German extracurricular class. So they got an insight into German culture by baking cookies, listening to German songs, and playing games. It was a lot of fun! I can recommend to everybody volunteering at a school to be creative and to try new things. I lived with a host family, who took care of me. I was surprised at how easy it is to be part of a new family. Just in a short time, they have grown on me. I have learned to adopt Ecuadorian habits and to communicate openly misunderstandings and feelings in a foreign language. Thanks to the close contact, I could get a deeper insight into Ecuadorian culture. I got to know a lot of delicious traditional food, I experienced traditional celebrations and I went to family events with dancing to traditional music. I also met amazing Ecuadorian friends who showed me Reggaeton parties. By living abroad, you always become more independent and also more self-confident. Also, especially tough moments have strengthened me. If you are open to spontaneous plans, you will have unplanned, extraordinary experiences. You will come in contact with locals, if you are open-minded and interested in talking with people. My voluntary service made me once again aware of my privileges. Now I am also seeing the school system in Germany from a different perspective. The time went by so fast! I am very grateful for having that experience. It’s hard to leave that place with those wonderful people. Thanks to everyone who made this time so special and unforgettable for me.

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