Volunteer Interview : Adi shares his experience
Last week, I came to town to meet Adi in his hostel before his departure for India, the following day. Adi spent almost 3 months at Coins for Change in the Ha dong house. I only met him twice, but it was enough to see his kindness and his joie de vivre. We talked for about one hour and it was very interesting to listen to all his stories and his projects for the future. If you are reading this and you are a new volunteer, hope this article will reassure you if you feel a bit confused right now.
All Roads Lead To Yourself
Gaelle : Hi Adi, can you tell me more about you and your story
Adi : I’m Aditya , I’m from India and I spent two months and a half here in Hanoi. After getting my degree in Finance, I worked for 5 years at the Deutsche bank and decide to swith to do marketing. Yes, I needed to find a job where I can meet more people and I really love sales, that why I choose marketing. In may 2016, I quit my job and decide to go to Vietnam. Hard choice to make but I needed to see something else. I spent almost 25 years in India, seeing the same people, having the same habits, i was in my comfort zone, I needed to push myself. That’s why I decided to come here and volunteer.
Gaelle : Why have you decided to work here as a volunteer?
Adi : First, I choose Vietnam because my dad went there, and told me a lot about the culture, the country, I wanted to see this by myself. I choose coins for change because I have already worked in the social enterprise project, and really enjoyed it; I wanted to use my skills to help coins for change to develop their business. I applied to work in the marketing and the teaching.
During my time here, I have finally mostly worked on the teaching, but the experience was fantastic. Connect with the kids, the teaching experience. I have learnt a lot.
Gaelle : How do you feel about not having used you business skills ?
Adi : If I talk only about the marketing , yes I could be disappointed, because I was there for that. But if I take the global experience and what it maked me learn about myself, no I’m grateful. I have met so many people, learnt so much about the Vietnamese culture. I also learnt from my volunteering friends from all other the world.
Gaelle : What Have you enjoyed the most in your mission?
Adi : I had never travelled by myself before i came here, I only knew indian culture. Here; i was on immersion at the same time with the vietnamese culture but also with my volunteering friends. You learn so much about the differences you have in different cultures; Moreover, I really like the fact that I ‘ve built more confidence by travelling all by myself, I became more opened especially to foreign people. I know to connect with them more easily than before
Gaelle : As a traveler which place you’ve liked the most?
The view of Sapa is wonderful, but I need people around me so I really love the old quarter of Hanoi.
Gaelle :What has been the most challenging for you ?
Adi : The first days it was a mess, i did not know why you here , I was far away from home; I was totally out of my comfort zone, i did not know how to move around. Sometimes, I felt home sick, alone around so many people and confused about what I had to do . But as my former Boss said “when you have a problem, you identify the problem and you figure out a solution”. So I tried to give my best in my mission in teaching.
You are leaving tomorrow, how do you feel, what next for you ?
Adi : I am really sad to leave, I enjoyed my time so much here. But as I did once, I know that I can do it again, I’m not afraid anymore. I go back to India for my family, and I will go back to work to save money for my next travel i hope. Indeed , i have been learning spanish for around 5 months now, and i’m planning to go to Spain or in South America as soon as i have enough money and my spanish improves.
What would you advise to someone who wants to become a volunteer?
Adi : Don’t expect anything to be easy, it’s a broken house you have to fixe it. But you will also make friends so fast.
Thank you Adi for your time, i wish you the best back to india. Keep learning spanish and don’t give up on your dreams