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Organization Review

Overall Experience: 
2
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Report on our experiences volunteering for a month in Sauce: Sauce is a pleasant town that is spread out along the shores of the tranquil Blue Lagoon. The people who live here are friendly, welcoming and always smiling. All along the streets of the town are a variety of interesting shops, cafes and restaurants, with many food stalls by the wayside. Because Sauce is situated on the edge of the Amazonian Rain Forest, there is a great diversity of wildlife. Birds and butterflies of all colours abound and exotic trees and plants flourish in the surrounding countryside. Sauce is famous for its waterfalls and you can wander along the edge of the lake or up into the surrounding hills for a longer hike. We stayed at the back of the hairdressers run by Patrick’s wife, Blanca. The accommodation consisted of a bedroom, a kitchen, a bathroom with a hot water shower and a second bedroom we used to store our handicrafts. Overall, we were happy with the place and Blanca made us welcome. We cooked our own meals and kept the place clean ourselves. We were happy to do this as, for the first couple of days, we had eaten at Patrick’s place and were unhappy with the level of hygiene. The downside was the noise from the neighbours’ dogs and cockerels which went on throughout the night, together with being woken at 5am by very loud radios and the smell of burning plastic they used to start their wood cooking fires during the day. The family we shared the yard out the back with, however, were very friendly. Geoff was especially interested in working on the eco-farm and learning about growing the medicinal plants. Also, Patrick had suggested beforehand that they could create furniture together for a local village community. Unfortunately, neither of these projects came to fruition. Instead he worked creating a garden at the back of the place where we were staying, which Patrick will use to grow his own vegetables. For the reminiscence project we brought stories of older people, whom we had interviewed from our home village. The idea was to do the same in Sauce and then produce an exhibition showing similarities and differences and how people around the world have so much in common. Key to this project was an interpreter, as neither Geoff or I can speak Spanish and we were told that one would be available. Unfortunately, when we met this gentleman, we realised he had very little English. The project was saved, however, by us linking up with a couple of other volunteers who were running very successful English classes for the children. We altered the project so the children did the interviewing of an older member of their family. Then all the stories from our home town and those from Sauce in both English and Spanish were shown intermingled in an exhibition at the end of the month. We also brought materials from England to hold workshops to show the local people some of the old English handicrafts. 4 sessions were held each week. Initially it was the older people who came, then more and more children were attracted and all really enjoyed themselves and took away fresh skills. We used recycled materials wherever possible. Blanca allowed us to use her hairdressing salon for the sessions and also enjoyed doing all the handicrafts herself. Patrick was enthusiastic and helpful with ideas and advice on where to get our materials etc and wants to continue running sessions if it is possible to find another volunteer. Although Geoff did not have a chance to work on the projects originally discussed and an interpreter was not available, we really want to stress how much we loved working on the reminiscence and handicraft projects in Sauce with the local people, who were so welcoming, warm and friendly.

Comments

Blue Lagoon Vol...

Anne & Leon where her until the end of October with another couple Ann & Geoff. They submitted a 5 star review originally but after leaving created these last two 1 and 2 star reviews. It is obvious that this is a result of a personal issue between us. All our other reviews are 5 star because we are a 5 star organization. We have the original 5 star review and will gladly share this with anyone who inquires. Sincerely, Patrick M. Reardon Director Blue Lagoon Volunteering