26 Jun 2012

Being a volunteer is about......

As someone said, "being a volunteer is about doing something positive with our life, helping somebody in need and experiencing a great sense of well-being from helping others. And you know what? At Mediterránea we know all about this because we are ALL volunteers.
We have had and continue to have some wonderful volunteers who do not fit the typical stereotype of the expat aid worker.

 Today we want to pay tribute to a very special volunteer who is working for us is in Ethiopia: PHIL BEAN. Phil has been in Ethiopia for the last 3 months and hopes to extend his stay for 3 more months. Phil, rather like a chameleon, has the great ability to adapt himself to his surroundings no matter where he is.
Our very own chameleon is able to survive on little resources, although he is getting so much out of the experience and really enjoying himself. He's not bothered about having to spend days without electricity when he stays at the school and now that there are 5 other volunteers arriving, he has very thoughtfully found himself alternative accommodation at the home of the head cook, so as to give them more living space. She has kindly allowed him to stay at her house for the time being and in August if necessary (you can see that they really love Phil in Abugida) whilst she will go and live with her brother.
 Those of you who have been to Ethiopia know how people live with very few resources. They are very small and humble dwellings with no running water and very basic communal toilet facilities, and, no matter how well we can try to describe them, you just can't imagine how tough it would be for us to live like that!!!!!! As of July they will have a "foreigner" amongst them who will live just as they do. Even the Ethiopians themselves - the lucky ones - would not live like that. We have nothing but admiration for him, as those of us who have been there know.  Phil is a wonderful person and a great volunteer worker. He can turn his hand to anything, be it carrying out repair work or looking after the mother of Fasika when the little girl passed away. He helps in the kitchen, with the children, wherever he is needed. He helps out with the figures and accounts. He works side by side with the director in an environment of mutual collaboration and respect. He has also sorted out problems which have cropped up along the way and which were not easy. He's always ready to move into action and has become totally indispensable. This is for you, Phil. With volunteers like you, MEDITERRÁNEA is richer, and YOU, dear Phil, make so many people happy!