Volunteers’ Voices 2/2014: Asia

Editorial: Towards the summer

Red eyes, parents’ serious faces, sad boyfriend… What is happening, you ask? It’s me, on the way to take over the world! My volunteering period in Nepal started in August 2011. I was nervous. Everyone else was running happily towards the security check with a big smile and one-way ticket in their hands. I on the other hand was dragging myself slowly through taxfree shops, rubbing my teary eyes and thinking how crazy I must have been imagining that I’ll make it outside of Finland.

I arrived to Delhi. There was a long night ahead of me. I had to wait ten hours until my connecting flight to Kathmandu. I picked a chair, tied my backpack to my leg and fell asleep. I woke up at 6 o’clock in the morning to smiley old Indian guy covering me with his jacket. That was my introduction to Asian peoples’ friendliness.

I had a lot of positive experiences in Nepal. I got to know children and learn about their world, got to share every-day life with the local people and saw beautiful and diverse nature of Nepal. I was also lucky to make friends for life. I also met with adversities starting with no hot water and coming to even changing the voluntary workplace. We had three babies in our children’s home, whose diapers I had to change once for the whole morning. Every time I was finally finished with the third baby, first one had peed again. And some people in Finland actually imagined that I was saving the world…

The theme of this issue is Asia. And Asia taught me how to enjoy life. Enjoy this particular moment. Sometimes nothing goes according to the plan, so just relax, ananda! Why to worry over something that you don’t have power to change? But if you just keep changing diapers, the pee will eventually stop coming. So let’s enjoy this wonderful sunny spring days, upcoming summer and small pleasures of life!

Maria Kinnunen

Maria Kinnunen
ICYE volunteer in the season 2011–12
Member of the board of Maailmanvaihto 2014

In the issue

2 Pääkirjoitus: Kohti kesää
5 ICYE Aasiassa
6 Ajankohtaista
9 Kolumni: Ajatusmatkalla Aasiassa
Teema: Aasia / Theme: Asia
— 10 Monimuotoisuuden kirjoa Indonesiassa
— 14 Elämänkoulussa Intiassa
— 16 Volunteering and Learning Swedish in Porvoo
— 18 Vuosi Japanin jälkeen
— 20 From Taiwan to Finland
— 22 Laulavien oravien maa
25 Uusi perheenjäsen Ugandasta – Isäntäperhe-elämää Tuusulassa
28 Ensimmäinen puoli vuotta Meksikossa
32 Bring your Smile to Indonesia
34 Lehden toimituskunta
35 Maailmanvaihdon tapahtumakalenteri

ISSN 2342-2629 (Printed)
ISSN 2342-2637 (Online version)