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Working with the Book Bus in Ecuador was a unique and magical experience. This project has so much to offer both the volunteer in terms of learning and experience, as well as support and inspiration for the hundreds of children BISEE Books works with. Being part of this project you will really get the feeling you are making a difference, because you are!
I was incredibly nervous when I arrived at the volunteer house in Puerto Lopez. The prospect of trying to promote creativity and passion for learning was daunting. Communicating with children and young people in Spanish was equally scary. But once I took my first group and we started reading together, laughing and having fun it was perfect, todo fluye! The children loved us being there to focus 100% on them. It is amazing to see what a difference it makes to their ability and attitudes. I enjoyed the challenge of finding strategies to encourage creativity and enjoyment of our books. I found ways to be organised and flexible in the activities I planned. This type of experience is invaluable and unique to this project.
I returned from this project feeling pleased with the work we had done, happy with the skills I had learned and feeling like lots of things had been put into perspective for me. I arrived with really basic Spanish but found that this was the best experience I have ever had learning a language and have continued to practice.
Having the opportunity to experience and explore a country in this context is very special. I felt like I was able to meet and talk to people, who as a tourist I wouldn’t have met. Ecuador is a beautiful country. I actually returned this February and the children still recognised me :)