Volunteer work and traveling

Swiss volunteer in the footsteps of Shakespeare

Slowly but surely we are expanding our horizons. Not only in South America, but also in Europe. With Pascal Gächter we had our first volunteer from Switzerland. Although he was only with us for a couple of weeks, he made a real effort. Just before leaving we asked him to write a short review. Thanks a lot pal!

”After spending as little as three weeks volunteering in Ecuador, I feel myself reminded of the Shakespearean character Sebastian. He knows, as I do, that he never be able to repay what he has been given, though he would not deny his gift for the world as it is far too valuable to him.

Volunteering is widely considered an altruistic activity. Altruistic – an act solely performed for the benefit of others. One could not be more mistaken. I feel like I have profited and learned so much more from the people I have been teaching, than I have been able to teach them. It is true, I feel like my work was valuable. However, the experience, which I have been given, has been priceless. Working for no material benefit has produced a feeling of self-worth and respect, respect for myself and towards the local culture. The collaboration with the local Ecuadorians has been an intercultural exchange going far beyond the superficial encounters made while travelling. I really am under the impression, that these past few weeks may aid me to become the person I am striving to be.

Furthermore, I would like to quote Albert Einstein: “The intuitive mind is a sacred gift and the rational mind is a faithful servant. We have created a society that honours the servant and has forgotten the gift.“ I believe that volunteering helps to stimulate this sacred gift. Our education should not only be about acquiring knowledge but also about training one’s intuition to make the right decisions when in really counts. It cannot be taught, explained or described – it has to be experienced. This latter point is, in my opinion, the true strength of Localdreamers. The projects are not merely about English, swimming or football but also values, virtues and discipline.

I feel nothing but privileged, that I have been able to share a few weeks with the Local Dreamers. First of all, my colleagues have been welcoming, warm-hearted and simply great to be with. Moreover, I would like to congratulate the two founders and the project coordinators of Local Dreamers for an outstanding foundation. They are providing immaculate organisation, a familiar atmosphere and truly meaningful projects.

After all, I can do no other answer make, but, thanks, and thanks.

To Local Dreamers, to my colleagues and most of all, to Ecuador.”

 

Pascal Gächter

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