I am Minni from Oulu Finland, and I just finished my freshman year at the University of Oulu. Since last fall, I have additionally been an active member of this organization called AIESEC and when I was offered an opportunity to go on a volunteer experience abroad this summer through the same organization, I decided to take the brave step to do so and apply for it.
The application process itself was very simple – I sent applications through the online portal to various destination countries and I was contacted quickly by them in order to arrange an interview. Although many of the projects I applied for were highly interesting, one of them had the highest stakes. In this particular project happening in the surroundings of Makassar city, we will be visiting and collaborating with the people of four various local tribes of the island of South Sulawesi. Our goal is to create a business plan in cooperation with them, by evaluating the economic potential of their local small-medium enterprises, and among the already culturally rich team of ours.
The project itself is yet to happen, but the departure is just around the corner. My feelings before leaving are contradictory – on the one hand, I can feel myself being the most thrilled I may have ever been in advance of a trip abroad but because it is not going to be an ordinary tourist vacation, I admit I am feeling a little terrified as well. Already in the interview, I was faced with the realistic expectation setting – I was inquired whether I would be fine with the fact that the local infrastructure will not include tap water and that showering should be handled by ”bucket- technique”. Of course for me as a European and for after most of the times having been taken this for granted, top of the line it raised feelings of worry in me – will I get accustomed to the local proceedings and will I be able to give up the position of privilege for the period of six weeks? However, later, after giving it a thought or two and after going through all the possible worst case scenarios, I concluded that this will probably act as one part that will make this experience extraordinary and will for sure widen my perspectives, for example about the different lifestyles there are elsewhere in the world.
Despite all, I uppermost have this supreme excitement in my mind. I love traveling the most of all, partially for its nature of the tendency to widen the world perspectives, and I enjoy when I get to admire pictures of places I have never visited before. Nonetheless, I have a feeling this one is going to be radically unlike the previous ones of mine – not only exclusively for the anticipation of becoming the grandest adventure of my lifetime yet, but also for the concrete contribution it will have for creating a better place out of this world, little by little.
Find your own project in Indonesia here.