Three-time volunteers and twin sisters, Kit Prendergast and Diane Clark, have identical perspectives on the value of service abroad. They share how they created lifetime memories on an adventure in volunteering together in Beja, Portugal recently.


“My twin sister Kit and I joined service programs with Global Volunteers in Greece and Peru, and both our experiences were excellent,” Diane said. So they were eager to register for Portugal and explore another new culture. “Having these amazing experiences in the past, we were looking forward to joining a team headed by Joe Testa for two weeks,” said Kit. “Each previous program was unique in assignment and tasks, and the team leadership, accommodations, work assignments, and off-time fun were exceptional in every case.” 

“This was our third Global Volunteer adventure, and each one is special in its very own unique way. From the pre-trip preparations to in-country team coordination and finally, the wrap-up from global staff, was superb.”
~Kit Prendergast

twin sister

Enthusiastic Global Volunteers alumni, the sisters taught conversational English skills to high school students in Beja, Portugal.

On their experience as volunteering sisters: There were so many highlights of our adventure,” Kit enthused. “From sharing the absolutely delightful B & B lodging; the incredible elementary and high school students; the dedicated and very talented teachers; the community advisers who taught us about the Portuguese culture and language; and the comradeship of our fellow team members – which grew each evening at our favorite sidewalk café to share our stories from the day. Let’s say there was lots of laughing!”

On their service program: “The primary task is to help local teachers with their English classes. We moved easily from elementary middle school to high school groups, including a career exploration workshop that we joined. We even taught a university class of professors and graduate students who were eager to improve their English. This assignment challenged us to be innovative, energetic, and quick thinkers.”

On their team leader: “Volunteer Team Leader Joe Testa is well-organized, resilient, and always cheerful,” said Diane. Kit agreed: “Joe is a very experienced team leader with a delightful sense of humor – which he needed to keep up with the high energy and spirits of this rollicking team.” She laughs about how Joe nurtured the group: “He molded our team of seven into a merry band, enjoying the experience of living in the charming community, working in six of the schools, and eating beautiful dinners out every evening.”  

twin sister

Diane accessed audio-visual materials and the Global Volunteers Conversational English Teaching Guide in the classroom to keep lessons light-hearted and focused.

 

“Constant laughter and warm engagement. Added was never-failing support of each other, our leader Joe, and our new local friends. This was Portugal for me.”
~Diane Clark

“Some of the highlights were dinners in local restaurants that occasioned more belly laughing. There were flowers everywhere. Beja, and all the places we worked, were so colorful and beautiful. What I remember vividly is walking through the narrow cobblestone streets in early dawn, heading to my high school in a very old restored hospital, and the little café on the corner. At 7:30 in the evening after our final class at the university, returning to our lovely B&B to see our teammates waiting to be debriefed for our day. And finally, any trip with my lively and very fun twin sister is always an amazing adventure.”

How did the sisters spend their free time? “Traveling with Diane was the icing on the cake,” said Kit. Diane and I hired a driver on Saturday of our free weekend and headed up to Monsaraz. This is truly a ‘not-to-be-missed’ village in the mountains overlooking Spain. After a full day of museum visiting, shopping, and eating we drove to Evora to the incredible Noble House hotel. It’s amazing how much you can do in just a short overnight stay, but we did a bit of everything in Evora before hopping on the bus back to Beja early Sunday evening to catch up with our team once again. It was a real highlight of the two weeks!”

twin sister

Kit (left) and Diane (right) in Beja, Portugal said that as sisters volunteering together, they enrich their relationship.

 

“Portuguese culture is to be envied. The sincere kindness of locals, wonderful music, art, and, of course, local food and wine.”
~Diane Clark

Learn more about our service program in Portugal. Ready to take up your Global Volunteers experience? Contact us!

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