2020-05-14

Ian's experience in the soupkitchen before COVID-19

Written by Ian Albers
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Ian shared with us his experience at the soup kitchen with the COVID-19 interruption.

Hi, everybody. My name is Ian, and I'm a college student from the United States. I traveled to Buenos Aires to spend a semester studying abroad. While I was there in Buenos Aires, I took a class that allowed me to volunteer with Voluntario Global. With them, I worked in the kitchen of the Early Childhood Center. It was an incredible experience that unfortunately, I couldn't finish because of the coronavirus pandemic. Despite this, I was able to practice some soft skills through my experience. First, I practiced having better communication skills. As a non-native Spanish speaker, it is sometimes difficult to talk to others. But, the people I worked with as a volunteer had experience with foreign volunteers and they were very patient. Another soft skill I practiced was teamwork. Obviously, working in a kitchen is not an easy task because it requires cooperation between everyone. With this, we work together to prepare the meal in time with the team. The thing I found most interesting with this volunteer experience was to learn about the place where I worked. For example, most of the people who work there on a daily basis are from the same neighborhood that it supports, and therefore it is sustainable. The biggest challenge of the experience was probably to learn how to get to the site independently. The place was located quite far from the place where I was staying, and I had to take a long bus ride to get there. But, this became easier with more practice. As I mentioned earlier, I could not finish my experience as a volunteer because of the pandemic. I had to return to the United States, and I imagine that many foreign volunteers also had to return to their countries. I hope that volunteering in another country can go back to the way it was before. However, there may be some modifications. Perhaps there will be more volunteer positions associated with public health or more education on how to limit the spread of disease. Above all, I hope we get out of this experience more united than before. See you later, Ian

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