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School’s over. What’s next? A question a lot of young people ask themselves when they’ve finally graduated from high school and are free to do whatever they want.  After spending a lot of time during the last 13 years in stuffy classrooms, writing exams and doing a ton of homework, I needed a real break to free my mind and to learn things that nobody can teach you in a school or university.  After thinking a lot about it I made the decision to do a combination of traveling, working, and volunteering. Just traveling frees your mind, working abroad is a nice experience, but voluntary service really gives you the unique chance to help people that are in need and at the same time learn so much for yourself, meet amazing people, and really immerse yourself in a foreign culture. Furthermore it gives you the good chance to learn a new language, like in my case Spanish. So I started looking for a volunteering project on the internet and found the NGO Taxi childcare project in the Peruvian Amazon. I really liked the description and the idea of it so I applied for it and a few months later I was sitting on an airplane to Peru, starting the adventure. First I spent 4 awesome weeks in one of the main cities, learning Spanish, taking amazing trips, partying a lot, and meeting beautiful people. Then it was time to leave the NGO Taxi Headquarters for the jungle. I was really excited and a bit nervous about changing my western lifestyle and suddenly living in a totally new culture as a foreign white person. But none of my doubts were legitimate. When I arrived everyone was so nice and lovely to me and welcomed me with open arms. During the next 6 weeks I worked on the project, most of the time with other volunteers on my side. The work consisted of some gardening and very basic cleaning but most importantly of working and playing with the children. Whether it was creating dance choreographies in school, giving English classes, helping with math homework, or just playing football on the nearby pitch, it was always so fun and nice. The kids are really lovely and seeing them being happy without all the luxury that is normal for Westerners made me really think about my life in Germany. I realised how lucky I am to have all the opportunities that a rich western country offers me, and beside of a lot of other things, I learned to appreciate the chances and luxury that I have everyday.

I would say my time in Peru was one of the most special periods of my life! I found a lot of good friends, saw beautiful places, lived and worked in a foreign culture, and last but not least learned so many things that will help me in my future!

Thanks a lot to my friend and coordinator Eli, all the other awesome volunteers and people that I met, and the whole NGO Taxi team for making this possible!