“From this experience, I learned I want to become a frequent volunteer.”


UBELONG Snapshot
Name: Simon Fabry
Age: 17
Hometown: Kortrijk
Nationality: Belgium and United States
School: International School of Paris
Languages spoken: English, Dutch (fluent), French (fluent)
Past travel experience: Avid
Volunteer Abroad: Organic Gardening in Vang Vieng, Laos
Duration: 3 weeks
Start month: June 2014
Claim to fame: At 17, he has already lived in the US, Europe and Asia!

Why did you decide to become a UBELONG Volunteer?
I decided to become a UBELONG volunteer because of the stories I had heard from my siblings that had volunteered abroad in Ecuador. They told me of the animals they saw, the problems they had to overcome, but most of all how much they enjoyed their project and how they would love to perform another activity. With all the stories they came back with, I decided I wanted to join them in their conquest for new learnings and adventure.

What was your impact on your volunteer project?
My purpose in my project was to work in an organic farm in Laos (Vang Vieng). This meant that I had to maintain paths, chop down bad vegetation, plant pineapples, collect stones, and contribute to the design of the organic farm. I believe that through me and the other volunteers, we were able to bring laughs and pleasure through performing simple activities that helped speed up the process of creating the organic farm. I also like to believe that we impacted the lives of the Onn, Ved, Sai, Davone, Vilapop, and Boon with our teachings of English, and through a lot of humorous times.

What did you take from the experience?
I believe that this experience has showed me how great it is to be a UBELONG volunteer because not only do you get to travel to a new place, but you really get to learn a lot about the new culture and lifestyle since you are living there basically. I signed up for this project unaware of what I might gain from it, but in truth I think I’ve got more stories to tell then most of the vacations I have been on. I definitely feel that from this experience, I learned that I want to become a frequent UBELONG volunteer. I love being able to live the vacation!

In a sentence or less, what was your funniest moment?
I think one of the funniest moments was when I saw a local jump from the highest branch of a tree into the Blue Lagoon with a belly flop.

Related post:
Meet Hannah, a Bowling Green State University student who volunteered in Vang Vieng, Laos with UBELONG, on the organic agriculture project.