Volunteering with Give and Surf in Bocas del Toro, Panama was a life-changing experience. I do a lot of traveling but had not volunteered abroad before and felt that I should give back to the global community. I think I got back just as much as I put in! It’s hard to pick just one favorite memory, but I really enjoyed picking the preschoolers up before school on the lancha (school boat) They waddle out on their family’s homemade docks and don’t even need help getting into the boats. They are so eager to learn and are full of personality. They warmed up to me right away and would want to sit on my lap or have me read to them or show me what they drew. I even got a new nickname “Mediodia” as one of the kids misread my nametag introducing myself as Melodia, which stuck throughout my time there. I will now be taking my 15-year-old brother to volunteer with me this coming holiday season because I want to share this experience with him and open up the world to him.
The kids getting back on the lancha after school
Arriving at one of the children’s homes
Andrea and I