That Emotional Roller Coaster Ride Called Volunteering
It feels so long ago when Shakira’s “Waka waka” started my day — weeks of getting soaked in African colors and spirit, hoping to get a good placement somewhere in the country of my choice.
And it worked. It has been six months since I got here in Ethiopia, and almost a year since the start of my journey to volunteering in a distant land. The jitters of the unknown, concerns about fulfillment of expectations, and excitement at new things to come are but a faint memory now. (Partly because it is so far from my vibrant idea of Africa, though that is another story.)
Most of us have this romantic idea about volunteering — share your time and skills, make a difference, save lives. Or, as Heroes’ Hiro Nakamura got told, “save the cheerleader, save the world.” Sounds like a glamorous and very virtuous job, right? Change the channel now.
Long-term volunteers leave behind their family, friends, career, lifestyle, and earning opportunities for a shot at positively changing lives. Call it adventurous, impressive, bold, perplexing, or downright insane, but these moves and the life amidst a whole new culture and people, set into motion phases of emotions that Hollywood movies cannot rival. Nope, not even Bollywood. Experts may even agree that it is perfect practice for naturally sharpening acting skills.
The rest of the post and pictures here: http://www.travelblog.org/Africa/Ethiopia/Benishangul-Gumuz-Region/Asosa/blog-736845.html