Name: Ana Margarida Soares dos Santos
Hometown: Braga, Portugal
Languages spoken: Portuguese, English (fluent), Spanish (advanced)
University: Faculdade de Ciências Sociais e Humanas – Nova Lisboa
Past travel experience: Avid
Volunteer Abroad: Care and Teach for Children from Poor Backgrounds in Phnom Penh, Cambodia and Teaching English in Vang Vieng, Laos
Duration: 10 weeks
Start month: March 2015
Claim to fame: Hitchhiked 2000km around Mozambique. Welcome to the UBELONG Family!
Why did you decide to become a UBELONG Volunteer?
My main reason to choose UBELONG was because I wanted to volunteer in more than one country across Southeast Asia and UBELONG provided me that opportunity due to the variety of organizations they’re linked to.
What was your impact on your volunteer project?
I consider my impact a very positive one and that’s the main reason why I extended my stay in Cambodia for 2 months instead of 1. I taught English in an orphanage and my main goal was to teach the children how to read, which was a success. As for Laos, my project was more about construction rather than teaching but I also think it’s very important to be part of something that provides a better school environment.
What did you take from the experience?
This experience was absolutely fabulous, the children were incredible, and the friends I made in both Cambodia and Laos are definitely for life. It opened my eyes and mind to a whole different world than my own, teaching me more things than I would ever be able to teach in a million years.
In a sentence or less, best packing advice?
Pack as less and as practical as you possibly can, you won’t need more than half of the things you think you will.