Alumni Spotlight: Maria Kun


Maria Kun, volunteered in Palestine and is from Chelyabinsk, Russia. She works as an economist, enjoys traveling and new discoveries.

Morning: Morning didn't start too early, as the Karama volunteers began their work at about 10-11 a.m., (i.e. some time before lessons at school finished for the children). On weekdays I had to do without tasty substantial breakfast of my host mother that she always made on weekends. I had to make last minute preparations for the new day and then meet with other volunteers at Karama to discuss activities, find some new ideas, and make all necessary preparations.

Afternoon: The afternoon is the most eventful and dynamic time in Karama. The main activity of the day is craftwork. After craftwork, we organize big games outside, then we teach English and computer classes. We also organized the library for all the students.

Volunteers could took Arabic classes, then the Karama volunteers took short breaks to have amazing falafel sandwiches for lunch from the cafe near Karama. About 5 p.m. we could finally clean rooms, discuss the day passed and some plans for the next day.

Evening: My evening was, first of all, a great dinner with my host family. The family always feed me as much as possible, believing that I worked too hard to have lunch. Later there was enough time to do homework assignments for Arabic classes, prepare some ideas for next day's activities, take a short walk with some host family member, and play with children and help them with some of their homework. In return, they were always glad to help me with my Arabic.

Highlights: As I mainly worked with children, so they are my main highlight in this trip. They suck all the energy out, but the next morning there is a great wish to see them again, inventing more activities.

Another highlight was Palestine itself, understanding its contradictory life. On the one hand, the country lives in its usual way: people work, study, do housework. They have their own culture and traditions, about which they care greatly, but at the same time there is always a feeling of unfreedom: restrictions, checkings, posts (although many such things are not obvious for tourists).