Hi! We want to introduce you to Hannah.
Hannah is 18 years old and from Canada. She is currently on her gap year as a University student and so she and her friend decided to do a tour through Europe and of course to stop in our beautiful town Ronda. She is doing the volunteering program with us and today we interviewed her to find out more about her opinion on what it is like to live and work in Spain.
We were curious as to why she decided to volunteer and why here in Ronda. Before she starts travelling, she wanted to do something meaningful. She wanted to stay in a smaller city where she could experience the local culture and the real Spain! She said that volunteering was an added bonus, as it allowed her to do something positive for the community.
Hannah volunteers at a nursery here in Ronda, with kids between the ages of 0-3 years. Volunteering in a nursery school is one of the programs we offer here at Entrelenguas. The students work in the morning and in the afternoon they attend Spanish classes.
We went on asking her if she had experience before. “Yes I do have a lot of experience working with kids.” Hannah teaches swimming lessons, works at a summer camp, and babysits children of all ages. “I absolutely love kids, so this volunteer placement is something that really suited me.”
With all the work and also living in a host family, her Spanish is getting better from day to day. “The advantage of working in a nursery school is that you learn alongside the kids.” She is there when they are learning colours, animals, shapes, etc.; those all seem like very basic things but it was all new to her. The teachers were amazing at helping her learn key words that would help her communicate with the kids. “The kids themselves would come up to me and start speaking Spanish very quickly and it was definitely a challenge, but it has helped me learn faster.”
With all the work we asked her if she has enough time to get around but she told us that those two hours a day at the nursery school does not consume her entire day. In her free time she loves to experience Ronda since there is so much to see.
Last but not least her advice to future volunteers is that volunteering is a fun and great experience especially if you love helping out a community. It is normal to be a little bit nervous at first but then once you put yourself out there, it is a lot of fun. Hannah has made some very meaningful connections with the kids, and “it’s such a great feeling when you arrive each morning and they run up to you to give you a big hug or when they want to play with you or sit on your lap!” In order to connect and have fun with the volunteering, you have to be eager and ambitious because when you are it is AMAZING!
We thank Hannah for the interview and wish her all the best on her way. We hope she will keep recommending Entrelenguas to friends and family.
By Sonia Octavio
© Photos by Ana Becerra