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Volunteer and Intern Abroad since 1997
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Testimonial from Florence Roberts

It seemed so surreal; I couldn’t quite believe we were going to be living on a beach, relaxing on the hammocks under the palm trees, diving twice a day and seeing some amazing sea creatures.

As I was packing my bags for my long awaited trip to Mexico, all I had in front of me was my gear list. These were the only clues I had about my lifestyle for the next 5 weeks. For the last 3 months I had been emailing 3 girls who I had got in touch with through the GVI website. We had all become good friends from winding each other up about what we were to expect. As soon as the 4 of us met in Playa Del Carmen with the rest of the group it felt great to know that the waiting was over. Everyone was already chatting to each other, and the staff were very friendly and clearly keen to get to know everyone. As the taxi’s pulled up outside our new home, I couldn’t wait to get out and explore my new surroundings. The base manager gave us a tour of Pez Maya, showing us things like the bucket flush toilets, the “showers”, the iguana’s that would be running round our feet for the next 5 weeks and the large amount of mosquitos. So far my first impression wasn’t great. I didn’t have strong enough mosquito repellent, probably didn’t have enough clothes bearing in mind we would be showering 3 times a week and the bucket flush toilets really didn’t smell too great. Although, as soon as we were shown the view we would be enjoying for the next 5 weeks, my impression dramatically changed. It seemed so surreal; I couldn’t quite believe we were going to be living on a beach, relaxing on the hammocks under the palm trees, diving twice a day and seeing some amazing sea creatures. From then onwards my first perception was changing, even the negative points I picked up on when we had the tour, began to change into fun challenges.

- Florence Roberts