Hi FUNDAHMER friends and family! Amelia here, wanting to share a short reflection with you, as I prepare to finalize my commitment with the wonderful foundation that has touched my heart in so many ways. I first came to El Salvador in 2006 with a delegation from the Good Shepherd Church in Acton, MA. Clearly, that trip had a huge impact on my life, giving me the inspiration to learn Spanish and study related fields in college, and eventually leading me to a long-term volunteer position with FUNDAHMER! I arrived at FUNDAHMER on December 29, 2013, the same day the magnificent San Miguel (Chaparristique) volcano erupted! What an exciting time to begin a new adventure in a new place!
It’s been almost 2 years now, and I can hardly believe it. I have gotten to know some really incredible people, both in El Salvador and from abroad, I’ve improved my Spanish, traveled to neighboring Central American countries, laughed with various delegations, tried an endless amount of new fruits, ran a couple of half marathons, and I have gotten sick my fair share of times. (Who hasn’t, right?) All of these experiences and more have given me new insights and perspectives on this crazy thing we all call life.
I realize that it doesn’t matter what country you’re from; we’re all the same..We have the same desires, the same heartaches, the same stress, and the same joy. Across the globe, people live in drastically different conditions, but at the heart of the matter, we are one in the same. One may come to El Salvador thinking, “How will I deal with no hot water? How am I going to feel being so far from my family? What about the food?” But once here, one realizes the natural beauty of this small country, both in terms of the stunning landscapes of volcanoes, tropical fruit trees and glorious beaches, and in terms of the hard working people in the communities, who have suffered so much but continue to work for a better world. Being here has truly been a blessing, and it wouldn’t have been possible without the support of my friends and family. An infinite ‘thank you’ to each and everyone of you! Especially to my church family at the Congregational Church of Littleton, Jon and Jessie Panek, and of course, my family.
As I begin considering my “next steps,” I am sad that I will be leaving this beautiful country…and the pupusas! How will I survive?! hehe. I am currently in the midst of applying to be a flight attendant for Delta Airlines. I have no news yet, but here’s to hoping! I have an upcoming interview in Atlanta, GA and hope to walk away with a job offer. Wish me luck! At least this way, I could come back to visit the land of San Romero whenever I wanted! 🙂
Thanks to everyone who has made my experience a positive one! All my FUNDAHMER co-workers, the other volunteers, and those who have come with delegations!