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Want a deeper insight into what an ICS placement looks like? Read the amazing blogs written by our past and present volunteers. Enjoy the journey!
As we approach the mid-way point in our journey in Parcila and Nicaragua, it’s pretty clear time has flown far too quickly. When I first arrived in Parcila, the shock of where I was going to live for three months, the repetitive meals and the weather made me think that life would probably slow down to the point where each day would feel like an eon. However, this view could not have been further from the truth.
La bio-construcción es un método de construir con consciencia medioambiental. Consiste en reciclar materiales que ya han sido utilizados como las botellas, pajillas, papel, latas entre otros. También se ocupa barro, arena y hoja de pino para hacer el cob en vez de usar cemento, que es un material toxico y daña al medioambiente. Es muy importante en esta época que construimos de esta manera ya que el cambio climático está afectando mucho a nuestro pueblo Arcatao, y a todo el mundo.
As we learnt in physics, two positive electrical charges repel each other and that is kind of how it started out like in the first week of our placement. This was evidenced by the gap that existed when it came to sitting style in the office and minibus. National volunteers were separating themselves from the UK volunteers.
I was born and raised in the City of Salford, which is situated in Greater Manchester so, as you can probably imagine, I have quite a strong Manchester accent. I knew that this was likely to be an issue when coming to Malawi, especially as I have met people from other parts of England that have struggled to understand my northern accent. However, my accent turned out to pose more problems for me than I had initially considered.
We are Alice, Amanda and Aimee (the A Team). Roommates in la casa de Doña Lola in El Bramadero. Our room (partitioned by a tall wall) is where the magic happens. One and a half of us speak Spanish, which comes in handy when we’re communicating with the family.
It’s a few weeks into our ICS placement in rural San Benito and our extra-curricular clubs are in full steam. The aim of the clubs is to increase a child’s confidence and their willingness to attend school by offering dedicated mentoring in a subject they choose.
It all started with an enthusiastic feeling as I was so keen to meet my volunteer partners from the UK. The feeling of cross-cultural networking through working together was something I was really looking forward to. Little did I know that my ICS placement was bringing a lot of goodies with it? As a young and ambitious national volunteer, I embraced the opportunity to do well and inspire to change the world under the Progressio ICS programme.
As the rainy, wintery season comes to an end, the Parcilan community (and us eager Brits) await the arrival of a dry and hot summer, which is set to last a mere six months.
For the past six months, Nicaragua has gone through the rainy (monsoon) season, however the amount that has fallen is not anywhere near what communities such as La Grecia and Parcila were hoping for.
A country that often suffer from floods, now for Nicaragua droughts are the main issue.
I could only imagine what life would be like working as a volunteer. I was not puzzled with the word volunteer, but before ICS I didn’t know much about volunteering because I was only a business man with a shop and with knowledge of my community. Although I was inexperienced, I was keen to do the work and to focus on my personal development.
First week: Adaptation week