ICS Volunteer Interview: Manuela, Spain

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How would you describe the village?
Well the village is a place where happy people live, very happy people which is surprising because they don’t have much. They don’t need much to be happy which is something I have learnt from this experience for sure. Its really nice to see how there is such a sense of community and everybody knows everyone and how you can walk around and everyone asks you how you are doing. It feels like a big family. Its nice how everyone helps out each other, you can see neighbours coming to help mama which probably wouldn’t happen back in Europe.

 

What is it like to be a volunteer in this village?
People are nice, people are welcoming. They know that we’re here to help and they’re very grateful. You can see that when community members come to help, they come to mobilisation meetings and get really involved. Sometimes its hard to get the message across, but its a good village.

 

What are you going to miss most about the village?
The view (laughs). Obviously the people; my dada (sister) my mama, we have funny conversations in the evening. The whole thing of being here and waking up to this, walking around, the peace and not being attached to my phone all the time. Its a different lifestyle that I will try to implement into my life when I go back.

 

Have you participated much in construction? What was your favourite part?
Yeah, we have all of us. There has been a lot of construction. It’s great because we’ve done a lot in a short space of time, and we’ve learnt quite a bit about bricks and laying bricks. At the beginning everything was a bit fun because it was new. But I guess laying bricks was fun.

 

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What about lessons, how have pupils responded and have you enjoyed doing them?
I definitely enjoy doing them. Its been great, the kids pay attention, they are really receptive and they want to learn. It’s been quite cool to be honest.

 

How do you feel in general about the success of the project?
Well, in terms of construction we made great progress because its done. In terms of schedule we are in time. But in terms of making an impact on the village I think we lost a bit of time. We had mobilisation meetings and they were successful, a lot of people came. We’re making a good effort now in catching up with that side of the project, which is the most important one because that’s what we’re here for, to make an impact. So I think in the next few weeks we will have done a good job.

 

Would you take part in a similar project in the future?
Yeah definitely. I do want to get myself involved in this kind of thing when I get back. Now that I have been here and I know how important it is I do want to get myself involved in this kind of thing. Even if it’s back home, not abroad.

 

Is there a part of the project you have enjoyed that you didn’t think you would?
Well, although working with the Tanzanian volunteers has been hard, there has also been a positive side to it. You learn a lot when you work with people who are not from the same culture or background as you. That, in a way has been interesting and fun because you learn a lot. You do share a lot of experiences. So I did enjoy that.

 

How would you describe to people back home how life is different in Mkindo?
It’s quite different. Basic stuff, basic food, basic conditions. Although we do have a TV and electricity! But they don’t need much and they get on with the things they do have. Re use a lot of things, they use things more wisely, they make the most of everything they have. At home we can always buy a new one and its quite sad. I’m going to try and be more grateful about the things I have because its not always about material things.

 

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