Name: Calleigh and Sean Byron
Age: 9 and 46
Hometown: Dexter, Michigan
Nationality: United States
School: Wylie Elementary
University: Springfield College
Occupation: Assistant Volleyball Coach at the University Of Michigan
Languages spoken: English
Past travel experience: Moderate
Volunteer Abroad: Assisting at an after-school center in Cusco, Peru
Duration: 3 weeks
Start month: May 2017
Claim to fame: Sean and his daughter Calleigh volunteered together in the after-school center in Cusco, Peru. Wonderful work, welcome to UBELONG, Sean and Calleigh 🙂
Why did you decide to become a UBELONG Volunteer?
Calleigh: I decided when my sister went to Tanzania Africa to volunteer. I was 7 at the time so of course I wanted to do a trip too. When I turned 9 I still wanted to do it. So I figured out where I wanted to go and what program I was doing it with and I am happy with my decision.
Sean: I wanted my 9 year old to experience a different culture. I wanted to pull her out of her comfort zone and surround herself with other people from different backgrounds and lifestyles.
What did you find most rewarding from you volunteer experience?
Calleigh: I found it rewarding that I made some kids that don’t have as much as I do, happy. I liked to see them smile when I walked in the room or when they gave me hugs! I also found it rewarding that I made it 3 weeks in a different country where everyone spoke Spanish. My Spanish is limited.
Sean: Most rewarding was watching Calleigh grow up literally in three weeks before my eyes. Her ability to adapt, and relate to others was incredible. The maturity she gained was immeasurable and the part that was most amazing was that she LOVED the process!
What three pieces of advice would you give to a future UBELONG Volunteer?
- It’s a lot of fun.
- If you are only doing one project there is always something to do in Cusco, like hike to the temple of the moon or the Cristo Blanco, see museums, and so many restaurants.
- Bring warm clothing!!!
- Yes, prepare for the changing weather.
- Learn as much conversational Spanish as you can.
- Jump in and help where you see a need, rather than wait for someone to tell you what to do.