Name: Christabel Wagner
Hometown: Columbus, Ohio
Nationality: New Zealand
Languages spoken: English, Cantonese (advanced)
Occupation: Cashier at Whole Foods
Volunteer Abroad: Forest Conservation and Sustainable Farming in Galapagos, Ecuador
Duration: 1 week
Start month: May 2018
Why did you decide to become a UBELONG Volunteer?
I decided to become a UBELONG Volunteer because I wanted to use my time to contribute to our planet and community. Volunteering allows you to have an authentic experience by living and working like a local.
What was your impact on your volunteer project?
I believe my impact was a small contribute to the sustainability of the island where they can rely on local produce instead of importing it from the main land. However, the biggest impact is my spreading the word of my experience and inviting others to join the UBELONG volunteer experience and sharing it on social media.
What were your major challenges?
The biggest challenge for me was language. I have spent some time studying Spanish, but it is finding the confidence to just try to speak it even if it could be wrong. Becoming fluent and experienced in Spanish will take time and practice. However by living and working with people who speak the language, it helps you become more confident day-by-day.
In a sentence or less, how would you describe the locals you met?
The locals I met were all very friendly. They are people who treat you like family and they are always there to educate you, assist you and to make sure you are enjoying your experience on the island.