Friday, August 03, 2007

Leaving My Program

I am leaving my volunteer program in the middle of August. I am thankful for my time with HCA. I have learned a new language, experienced Bolivian and Chilean culture, and met some incredible people that I won’t forget.

But I just know that to stay here another year would be to stay where I am not meant to be. I was working in jobs where I was charged with zero responsibility. There is so much more than could never be captured in this short amount of space but I guess you could say the following: The more I learned about who I am and thought about what it was that brought me to Latin America to serve in the first place, the more I realized my time in this program had ran its course.

And so, I am leaving my program, leaving Chile, and yet I won’t be coming home to the United States.

In September I begin new work as a volunteer (again) in Quito, Ecuador. There is an organization called The Working Boys Center (WBC). The basics are this: The WBC serves impoverished shoeshine boys and their families with a variety of programs, not the least of which is where I as a volunteer come in: an education. I will be working five days a week, 8 AM to 8 PM as a teacher, possibly teaching adults to read and write, teaching kids English, Theology, Sales and Marketing, and God knows what else- the program is extensive. Even my weekends can be spent volunteering- from field trips with my students to building houses in poor neighbourhoods to visiting people in their own homes- the opportunities are there for me to find my heart.

But there is always a catch in this life, and in my case, the catch is this: I am joining a program that can provide nothing more than room and board. No health insurance or airline ticket. Not even some of the school supplies I will need to be a good teacher. If I want to take my kids on field trips (which I am told most volunteers do on a regular basis)- again, that falls on my shoulders, or dare I say, our shoulders…

Yes you are getting dragged into this. Fingers are crossed for the dollar lottery ticket my mom buys in my name every week but I bet there is a greater chance of buying my classroom supplies and the like through donations from the people like you who, like me, really want to make this world a better place. $1 or more, anything helps, and it is now easier than ever: you can donate with any credit card, right here, and right now.

I feel torn asking for this help, it kinda lashes away at the image of self reliance and independence I once liked to paint myself in. But in all seriousness I think if anything, the last year in South America has taught me this: a life well lived is not one that can be done independently. Your help enables me to continue to try my best at helping people living in conditions of extreme poverty, and in a sincere sentiment that could never break through simple words such as these: it means a lot and I thank you. And yes, just to break the “priceless Visa” moment, I still feel that way whether or not you are able to financially help! (=

By clicking on the DONATE button bellow you will be able to help USING ANY MAJOR CREDIT CARD. If you don´t have a paypal account, select the step that says "don´t have a paypal account?

And if you like, click the blue link to read an article about the WBC- my new home!

¨Wherever you go, go with all your heart.¨ Confucius

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