FRANCES IN COSTA RICA
My name is Frances and I spent 6 months in Costa Rica.
The project in which I volunteered was called ‘Hogar de Ninos Baik’.
Here I was working in a children’s home, Monday- Friday from 8am-4pm and generally I help with the washing, in the kitchen and play with the kids. My job in the project is to offer love and support for children who have been through a lot as they can no longer live with their families because they have been mistreated. The reasons for being in the home can vary widely between the children. I am not aware of each child’s story but I am aware that they need a lot of love.
A TYPICAL DAY FOR ME IS…
The role I played in this project changed over my 6 months. At the beginning I was playing with the kids and generally trying to get to know them all and the language. Half way through I was spending an hour with either one or two children where I give them my full attention. I played games with them, taught them English and we did a lot of drawing -drawing themselves, butterflies, hearts, houses and flowers, their favourite things to draw and play with were dough and plasticine, finger painting, stickers and stamps.
WHAT I’VE BEEN UP TO WHEN I’M NOT VOLUNTEERING
Costa Rica is a very small country with a lot of nature. This makes it easy at the weekend to travel: maybe to the beach; to a forest; a volcano…all sorts! Some of the places I have been have been amazingly beautiful. Seeing more of the country you are working in is so interesting; it gives you more knowledge about the culture and the country, and it is a lot of fun! If you come to Costa Rica, Guanacaste and Manuel Antonio are must sees!
FROM MY VOLUNTEER PLACEMENT I LEARNT/GAINED
In all I have had a good project, one that I would never have changed because of the children I had the chance to work with. I have learnt about patience, about some of the problems these kids and other people face, to appreciate my own life, the importance of the work of volunteers and to keep up this work in my life. In my time in Costa Rica I have been lucky enough to have had an amazing family who, from the start embraced me as a part of it; made some friends for life; visited some incredible places; and have a good start on a new language.