I'm not sure if anyone is still reading this blog now that I have been back in the states for a few months, but I came across something very important that I think I need to share. Current volunteers Bret and Dorota have composed a very frank blog post about the idea of volunteering. It is more of a warning for younger folk wanting to adventure around the world during a gap-year before they settle into college. Please take a moment to read their commentary.
I can only speak for myself in this matter, but I know that I was not nearly as prepared for this trip to Rwanda as I should have been. I could not fathom the difficulties or challenges I would face along the way. But I am pleased to say that my two years at St. Mike's did me well as I tried to navigate the complexities of working in a foreign culture. And with the help of my friend Ally, we were able to use our skills (as best we could) to leave our boys with something sustainable that will last long after we have left.
To anyone interested in volunteering abroad, I would say you must be a self-motivated, independent, and a confident person. Your values, your ideas, and your culture will continually be questioned and you must be able to stay focused on your ultimate goal: sustainable improvements.