Taaneil recently volunteered in the Caribbean for the first time. In his trip with Global Volunteers he served in St. Lucia helping build a library for a Primary School. It was an experience of many firsts and many learning opportunities. Here he gives an account of his experience, a most memorable volunteer experience.
Looking back two weeks ago I came to St. Lucia knowing that my service trip will involve many new “first experiences.” This was certainly the case from attending my first mass at a Catholic Church and walking through a quaint seaside Caribbean village to putting smiles on the students’ faces during lunch/free time at the primary school when playing educational games and doing arts and crafts. However, there was one experience that I least expected of having which ended up being a most memorable volunteer experience: carpentry work to build a new library for Anse La Raye Primary School.
Today, another beautiful hot and sunny day, I headed back to the school to continue on the work where Johan, a fellow volunteer, and I left off on our long, continuous efforts of completing the library from scratch by the end of the second week. Both 20-foot long bookshelves received their final coat of red and blue paint, respectively, with the help of two helpful sixth grade students: William and Christian, who had the eagerness to engage in our project each step of the way.
During lunch many precious students came up to me asking for clay that I brought previously for an art activity. Rather than being let down for not from me not bring the clay again, the students did not seem to mind and insisted on playing a game with me. So I decided to take the letter pieces from the game Bananagrams found in the volunteer cabinet and had them practice their spelling to keep the game educational. Afterwards, Johan and I continued work on the library where we now started painting the walls a very faint orange – essentially a peach shade – to give the library a cozier, inviting aesthetic than the existing plain white.
Although I do not expect to have the library completed by my last day here, what matters more is the time spent working on it. I learned new skills on carpentry and painting that otherwise I would not have been given the opportunity to learn. I value the time spent working with the village as it provided me with a cultural immersion of St. Lucia and specifically, Anse La Raye.
“I am honored and humbled to know that when I leave Anse La Raye to attend to other earthly matters, I left a positive impact on the village.”