Tukio means Adventure – by Isabel from Colombia

Tukio means adventure in Swahili, and there is no better way to describe this experience so far.

The experience for me was unexpected. I wasn’t looking for it but it found me anyway, how? Through one of my best friends! Such a good way to embark on a trip like this.

My name is Isabel Vásquez, I’m 22 years old and am currently a psychology student. My best friend Isabela and I were approaching our internship semester with no interesting prospects in sight. I didn’t feel like any of them would’ve taught me enough or were focused on the branch of psychology I was interested in. But my biggest issue was that none of them seemed meaningful enough.

Then I was approached by Isa, she had found one. A beautiful organization that coincided with our goals, visions and motives. She applied, she was interviewed, she passed, she asked me to join.

This is where the adventure really started for me, after checking the website and reading the description for an intern I was ready to jump in. I applied through the website, it was pretty straight forward: name, email, get an email with a form, fill out a form. The form asked about experience, intentions, and general personal information.

Then came the interview. I was given a choice of dates, of course I picked the closest one. I scheduled it for the next day, expecting to be interviewed by an intern just like Isa was. To my surprise my interview turned out to be Thomas Ogalo, the boss. My anxiety was quickly dissipated when he smiled and asked me to call him Tom and relax. He asked some of the questions from the forms but mostly we just had a conversation. It encompassed everything from the different programs better me provided to the living logistics to just talking about the kids and how the organization was helping them.

What was expected of me was made clear: good attitude, open mind and willingness to learn and work as part of a close group of people. I finished the call so excited anticipating their response letter and to my relief and joy, they had accepted me and I started booking flights,applying for visas, getting vaccinated and packing. Thirty-six hours of traveling later we arrived in a city, a country and a continent that we had never been to. Yet my anxiety was once again dissipated once I saw a beautifully decorated sign that read: Karibu (Welcome) Isabel and Isabella, being held up by Tom and the team. They were all smiling and ready to help with our bags and we were quickly in the van heading towards our new place.

From this adventure I expect to learn so much both professionally and personally. I also hope to help in every aspect I can with all of the resources I have to provide to these wonderful people that have welcomed me into their home. I’ve spent three weeks here and so far I haven’t been disappointed, I know the months to come will be just as good if not more.

– Isabel Vasquez

Curious About Volunteering?

February 6, 2023

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