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Summing up the Volunteer Experience.

By December 5, 2014October 10th, 2023One Comment

Written for Happy Africa by our intern Laure

I cannot say if it was thanks to the family spirit, which emanates from the volunteers’ house where I have stayed, or to the friendliness of the team, or to the kindness of the inhabitants, but it didn’t take me a long time to feel at home in St-Lucia. I was immediately adopted, not only as an intern but also as a new member of the team who has a say in the decision-making processes, regardless of my job title.

My first thought while arriving was « How will I manage to work in a place which looks like a paradise? ». However, I can tell you that you do not think about resting anymore as soon as you are part of this adventure. The projects you are in charge of developing are as inspirational as the people you meet there. The place is full of positive energy, as everyone is working with the same goal in mind: Making an impact. 

No time to rest with such an objective and no time to get bored either. No two days were the same during this internship, which happened to be even more diverse than I expected. I had the opportunity to juggle between office work and time on project; between doing finances, organising events and improving my social media skills. 

But more than just looking good on the CV, this internship has been a life-changing experience. One of the local staff members told me last week: “ When you arrived you looked fifteen; but now you look and you sound twenty-five”. I’m not sure I have grown so old in only 6 months, but I am definitely not the same person as when I first arrived. I am more confident, not only with my English but to share my ideas and express my point of view. I have also learned to be more patient and tolerant while living in community and working with different culture. But above all I have realized that I have never been happier than here. Vocational guidance choices await me upon my return, and even if I haven’t taken any decision yet, I now know that I do not want any kind of life but this one. There is nothing better than waking up every morning knowing that you’ll spend your day working to positively impact the life of the individuals around you. I haven’t change the world while working for The Happy Africa Foundation, but I feel like I have contributed to make it better, even if just a little bit.

The only problem is that time passes incredibly fast when you feel like you are exactly where you should be…

Approaching the end of this 6-months internship brings a period of reflection of all the things I have achieved but mostly all the things that I would still like to have time to accomplish. I let my place to a lucky one and wish her all the best. South Africa stole my heart (not my French accent though), but I will be back…