Voice from the field May 10, 2013
What better way is there to spend your morning than lying on the beautiful Caribbean beach of Playa Del Carmen with it’s dazzling white sand and it’s glittering turquoise water. This is how I like to start my day. After a relaxing few hours by the sea, I make my way up to the Spanish school. However, it is no ordinary school, each classroom is a little hut surrounded by brightly coloured flowers and wildlife.
It’s such a tropical and relaxing setting that I find myself not wanting to leave. I usually follow my intensive Spanish class with a traditional Mexican dish such as a torta or quesadilla, and I always like chatting to the locals as they’re all so friendly. After a fairly relaxing morning of being surrounded by tourists I suddenly transform into a local. I put my GVI volunteer shirt on and catch the local bus with my fellow volunteers and all of a sudden the setting completely changes. We’re suddenly surrounded by bustling Mexicans on their way to work, musicians entertaining us on the bus and of course the whiff of authentic Mexican cuisine.
Once we arrive at our destination we’re immediately greeted by an overwhelming amount of local children. They all gather around greeting us with hugs and kisses, it’s a delight to see their faces light up as we all walk in. They are the most polite, adorable, grateful kids I have ever known, and not a minute goes by without an array of grinning faces staring back at me. It really is a pleasure to be a part of their lives, even just for a short amount of time. It really is a life changing experience. I can only hope that we have had the same impact on their lives as they have had on mine.
It’s going to be impossible to say goodbye.