Name: Joshua Finer
Hometown: Mount Laurel, New Jersey
Nationality: United States
Languages spoken: English, Spanish (intermediate)
University: Temple University
Past travel experience: Moderate
Volunteer Abroad: Assisting at a Sports Center in Cusco, Peru
Duration: 3 weeks
Start month: February 2016
Claim to fame: Shared this wonderful quote with us in his application: “Life is 10% what happens to you, and 90% how you react to it.”
Why did you decide to become a UBELONG Volunteer?
I decided to become a UBELONG Volunteer because I wanted to travel while helping others during my gap year between college and the corporate world. After extensive research online, UBELONG struck me as the best opportunity to help others, receive local support, travel the area, and meet other volunteers similar in age and interests as myself.
What were your major challenges?
The major challenge I faced was centered around the language. I came to Peru as a self-proclaimed intermediate level speaker of Spanish. That was not the case once I tried to speak with the locals. Despite this slight misconception, communicating became much easier as time progressed. By the end of my volunteer work, my comfort level of speaking with locals dramatically increased.
What is your favorite memory?
My favorite memory was a foam battle I had with the children at my project. It was very common for the kids to bring giant cans of this foam-like material to spray and battle with each other. My inner-child couldn’t be contained any longer. I bought my own giant can one day and a huge spray-foam battle ensued on the basketball court. It was so much fun. I must say, the kids definitely got the best of me during the battle.
In a sentence or less, best packing advice?
My best packing advice would be to pack a positive attitude, comfortable walking/hiking shoes, and warm and water-resistant jackets/sweatshirts.