Spending 2 years in Guyana with MVC was one of the greatest ways I have used my life to do good.
The power of living in a faith-based, intentional community has shaped me in a way that I did not anticipate, and have not experienced before or since. Sharing a vision of Mercy in the world and supporting the work of a Hospital's HIV programming, an Orphanage's swimming program and a Vocational School's arts curriculum were all unique experiences. Each one encouraged me to learn, stretch and grow and to live a life of deeper understanding and service, and to watch the fruits of that service blossom in the relationships, moments and memories shared by my MVC community and my Guyanese community.
Guyana is a place of pluralism - in foods, language, religion & cultural customs, music, local humor and even its holidays - all of these layers of intriguing complexity made this site an interdisciplinary dream come true. It's even possible to find conversation classes to keep up your Spanish in this English-speaking country!
I left Guyana wondering if I could have made MORE of a difference, and that is a question I struggled with both on site and since my return. I had a lot of learning to do about what "making a difference" means, and what are reasonable, tangible goals in an unfamiliar host environment. As a recent college grad, I had no defined skill set, and it took a while to find a good occupational fit.
However, in the absence of a profession, I learned the value of the intangible ways that my choice to be open, present and engaged with people in another country has made a difference in the organizations and communities where I served. The MVC staff were very valuable in their ability to listen, help me process and be flexible in their programming to allow me to explore where I could do the most good.
Though I was deeply challenged many times by this experience, on the whole I enjoyed myself, my mission, the support offered by MVC staff and our receiving communities immensely.
I have recommend this and other MVC programs to friends and acquaintances looking to live deeply and be of service, and will continue to recommend and support the program my whole life long.