Rachel wants to share her thoughts with you!
Rachel thoughts and Experiences
I volunteered for Iko Poran for three months in 2013. And what can I say about my experience? It was Maravilhoso (Wonderful)! I really enjoyed my project at Ballet de Santa Teresa. I taught English and tango to young children and teenagers in the morning and afternoons for four days a week. And I also helped BST with other projects such as recreational and fundraising activities. BST director was very welcoming and supportive, and all of BST’s staff helped me feel at home and participated in my projects. It was great to be in such a supportive and dedicated environment with individuals that are open to acting as a team.
One of my favorite experiences was collaborating with my students during English class. During our collaborations, we would laugh and teach from each other a lot. For example, I remember teaching a lesson about seasons and months. They had to tape the proper months and activities under the corresponding season. We all worked together as we matched the proper months and words. It was during the class that I realized I was in the wrong hemisphere when all of my students shouted and laughed, “No teacher! December is not under winter!” This quite often occurred and my students did not mind playing my role, teacher. They had no shame in correcting my funny American accent and mispronunciations.
If you have the chance to volunteer for Iko Poran, do it! The cultural exchanges and experiences you gain are invaluable and will change and challenge your views of foreign cultures and communities.