The end of this week on Tovuto Base marked the date that all the volunteers who were here when I first arrived on base left. It was a bitter moment because we had gotten so close to one another during our couple months here. On base you develop different friendships to those anywhere else. You cook, clean, live, eat, swim, relax, work, play, and pretty much do everything as a team here. These friendships are therefore much deeper and more quickly made than those you generally make.
By the nature of international volunteering you are lucky to meet so many different friends from so many different parts of the world. This experience is undeniably special as you get to learn so much from so many different perspectives. Though GVI is a UK based company it is known widely among the world which can be shown by the broad numbers of nationals the program gets. Already, I have met volunteers from at least twenty different countries while here. These friendships give you connections around the world and many that I have made, I plan to see again in my travels.
It is always hard to say goodbye to those you have grown close to and especially so when you don’t know when you will meet up again. Though it is daunting to have to say goodbye to these special friendships it is important to remember how lucky we are to make these friendships in the first place. It is also something that makes you excited to make new friends. Whenever we lose a big group of people, we gain one as well, and in this way people are in constant rotation. Though these friends come and go I can truly say that I will never forget any of the people I have met on base so far, and cannot wait to meet more. So cheers to travel, friends, and adventure!
Hayley Marshall – Community Program Scholar