Friday, April 24, 2009

wait where did the time go?

Time is literally flying by right now, I cannot believe that I have been here for over 7 weeks. I remember when Shaina wrote in her blog that she had already been in Israel for 7 weeks, I was like wow she has been there forever, and now I'm at that point. I fly back to Boston 4 weeks from tomorrow. My host asked when I was leaving Haenam, my town, and I said i didn't know, whenever he thought my last day should be, so he said 2-3 days before my flight, which means I am in haenam less than 4 weeks! This is....crazy. 

I am having such an amazing time in Korea. There have been learning curves, and hard times, but the hard times were definitely overcome by the good times. Korea is such a wonderful country, and the people here are so welcoming and kind and warm. I knew that I would have a good time here, I felt it in my heart, but I never thought it would touch me as much as it has. Volunteering is such a huge part of who I am, it is what I love to do and has been since I started volunteering when I was 12. I wish that everyone would get an opportunity to have an experience like this, to learn about a new culture, to meet new people who might be completely different than you. 

I will definitely be recommending my experience to everyone. Volunteers for peace ( was very helpful in giving me all the information that I needed, and setting me up quickly with the organization that i wanted to volunteer with. Then there is the IWO (International Workcamp Organization). From the very first day I started to e-mail them, they answered all of my questions fully and honestly. When I arrived in Korea at their office I was a little scared and nervous, but they explained to me everything i needed to know, and I felt comfortable after the meeting with where I would be staying and what I would be doing. During the hard times, they helped me to communicate with my roommate and to resolve any issues (there was only 1) that arose. 

To anyone considering volunteering in a new country, do it. It is a decision that will definitely change your life. Don't be afraid to do it alone, either. You really become more enriched in the culture by experiencing it yourself and are less likely to attach yourself to your old culture. And don't forget to take a lot of pictures and write a lot of blog entries. Not only do they help family and friends to experience what you are experiencing, but also so that you have something to look back on your journey with. 

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