This summer, I had the incredible privilege of living, working, and experiencing life in Armenia.
It was rewarding in many ways. I think I have changed as a person. I don’t take anything for granted. I appreciate what I have. I know my strengths. I know my limit. I have found what I was looking for, for so many years, like where I belong.
Just finished my volunteering service with AVC a few weeks ago and have just returned to Yerevan from London yesterday, Volunteering has helped me find a good job here in Armenia where I feel that a difference can be made.
I've been an AVC volunteer for a little over a month now, and there doesn't seem to be an end in sight.
So looking back on my experience, I would have to say that it was a good one… I learned a lot, I was able to see what the real Armenia is all about, I was able to live amongst the people and share their problems and joys, I was able to understand the culture better, and I was able to give something back, however small or large, to my “motherland”.
I realize that, regardless of where I come from, what traditions I grew up in, or how different I am, I go to sleep at night knowing that I have finally found my way back home.
And while AVC brought me here to "come move mountains," I didn't quite realize that there would a couple to climb before I got to the less stationary ones. Luckily I don't mind hiking.
I hope to return in a few years as a young doctor.
My experience was more than I expected and could have asked for. It was humbling and rewarding while it also changed my view on volunteerism at the same time. There need not be a material outcome from your efforts as a volunteer; it may show itself as a change within you, a change within someone else or simply a learning experience. Mine was a bit of all of those.