Meet Jessie Padfield and Phoebe Fleming
BLINC’s newest volunteers!
Jessie and Phoebe arrived in Guatemala in late February to start a Spanish languge immersion course before commencing the rest of their journey through Central America. Read on to get to know more about Jessie and Phoebe, and what they’ll be doing in Nicaragua.
When we decided we wanted to go travelling the main things we knew were that we wanted to do some sort of worthwhile volunteering, that could possibly involve our interests in ‘the arts’. Central America was high on our list of potential places to go after hearing about BLINC and Bristol’s connection with Nicaragua, through some teachers from our school. Our first destination was Guatemala where we spent 6 weeks brushing up our Spanish and exploring the country. Early April, we will be heading to Puerto Morazan in Nicaragua, as part of BLINC, to commence a mural project at a recently built pre-school in the village. We are very excited about being given the opportunity to work with the kids and do a project that we are passionate about. Depending on how the project unravels, we will have until June in Nicaragua, some time spent doing this project and the rest of the time we will spend travelling around, possibly spending some time in Costa Rica, before flying to Cuba for our final month of travelling!
Before departing for her trip, Phoebe shared some of her thoughts on travelling:
“I was interested in Nicaragua specifically when planning our travels as it appeared one of the safer countries to explore in Central America, along with the fact that it’s relatively under travelled. This is not only exciting, but provides a good incentive to improve my Spanish. Speaking to the people we know which have visited the country, we learned the people there are friendly and welcoming, which seemed almost more important that then physical aspects of the country.
I feel that BLINC can give us an insight into the ways of the country which being an ordinary tourist doesn’t give you. I don’t want our travels to be a selfish experience, therefore the opportunity to help out in whatever way possible… would be much appreciated. I’d love to bring some art resources to the school and get tick in combining both local and English practices and ideas. Having an A Level in Drama, I’m intrigued as how I may be able to bring the games and exercises I’ve learnt over the years into play to teach and to communicate.”
Jessie expressed what she wanted to get out of her volunteer post with BLINC:
“So many voluntary projects seem to be money making scams. I want to feel I have been directly involved in making an organisation or community flourish. A connection with the project that is more personal, that is not a one off, and hopefully something that I can return to in the future [is what I want to achieve from my placement with BLINC]. I’m particularly interested in art, so doing an art project while we are away would be something I would love to do, whether individually or working with local people. I also intend to study languages at university next year, so I am genuinely interested in learning and teaching it, therefore sharing my knowledge of English would be an invaluable opportunity.”