Brooke’s Reflections

 

A final blog from Brooke after her month of volunteering in June. Apologies for the delay in posting Brooke!-Heather Alicia

Brooke and family's plaque in honour of their donation!

As we finished our work with Project Somos by participating and helping out with the Open House that was held on the day before we left, I was feeling mixed emotions about it. I absolutely loved the whole day, Meggan and I led the children’s activity of planting seeds and packing Eco bottles and it went extremely well. The kids were all very interested, although there was a lack of the same language, there were many eager volunteers to act as translators to make the activity run smoother. We appreciated all of the help we got from the other volunteers at the day as well as all of the new friends that we made with the kids. I was so caught up in the excitement of the day that it didn’t even hit me until later that afternoon that this was our last time on the land and our last day volunteering with the Project. I was very sad about this fact, but also pleased and very grateful to have had the last month to be a part of something that wasn’t just hours and hours of endless weeding and planting, it was a month of creating a community garden to help nourish the children that will be in the Village in future years. The open house was an amazing way to sum up our work with Project Somos and it was a huge success!!I also got to take pictures proudly beside the wall that my family adopted while I was  volunteering, I believe that I was the first volunteer to be able to do that. I was so happy that myself as well as my family back home were able to give something to the Project because it means so much to all of us and we love what they are doing and its basically part of our family now. That was just the cherry on top of the wonderful last day on the Project :).

Open House

After that Meggan and I set out on our week of travels up to Lanquin to see the beautiful natural pools of Semuc Champey and then up to the gorgeous island of Flores to take a tour of the eighth wonder of the world, the Tikal Mayan Ruins which were unbelievable. This week was full of adventure, everything from unknowingly going on a two hour cave tour with a guide that spoke zero English and all we had was a candle to see, to having a tremendous 30 hour journey home due to layovers and storms.

We finally made it home safe and sound and I must say being back in my normal routine is weird. I feel like I should be getting up and packing into the pick up truck, with 2 dogs and picking up 5 or more local Guatemalans on our way to the land. Unfortunately that’s not the case anymore and I truly miss it :( I would do the entire thing over again in a heartbeat if I could, but there is always our three year check up that we plan to do when we will go down there and volunteer longer and bring our families :) and don’t forget about our seven year check in when the Children’s Village may be completed and we get to see it in all of it’s glory.

I am extremely excited for all of this as well as helping out in Vancouver in whatever way that I can at events like the Fiesta that is coming up in October!  As well as holding Project Somos parties, which I plan to do on the nights of the Celebration of Lights in July and August so come to my house and see the fireworks, a slideshow of Meggan and m trip as well as donating to the amazing organization Project Somos!!!

Saying goodbye

Well, that is my summary of the last week of our trip as well as my days back in Canada, but I took more experience and lessons from this trip than anything I have done so far in life. I made friends and memories that will last a lifetime so I would like to thank Project Somos, Stratosphere as well as the Global Stewardship Program for allowing me to have this unforgettable and meaningful experience.

-Brooke Atkinson

 

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