Sam Connelly – Paraguay

Who do you remember?
The family were helpful and friendly. They did everything they could within their means to support and help me with everything I needing from washing my clothes to showing me around and where everything was. I could not ever thank them enough!

Why did you want to volunteer?
I had always wanted to have a challenge where I have to face up to things on my own and problem solve. I think until my trip I had quite an easy time and I was glad I went.

Do you feel you made a difference, how?
The children there were desperate to learn English and had not had a volunteer for awhile so it was nice to start the classes again even though it was not something I had thought about before travelling so I had to brush up on my own English skills and think about what I was going to teach them.

What did you do for fun?
Sat with the family and laughed constantly!

When was your most enjoyable experience, do you have an interesting story?
We did a walk into town, that was an adventure trek, we walked over fields and through forests and waded through streams. The bus would have been easier but walking was more fun and I got to see lots of wildlife on the way.

Who did you make friends with and for what reasons?
You make friends with everyone there. The family introduce you to all their family and everyone they know, it was really easy.

Would you considering going again or perhaps to another project with Original Volunteers? Please explain why.
Yes I think I would like to experience something else similar, I am thinking about the Kenya project. I am definitely more interested in experiences where I will be on my own with local people rather than living in a large group, although I realise being on your own is not everyone’s desire.

Could you offer any tips to future volunteers?
Learn as much Spanish as you possibly can before you go, I was still practising on the flight as it arrived in Asuncion and wish I had done more beforehand as it can take until your second week to get the hang of it. Everything sounds like one continuous word or sound if you don’t know some basic words and can split up what you hear.