One month from today, I’ll be heading off for my sixth Global Volunteer Experience. Timing is everything in life, and given recent political events, some think it is not the best time to go traipsing around other parts of the globe. My opinion differs. What better time to do something positive, to at least try to improve America’s image in other parts of the world, than now?
For those of you new to Global Volunteers, here’s a little background. We go where we are invited, and do whatever we are asked to do, working closely with members of the host community. We don’t proselytize — we have no political or religious agenda, other than to make friends and learn about a culture different from our own. The only stated goal is to “wage peace and promote justice”. I love that.
So far, I’ve worked in a preschool in Anse La Reye, St. Lucia, elementary schools in Hanoi, Vietnam and Rarotonga, Cook Islands and twice at a technical college in Queretaro, Mexico.
So, where to this time, you ask? Beja, Portugal, in the Alentejo region. Never heard of it? Neither had I until I signed up. And that’s one more thing to like about Global Volunteers: you get to live in areas you might never have thought of visiting.
Another Global Volunteer plus is the wonderful friendships that you make. This trip will be a mini-reunion for three of us that served on my very first project in St Lucia.
Not only that, but during our stay, we will be celebrating the 10th anniversary of the start of GV’s Portugal project. Seems like perfect timing to me!
And that was the case for two of my other projects. In November of 2013, I was in Rarotonga when their new Queen was crowned. What a fantastic experience THAT was–the music, the food, the costumes–how lucky was I to be able to share this joyous celebration with the most gracious, friendly people on the planet!
Jeanne and I lucked out in February, 2017, by being in Queretaro for 100th Anniversary of the signing of their constitution.
Queretaro was the actual site for this historical event, so there were all kinds of special celebrations. How cool is it to use the side of a centuries old cathedral as a screen for an outdoor multi media show? We liked it so much, we saw the show twice. These photos don’t do the display justice. Let me just say it was really, really wonderful.
If that wasn’t enough, another evening got to hear this stirring rendition of Elvis Presley’s “Wooden Heart” played on bagpipes, in Mexico!! Here’s a little bit of the sound track for your viewing pleasure. Irresistible, no?
So, who knows what awaits us in Beja?
I hope you will check back next month and join me, Laurie and Jeanne for a virtual Global Volunteers adventure. Adeus e obrigado!