Volunteers in Montanaby Melanie

Working as a Global Volunteer can be as much about helping yourself as it is helping others. You might learn a new openness that changes your perspective, and your beliefs in your own possibilities.

For instance, you might need to keep an open mind when you get up at 6AM to take a shower, and the key to the shower room is missing! You might need to be open to new cultures and new ideas as you learn the struggles and successes of your host; the Blackfeet Community College. You may remain open to the fact that you can lose your team when they go on a walking tour of the campus, even though all 10 of them were right there a minute ago! You might be open to trying a work assignment that stretches beyond your comfort zone, be it gardening, digging post holes, working with kids at youth days, or calling bingo at the care center. You may have to be open to the possibility that the tomato and lettuce you wanted to put on your sandwich are in a refrigerator at another location a half a mile away, (and maybe switch to peanut butter and jelly!) You can stay open-minded when plans change, when people say and do unexpected things, when a stranger walks across the street to say thank-you for the work Global Volunteers has done in the Browning community. You need to stay open when the volleyball net sags too much in the middle, or your first attempt at fry bread turns black when it hits the “too-hot” oil. Keep an open heart and mind as you experience new people in the schools and in the churches, at the pawn shop and the C-store; and if anyone says “sweat lodge”…GO!

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