Daniel Salazar, Peru Country Manager, writes about Global Volunteers’ training in Minnesota, where Country Managers and staff from around the world travel to connect, learn, and grow.
On our way to Global Volunteers’ training in Minnesota
For me it all started Saturday night when I had to say good-bye to my wife. This is the first time I am away more than a few hours, so it is a big deal for us. But life was kind to me as it gave me front-row seats to see my colleague Maru try to check in at United Airlines when our flight was through Delta. Then Delta was nice enough to change our seats so we could sit together. That was great as I again got a close-up look at Maru fast asleep for most of the trip. So much for the profound conversations I had hoped for.
Our first stop was in Atlanta, then on to Boston. Maru kept talking about going out of the airport to see the city. We only had 3 hours of layover, but that wasn’t enough time to convince Maru that it was not a good idea to get out. So I went along with it. All excited about our plans, we asked the man at the information counter in Boston for advice. After about a minute asking in different ways if we had time for a quick trip, the man replied with one word: “barely.” So we ran, took the bus, got off, ate at the first place we saw, and then ran to take one picture in the streets of Boston. The idea was to have material enough to prove that we were there, and later make up stories about it.
Connecting, learning, and growing
I looked forward to Global Volunteers’ training this year. It was great to see the other staff after two years. And I look forward to meeting the new staff as well. That is one of the great things about Global Volunteers’ training, the chance to connect with other staff as well as make new friends. We learn and help each other. We grow as members of a team, as leaders, professionals, and human beings. We extend Global Volunteers’ warmth to communities worldwide .
Haydee, one of our community partners in Peru wrote to me:
“It is great to know that our training and efforts are not so that we make shareholders of ourselves richer, but so that we provide volunteers with opportunities to serve and learn, and communities with help in the things that matter to them.”
Haydee cares about me. She knows I care about her and her community. She also knows that volunteers care about them, and she remembers them all, and misses them. She even writes to them on their birthdays, even though she doesn’t speak English.
Global volunteers gave me, Maru, and many volunteers the opportunity not only to work with Haydee, but to actually be part of a community with her. And that is our job too, to provide volunteers and local communities with the chance to be part of a big community where everyone cares for and helps each other, regardless of your language, culture or territory. Let’s make that happen again in 2017!