Tanya Read – Review

Why did you want to volunteer?
To explore and travel at the same time.

Do you feel you made a difference, how?
Absolutely! The project I helped in was a day nursery for some of the poorest children and they simply don’t have enough people working there to do everything. It was a lot of running around and making sure the children had something to do and were okay but it was great fun and the time went really quickly each day.

What did you do for fun?
We visited Otovalo and went to the coast for a few days.

When was your most enjoyable experience, do you have an interesting story?
There wasn’t one thing which stood out as it was all so much fun. Practising my Spanish with the children was interesting and involved lots of laughing, I don’t think they understood I wasn’t from there so kept repeating things to me. The staff often had to try and translate but it was funny.

Who did you make friends with and for what reasons?
We were a really great little bunch, there were 3 of us then another girl finished her stay but I think on this project it’s more about getting to know the locals and the people you work with than some other projects which are busier, at least that’s my impression as I met a girl who’d done a couple of other projects with OV which were bigger groups.

Would you considering going again or perhaps to another project with Original Volunteers?
I would like to visit India next and maybe a couple of others too.

What items would you suggest future volunteers pack?
Wetwipes for your project so you can wipe the children’s hands quickly when they get covered in paint.

Could you offer any tips to future volunteers?
Speak Spanish from day one, regardless of how little you know, it really makes a difference and opens up opportunities with the local people. Don’t do what I did and worry about Spanish so much I didn’t speak to anyone, a few hellos really opens things up and makes everyone else comfortable with you too! Go for it!