Shortly before Georgina and Will left the Living & Learning Programme we asked them to think about the highlights of their time in as volunteers.
Not being the most organised of people, Will and I left a trip to Corcovado mountain to see famous statue of Jesus Christ until our last day here in Rio, and what a way to end our time. With spectacular 360 degree views of the city, we had lucked upon one of the clearest and sunniest days we’ve had here. We returned just in time for our last afternoon at the project, filled with photographs, games, chatting and tearful goodbyes on my part.
I can’t pin down one specific highlight of the past 6 weeks because as soon as I do, I think of something else, so here comes a select and not exclusive few of them; meeting the children for the very first time, they’re openness, confidence and warmth is something that still amazes me. Walking up to sugar loaf mountain and watching the sunset. Putting down the paintbrush after days of painting the project house. Discovering the shower in the volunteer house can actually be warm. Teaching English to the children and hearing them repeat and remember what you’ve taught them. Drinking caipirinhas on the roof of the convent. Listening to and (attempting) to dance samba. Teaching keyboard to the kids and watching them successfully play the music, start to finish. Hang gliding over Rio and landing on the beach.
Experiencing Brazilian culture, people and places has been incredible, and it is extremely reluctantly that I return to Leeds and back to reality. Nevertheless, I want to say a big thank you to everyone whose made our time here so special from the monitors, Beth, the staff at the convent, the children at the project and the great people we’ve met and spent so much time with out here. I’m already trying to figure out when I can return!