Self, Social Justice, Spirituality

help wanted: people with short term volunteer experiences

Hello, fellow bloggers! I’m writing an essay on short term volunteer-abroad experiences, and I need your input! If you’ve been on a short term (3 months or less) missions OR volunteer trips, send me a message or comment about how you felt about it.

What did you expect going in, and how did the trip prove or differ from that? How did it impact you? Do you feel that short term trips are valuable or harmful or both, and in what ways? WRITE ME, PEOPLE. SERIOUSLY. THIS IS FOR GRAD SCHOOL. I NEED TO GRADUATE.

I’m also curious. Years ago I went to India for three months to research gender roles and sex trafficking, and I ended up doing absolutely nothing to do with that. I did a bit of teaching, a lot of baking, and writing elementary school lesson plans about environmental sustainability. Coincidentally, I also did a lot of shitting and a lot of picking lice out of my hair and killing cockroaches and scratching mosquito bites. And yoga, and laughing, and reading incredible books, and drinking beer under the stars.

Before I left, my grandmother told me in the car that she was proud of me for traveling so far to spread God’s love. I hated letting her down, so I just told her thanks. But I wasn’t interested in being “a light,” in so far as that meant trying to convert people. I just wanted to learn about these things I was interested in, and if someone saw God in me because I was kind or empathetic or genuine, so be it. And you know what? I think the only conversion experience had that summer was mine.

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