"Fundacion Cristo Vive", Bella Vista, Bolivia
Daniel B., Neustadt, started his voluntary service in August 2003 at Bella Vista near Cochabamba at an altitude of more than 2,000 meters. There he worked for 12 months with children in a kindergarten of the “Fundacion Cristo Vive”, but also made many interesting trips (see pictures above).
He documented his experiences in quarterly reports (links to nr. 1, 2, 3 und 4 – in German language). In the following he describes how he felt during his last day in the kindergarten or the homework support:
“The last day has started and for me it is still completely unreal that tomorrow I will leave Bolivia and the day after tomorrow I will be back in Germany with my family and friends. It still seems unrealistic to me that then I will be able again to drink water from the faucet and not to have to throw toilet paper into a trash can next to the toilet. Nevertheless, I can not really decide whether I am happy or sad.
Saying goodbye to the kindergartners was not as big a problem as I expected, because the children are said to be leaving, but they are still convinced that I will be back to work tomorrow as usual. Surely they will ask from time to time where I am, but their lives continue almost as usual. On the other hand, it was much harder for me to look after the homework with the older children. You have been asking for a month, when to go, when to come back and why I have to go. For some children, the only boy at work is a kind of father figure. As a result, they included me relatively fast in their hearts and I, of course, they too. My last day was really exhausting, difficult, emotional but also very nice. A girl named Marisol even tore my T-shirt trying to stop me from walking. I just wanted to take her with me. It was also not easy to leave the workplace for the last time, to take one last look at the mountains and one last time to get on one of the many buses that have taken me to work and back so often.
Furthermore, in the last three months, of course, there have been other events besides farewells. My roommates and I organized a small camping trip for the kids from my ´homework help class´ with tents, lots of food, bonfires and games. As it was the first time for many of the children to sleep in a tent with their friends without mom and dad, they were accordingly tireless and kept us consistently awake at night.“
Source: Daniel B., 4th quarterly report