Name: Marianne Dickow
Hometown: Commerce, Michigan
Nationality: United States
Languages spoken: English, Arabic, Spanish (beginner)
University: Oakland University
Volunteer Abroad: Assisting at an After-School Center in Cusco, Peru
Duration: 1 week
Start month: December 2018
Why did you decide to become a UBELONG Volunteer?
I believe that traveling to new countries will bring challenge upon one’s life, but also open many doors to what life has to offer. With much research, I was lucky enough to stumble across UBELONG’s website. My journey to PA (Physician Assistant) school has consisted of giving back to the less fortunate, no matter where it may take place. I knew that I would gain access to that through UBELONG’s program!
What did you take from the experience?
My volunteering program took place at an after-school center in Cusco, Peru. The center had approximately 30 children, ranging in ages from three to fifteen. I had the opportunity to teach children the importance of hygiene as well as assist with their homework assignments. With there being a language barrier, I took that as a great opportunity to not only increase my Spanish speaking skills but prove that human interaction is all that is needed to make a difference in one’s life. Body language became an essential tool in helping me express ideas as well as connect at a one-on-one level with each child.
Overall, my time spent in Cusco was nothing but rewarding. Exploring this unique town was a great eye opener for myself.
What advice would you tell a future volunteer?
I truly believe the most beneficial trait one can have in life is being open-minded. We as people are an amalgam of qualities. Yes, we do manage our own qualities and personality traits, but what’s just as important as it is to understand someone else’s.
DON’T BE SHY! Everyone there was more than helpful. I highly recommend getting to meet people that live in the area. They will guide you to some amazing restaurants as well as great sights to explore!
In a sentence or less, how would you describe the locals you met?
I appreciated how inviting the locals were. Many shared their lives with me in a touching way!