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  Volunteer Tales >> Nicola Rudkin

Nicola Rudkin from Darlington was a GAP Volunteer at the Bal Asha Trust in Bombay / Mumbai.

“My duties were very general, and mostly based on a ward of older children, rather than babies, aged between 1 and 14. Dressing; feeding; playing; helping with English and other schoolwork; drawing and colouring; reading. I also accompanied them on many visits and took some children to the hospital. I spent some time caring for the babies, playing and feeding them. Sometimes I talked to adoptive parents from all over the world. I just helped out where I was needed. Our hours were totally optional, but we found we wanted to give as much time as possible, even some weekends!

It is hard adjusting, but everyone, even people who cannot speak your language, makes such an effort to make you feel welcome, it soon feels like home - which I hadn't expected.

I think you gain many skills, most of which you don't even realise you're using, like tolerance, patience, understanding and improvisation.

I'm starting a degree in Nursing, now I simply feel more ready, and I've opened my mind to so many experiences.”

courtesy: www.gap.org.uk/uwhere/asiapac_ind_vol06.html