Having recently completed 4 years (and a degree!) in Kinesiology at the University of Calgary the fact that I’m about to set off to another country in a few days time is actually starting to click in.
I was introduced to the Calgary Serves International team by my good friend Katie Anker. Katie had taken part in the trip last year and absolutely raved about the experience she had. This wouldn’t be something that would necessarily make a person want to join in on a similar trip; except for the fact that Katie and I were living together at this point in time and, well, I didn’t really have a choice but to be infected by her constant enthusiasm.
After having lived in Mexico while working in a resort for a sport and entertainment team for about 6 months between high school and university, the Latin American culture has come to take a special place in my heart. I have been involved in a number of different volunteer positions including youth track and field coaching, international student mentorship, and vision impaired goal ball athlete strength training. Participating in a volunteer trip seemed to be the perfect combination of my passions for travel and helping people out. As well as a being a natural fit for my personality, I couldn’t help but feel that it was necessary to celebrate having the first set of letters after my name. And what better way to celebrate than living with a host family in a foreign country, hanging out with a bunch of like-minded individuals, and doing a bunch of physical labor to top it off?! Perfect!
The sessions that we had leading up to the trip helped to prepare the team for what we are about to encounter on our trip, but there are times when I truly believe that it is better to have no expectations, lest you are disappointed. On the other hand, it may be easier for me to do this seeing as I am nearly fluent in Spanish and have had a similar experience in the past. However, dare I say it, I ‘expect’ this to be quite different than anything I have ever done before and am certain that it will be a life-changing experience of sorts.