Name: Bryan Hunter
Hometown: Saskatchewan, Canada
University: McMaster University
Occupation: Flight Service Specialist at NAV Canada
Languages spoken: English
Past travel experience: Moderate
Volunteer Abroad: Caring for Children with Disabilities in Cusco, Peru
Duration: 2 weeks
Start month: May 2017
Claim to fame: Tens of thousands apply for Bryan’s current job and he was one of a handful that made it through two IQ tests, a personality test and several rounds of interviews. Great job, Bryan!
Why did you decide to become a UBELONG Volunteer?
I have always wanted to volunteer abroad because it would involve stepping outside of my comfort zone and experiencing a new culture while helping others in need. That mix of adventure and charity really appealed to me. When my girlfriend began looking at volunteer opportunities in Peru, I jumped at the chance to join her.
What was your impact on your volunteer project?
It is difficult to measure the impact you make in volunteer projects like mine (Caring for Children with Disabilities). Every day is a very similar routine of helping the children with their exercises, playing with them, feeding them, teaching them, and helping them get from place to place. I think the biggest impact that I had was actually something very simple – laughing with them and doing my best to make them smile.
What were your major challenges?
My biggest challenges were all within my first couple of days. I had never worked with children or anyone with a disability before. On top of that I had the language barrier. There was a bit of a learning curve and it took a little while to feel comfortable and confident in the volunteer activities I was doing. Once I was used to the routines, it all became much easier and I was able to focus on making the children happy.
What is your favorite memory?
There are so many great memories to choose from. My favourite would have to be when I made one of the children laugh really hard by pretending that he hurt my hand with one of his high fives. After that point he wanted to give me high fives all the time and his laughter always made me smile.