"...this country is a big family that has adopted me."
WorldTeach volunteer Justin Behravesh recently returned to the United States from his year long volunteer experience in the Marshall Islands. In his final blog post, Justin shows us just how close volunteers can grow to the communities and people of the nations that they serve in. Take a look at Justin's blog post and see how he spent his last days on the Marshall Islands - and more importantly, how his journey has changed him as a person.
This will be my last blog entry.
The capital island of Majuro, for all of its pollution, traffic, and its expensive nature, has some charm to it. When I found myself missing Jabor and my host family this past week, it was very comforting to jump in a taxi cab and speak Marshallese to the driver. Majuro feels far more familial this time around than my previous two stays the city, and I’ve genuinely enjoyed my time here. It’s kind of like this country is a big family that has adopted me.
This past week since arriving from Jabor has involved a whole lot of errands, vegetables, sleeping in air conditioning, and some much needed English conversation. Last Sunday, through a random series of connections, I managed to get on a boat to another island in the Majuro atoll, called Enemanit. Enemanit is owned by a very rich family on Majuro, and pretty much encompasses what people back in the U.S. probably think of when they hear that I’m volunteering in the Marshall Islands. There were adult beverages, water slides, diving boards and kayaks. It was so far from my experiences on Jabor, but a whole lot of fun.
My flight to Hawai‘i leaves this evening. I don’t even know what to expect at this point regarding re-entry into U.S. culture. I’m going to take it in strides. For my last night in this country, the other volunteers and I played a game of soccer with some local kids, and then drank sangria and stayed up all night chatting. When 6:30am came around, we headed outside and enjoyed one last ocean side sunrise.
To all those who read this blog over the course of my year here, sent letters and positive vibes, thank you so much. Your support of my journey here was immeasurably supportive. Ikonnan lelok juon kilep yokwe nan aolep.
This is Justin Behravesh, WorldTeach volunteer at Jabor Elementary School 2011-2012, signing off.
If you're interested in applying to volunteer in the Marshall Islands, visit our website at www.worldteach.org for more information. If you have additional questions, feel free to contact us at email@example.com or give us a call at 857-259-6646.