If I ever want to get to Morocco, I need to stop applying for volunteer opportunities. I have often thought that I'd like to do some sort of volunteering while I travel. It might be both useful, and an interesting way to be a part of a place, instead of simply passing through. I'd just never felt like an opportunity really presented itself.
Meanwhile, my friend Josh has volunteered for a number of years at Camp Goodtimes, a summer camp for kids with cancer. Pretty much as long as I've known him, he's been on me to join him there. It was starting to seem unfair to claim that a volunteer opportunity had never really presented itself, while an opportunity was jumping up and down in front of me, waving its arms about. So, I just spent the past week on Vashon Island, off Seattle, volunteering at the camp.
I'm not allowed to publicly post any pictures of the kids, so you get to make do with the sign and a few abstractions. I worked in Arts and Crafts, helping with a wide array of fine arts, from dinosaur stamps to bead necklaces.
Volunteering at the camp was an interesting experience, neither as disastrously, tragically difficult as I was afraid it might be, nor as life-changingly wondrous as I hoped it might be. In fact, it felt sort of... normal. Which is quite something in itself.
But whatever it was, it was only a week. The next endeavor promises to be a bit longer. I'm going to be volunteering as a crew member on board a historically accurate replica of Christopher Columbus' ship the Niña. The ship is sort of a floating museum. It sails from port to port, and people come on board for tours. The boat is already sailing around, having started the year in San Diego, California. I'll be meeting the boat in Petoskey, Michigan on the 8th. To answer what may be the first two questions that come to mind, no, I don't have to wear a costume, and no, I don't have any sailing experience. But I will soon!