September 2013 Volunteer of the Month

Zoe Romney

All my life, I’ve wanted to go to a foreign country. The differences in lifestyle and hardships in history have always fascinated me. Being a sixteen girl with no job who recently had back surgery, I haven’t been so fortunate as to experience a diverse country. I had juvenile idiopathic scoliosis, meaning I was born with a curved spine that would continue to curve as I got older. Last November, because my spine was “S”-shaped, I had to have a major surgery where metal rods were screwed into my spine to keep it straight. This was a major setback that affects my daily life and changes the way I do things. Not only have I learned what it’s like to be different, my experiences have taught me to have compassion for others as well.

My grandparents have done multiple Globe Aware volunteer trips, sending pictures to me from enchanting places. Continuously, I’ve asked to go on a trip to another country, not exactly for volunteering but for the experience of a lifetime. For my sixteenth birthday present, my magnificent grandparents offered me a Globe Aware volunteer trip, questioning if I would be up for it because of my surgery. But, of course, I said I was up for it without a doubt!

I was so ecstatic that I could barely contain my excitement. I was jumping up and down with a smile on my face. This was the trip I’ve always wanted, the trip I would never forget. I looked up as much information as possible, reading books about history and looking up articles on the internet about Romania. I became so obsessed that I even tried to learn Romanian in my spare time, unsuccessfully. I felt knowledgeable, yet still nervous as to what the trip might actually be like and what I had to offer.

My trip to Romania was by far the most amazing thing I’ve ever experienced. Working with children is a passion of mine and seeing all the children’s eager faces, ready to learn, warmed my heart. I made new friends, learned how to use power tools, taught English to three groups of children, and even learned some Romanian myself. I was mesmerized by the culture, trying new foods and learning from my wonderful guide Simona. I hope to volunteer more in the future through Globe Aware, in order to expand my knowledge, help people, and have fun.

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