Travel Log 12 “Service” by Nicholas Daniele. Lisbon, Portugal

I was fortunate enough that the program I am in makes it a bit easier to find a volunteering opportunity here in Barcelona. The downside is that everyone wants to participate so there are limited spots available for different programs – well I guess that is an upside… depending on how you look at it. A lot of the opportunities required myself to be at an intermediate level of Spanish. I am considered a beginner… so that was not ideal. One of the programs that caught my interest and did not require a lot of Spanish was spending time with deaf children. The ages ranged from three years old to about thirteen. I was looking forward to this immensely because I like spending time with kids, and since I have a lot of free time here during the week, what better way than to spend it making Spanish children’s days. I was required to “interview” with a faculty member in my program that runs the volunteering. We sat down together one day and she asked me about my background and why I wanted to help – basically what my motivation was for volunteering and helping out the deaf children. Once she got to know me I had to fill out a lengthy application online. Once I completed the application she told me to wait a couple days to hear back. I never did.

A week went by and I decided to meet with the woman again. She said to wait a little longer before giving up. I waited a couple more days… and still nothing. I eventually came to the conclusion that I did not make the cut. You would think that I would be disappointed that I did not get one of the spots to hang out with deaf children. I was not too disappointed though. Why? Because I am glad it was that competitive. I am glad people are trying to volunteer to help the community. I think this experience shows that more people are trying to play his or her part in the global community than I initially thought. The fact that volunteering is competitive? Well that’s awesome. I am sure the position went to someone who has more experience with children and special needs children. I think that everyone here realizes that Barcelona and Spain have welcomed us Americans into its community for a semester, and it’s up to us to give forth the effort to give something back. I think this really solidifies where I have stepped away from liminality. I have come to this realization and have advanced forward. My life transition has progressed, and it feels kind of weird. Not even a full semester ago I would have been fed up with not getting this volunteering opportunity, but I am not even upset. I am proud that our generation is finally stepping up to the plate – my turn up at bat just wasn’t at that opportunity.

globalCommunity.jpgThe picture I chose is not one that I have taken. It is a picture off the web that demonstrates what kind of community we have here in Barcelona. My program has students all over the United State. Everyone has different backgrounds and different heritages. This picture shows people whose ethnicities come from all over the world, and they are all lending a hand to make Barcelona a better place. I enjoy this quote by Martin Luther King Jr. He states that “everyone can be great, because everyone can serve.” I think there is a lot  more to this quote than meets the eye. When he refers to everyone he isn’t just referring to the people who serves, he is referring to the people who everyone is serving. In my case, it is essentially everyone can be great because the people who volunteer are helping those in society. Because of this the people who are volunteering are great, and the people in society that are benefitting from the volunteering are better off as well. I really enjoyed this quotation and think my image reflects the quote by the king as well. Very cool.






One thought on “Travel Log 12 “Service” by Nicholas Daniele. Lisbon, Portugal

  1. I liked how you took this experience and turned it into a positive one. It is easy for someone to get upset when something does not go your way. Instead, you took this experience and looked at the bright side. I think it is awesome that your program gives you so many opportunities to volunteer. I also think it is amazing how competitive it is to volunteer. I think it is important to realize the importance of volunteering and I am glad that people are starting too.


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