I worked with children with a wide range of disabilities by doing physical therapy, feeding the children, and doing intellectual exercises with them. I felt like I contributed occupational therapy to the project because they didn’t have an OT.
My fondest memory was working with a boy named Christian. I built such a strong bond with him and would get so excited to see him every day. When I started the project, he was being spoon-fed during all of his meals. I worked with him every day during meal time to start eating on his own. By the time that I left, he was almost eating on his own. I felt like I made an incredible difference and felt overjoyed.
If you’re a picky eater, you won’t survive here. You need to be open to trying new things and foods. I loved some of the food my host mom prepared for me, but some other meals were difficult. My host family was extremely nice and patient with me. They didn’t speak any English, but talking to them improved my Spanish.
I felt really prepared for my project because of the pre-departure briefing with James and Greta. They answered all the questions I had truthfully and they gave me the best advice possible on what to expect, what to bring, and how to accommodate to my new country. Top tips are to wear a lot of bug spray because the mosquitos here are vicious and bring good walking shoes because the streets there are uneven cobblestone and you will be doing a ton of walking.
Greta was extremely supportive and put me before herself and what she had to do. I got sick halfway into the trip and she drove 30 minutes to come and take me to a local hospital. I wouldn’t have made it without her.
It definitely represented good value for money. I never went hungry and I had a place to stay for the month. I think that it was a fair price.
This project may not be for everyone, but it certainly was for me. If you are open to new experiences and love living in and experiencing a different cultural lifestyle, this project is right for you.