I think Miri and I both grew enormously and the programme also shaped our following educational decisions.

My name is Melanie, I participated in the Ecuador programme in 2010/2011. It's absolutely fantastic to see many new students starting and from so many parts of the world! Back in 2010 it was only me and Mirjam, an Austrian girl, who had signed up for the volunteering experience in Ecuador - yet we had an amazing time and surprised ourselves by how much even just the two of us were able to achieve during the 5 months we worked and lived in Milagro.

My strongest advice is to really work as a team. Neither Mirjam or I could have even started to do what we did by ourselves. We are two very different characters but the intense and wonderful time we shared in the programme helped us to appreciate each others different ways as our complementary qualities contributed to our "power team". We are still very good friends, I went to visit her in her city only two weeks ago.

I won't go too much into the concrete projects we worked in as I am sure the teachers will hand you out our reports which discribe our work perfectly. Just this much: In St. Vincent as well as in Ecuador our collegues were extremely open to our ideas and proposals. They allowed us to start our own projects, and supported us in every possible way. There were no immovable structures, and that is something I extremely appreciated about the project. Obviously that comes with more responsibilities, much to do, and the need for some creative ideas and visions you are determined to realise.

But that kind of work can be so much fun and extremely rewarding. I am not so sure what else I can tell you at this stage but you are very welcome to contact me at any time, and we can arrange a skype call, once you have fully arrived and start to have more precise questions I will hopefully be able to answer. I very much enjoyed life in St. Vincent and Ecuador, I think Miri and I both grew enormously and the programme also shaped our following educational decisions. I envy you just a little bit but most of all I just wish you an amazing time. For me it was just so much more than what I had expected and I can say I really got the most out of my time there. In case you are interested, I have plenty pictures uploaded on facebook about my time and work in SVG and Ecuador, you can find me among Stinas friends for instance (Melanie Lea). I would be happy to hear from you, don't hesitate to get in touch.

Best best Melanie

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