Well Robert beat me to the draw again. Posting my very thoughts before I even have time to bring them to fruition. Lately I have been out of sorts, oscillating between panic and confusion with a health dose of frustration. Why does everything feel so crazy? Then I read his post and and I thought “yes” that’s it. Everything we seem to do lately is about process and letting go layer after layer. Every load to the dump every precious thing I release into the world asks me to let go.
Some days my evil little negative inner voice sneaks in and starts on me. “What if you never go?” You have given everything away, told everyone you’re going, you have nothing left, that’s such a stupid idea! Yes, I do have all those thoughts usually all at once flooding in. Then I get an email from a fellow traveler who reassures me those thoughts are natural. We all have them.
Today a timely email came across my screen about volunteer travel. Robert and I know that this will be in our future in one way or another. Kristy from Nerdy Nomad discusses at great length about volunteering, the ins and outs, what to watch for etc. Some volunteering stints are completely controlled by middle men who charge exorbitant amounts of money for volunteering holidays and pocket a huge chunk of it with almost nothing going to the organization.
A good friend of mine goes into Juarez, Mexico and does well women clinics in the woman’s prison. Women bring their children to prison with them if they have no one to care for them. They are given one meal a day, no health care. Women give birth in these prisons, many of them there for drug crimes and being in the wrong place at the wrong time, usually trying to earn money to feed their children.
As we prepare to head south we are coming to realization that we will want to offer our skills with the people of Central and South America.
To be of service, that is what is calling us.
The early planning stages take more than deciding what type of work you would like to do and where. Ask yourself these questions:
1.What cause do you want to help?
2. How are you able to help?
3. In what part of the world do you want to volunteer?
4. When and for how long do you want to volunteer?
5. What do you want to get out of the experience?
6. Do you require support at home or in your home country before you leave?
Once you have a good idea of the when, where and what you will want to take a look at different organizations. Just because there are places out that there will accept you as a volunteer to do the work you want, it doesn’t mean that they’re the right fit for you. Check to see what they will ask of their volunteers: specific skills, work hours, days off, language abilities, etc. Also consider whether they have a religious or political agenda and, if they do, make sure if fits with your own ideals. Transparency is important so if they’re secretive about their operations, you might want to reconsider. Also take note of any rules or curfews they may have in place and whether they are okay with you.
Some days the butterflies in my stomach make me feel nauseated, but I must hold true to our vision of going forward.