New York City mom, Andrea Cuvelier, and 14-year-old Téa (both in center) said their service-learning program with Global Volunteers was exceptional. Working together in Anse la Raye, St. Lucia, the mother-daughter travel duo spent a week caring for and teaching young children – and forming a bond of service. Téa relates one day of volunteering here.
It’s our second day exploring and working with the people of St. Lucia. When my mom and I arrived here, we felt nothing but welcomed, allowing us to better enjoy and experience our work here.
The day started with a drive down to Anse La Raye where all the team members went their own ways to start their day at their work sites. My mom and I were greeted with big hugs and SCREAMS, when we entered the preschool for the second day. Now that they have remembered our names in just a short time, it seems as though the word “Auntie Téa” has been coming from every direction of the classroom. Especially since they’re learning how to spell, I get a sudden pull on my name tag every five minutes so they can spell out my name. We play games, read picture books and practice counting to 10. My mother and I take turns in each of the classrooms and help the teachers with a variety of projects.
The usual routine is for the “rising fives” class to go out for their daily run before noon. This is more like a sprint for some kids. It was fun to try to keep up with them. Their energy is infectious. We ran toward the primary school, and when we arrived, we saw our teammates Anita and Karen along with all the other students. The pre-schoolers were cheered on by the older school children as they lined up for their sprint. I was impressed by how orderly and respectful they were. They clapped and shouted. Here, I was able to see the sense of community and encouragement that’s instilled in all of the students. The morning flew by!
“The preschoolers were cheered on by their older schoolmates as they lined up for their sprint. Here, I was able to see the sense of community and encouragement that’s instilled in all of the students.”
At around lunch time, my mother and I, under the leadership of our team leader Chem, set out to see the town of Anse La Raye. We first walked over to the primary school in time to hear their prayer time and later explored the school. After this, we headed into the town for lunch. We watched the town’s daily activities – children heading home for lunch, men selling fruit on the corners, craft and curio stalls along the shore. And cars – lots and lots of cars – passing through the narrow, uneven streets. It seems the traffic never ends! So much activity for such a small town. But, it curiously has the “bustle” of New York City, where I live! Chem took us to the RCP program where other volunteers work, and then the infant school, the church and many more Global Volunteers work sites! Having Chem as our wonderful guide, we were able to further expand our knowledge of the Anse la Raye community and their history.
After the lunchtime tour, we returned to the preschool in time to help the children up from their naps. We helped them get dressed, gave them their crackers and juice, and settled into story time. Some were still very sleepy, so it was more quiet in the afternoon than in the morning. However, that ended soon! The noise level rose steadily until it was time for parents to pick the children up. After we finished finger painting, we helped the children collect their backpacks for the walk to their homes.
The day ended with a lovely dinner overlooking the Marigot Bay and the magnificent sunset where we all discussed our days playing with the little ones, visiting the homes of young ones and their mothers, and teaching math to the students. This was certainly an unforgettable meal on a remarkable day, in a spectacular country on an amazing service program!