Episode 19: “A Closer Look”
Our storytellers share how an open mind leads to new possibilities – and how taking a closer look at what you think you already understand can reveal a new side to some of life’s most important lessons.
Our five storytellers each describe from their own volunteering experiences how suspending assumptions in service to others has reframed her daily lives – in even the simplest ways.
Why do some volunteers return to serve the same community time after time – sometimes several years annually? What have they discovered about how they can affect change?
What gives your life meaning? How often do you have an opportunity to deeply touch another life – so that both of you are changed forever? Our storytellers open up and share those heartfelt moments with us.
Our storytellers reflect on the satisfaction of applying their energy, skills and interests to enhance local people’s lives. One volunteer surprised herself on a project she couldn’t have imagined herself doing! It’s not what you might expect!
The most important question you can ask about your own volunteer service is: What impact do I hope to make? Global Volunteers’ co-founder and a board member explain how to truly help others, wage peace, and promote justice directly and appropriately.
Our storytellers talk about the transformative power of person-to-person service within their relationships as couples. They express in different ways how service strengthened their bond by allowing them to witness how they each care for and learn from others.
Most volunteers return home insisting they’ve received more than they could possibly give a community in a week – or two. Our storytellers agree that the true gift is cultivating an honest exchange – mutual respect and understanding – between themselves and those they serve.
Our storytellers answer the question: “Why are these stories important to tell?” We believe…no, we know…that local people “put an exclamation point” behind the most beautiful part of the service program – touching the common humanity uniting us all.
For Americans, Vietnam evokes a wide array of thoughts and feelings. Three volunteers, each from different generations, recall their personal journeys to Hanoi as volunteers, and how the country changed their viewpoints.
Joe, a new storyteller, raises a new topic: the benefit of team work. Stimulating each others’ imaginations, team members create synergy that affirms commitments for all. The episode continues with Mike, Tim and Gila reflecting on the life lessons they’ve learned as Global Volunteers.
In this special episode, a long-term volunteer explains why she returns each year to a particular town in Mexico. “I always feel like I’m leaving a part of me behind in Querétaro as I pack my bags and depart on the van. I’m sure that’s why I continue to come back.” Learn how the young Mexicans in this community became a significant part of her life.
Elisa and Mike continue their discussion about students volunteering abroad. Cindy (episode 5) offers her perspective on the power of a team of “strangers,” and Pam recounts a gripping tale of personal transformation in Mexico.
Two college students, Mike and Elisa, join Marek (episode 5) to discuss how opening your heart and mind leads to true personal understanding. Jeff returns (episode 3 & 4) to sum up on finding a “home” with new friends in other cultures.
Gila, Cindy, Lisa (episodes 1 &3) and Marek reflect on occasions when their expectations about the value and role of volunteer service in the community have been positively altered.
Lynn, Evan and Jeff continue their stories about life inside new cultures, and reflections on the true nature of partner communities.
Jeff, Lynn, Evan and Lisa share the moments of service in Cuba, Greece, Romania and Tanzania when they knew their lives would be changed forever.
Kate, Ken Stephanie and Tim describe moments of clarity on site that “flipped the switch” and changed their perspectives in deeply personal ways.
Lisa and Kenneth dive deep into work serving others – and our long-time host partner in Tanzania explains how significant their contribution is in host communities.