End of my volunteering gig

There has been “a bit of a delay” since I last posted…I had actually started writing this post on July 25th…and I’m picking up where I left off a month later…

From June I started going to the garden on a three-mornings-per-week-basis. I ended up working only on the herb garden while the department that is now responsible for the urban agriculture programme is looking after the vegetable part (whatever that means). For a couple of months I very much operated on my own rather than as a volunteer of an organisation. I didn’t work on anything specific as there was no plan or direction communicated by the department or objectives to work towards. Pretty much everyday I thought about leaving altogether and moving on to something else (it was pretty clear that there wouldn’t be any continuity on my work after I left). There were 2  reasons I stuck around for a while.

First, it got me out of the house and instead of being in front of the computer all day, I got to spend time outside which is valuable in itself.

Second, I did have access to a plot of land and figured I might as well try to take advantage of it and experiment with it, learn as much as possible from it, make mistakes, etc. In truth, I was only helping/benefiting myself and was well aware that it defeats the very purpose of coming here to volunteer. But it was that or stopping altogether and really not getting anything out of it. Hopefully one day I will have the chance to use what I learned during that time and be able to actually have my contribution benefit someone else besides myself.

I stopped going to the garden mid-August when we returned from holiday (see here and here) and sent my resignation as a volunteer to the University. I could have waited until the last moment before leaving the country to do so but it felt like it was time to just pull the plug on it and focus on the next step (starting as a freelancer and returning to Europe – post coming up). People from the department I was “volunteering” for want to have an ‘exit interview’ with me. That should be interesting…

2 thoughts on “End of my volunteering gig

  1. Mom says:

    I am anxious to hear how the “exit” interview goes or IF they ever come up with time necessary to even have it. Sad to say it is a very poor organization that allowed a volunteer such as yourself to slip through the cracks.
    Hope you are taking your seeds with you. Your Dad will really have fun finding places to use them. Just make sure you package them in zip lock bags and maybe even add some of those silicone packets to keep out moisture.
    Will you have any time to help that new organization that Ann was telling us about in one of her latest blogs?
    Keep on truckin’ sil—-you will never know what kind of impact you made and I’m sure it was a good one!

    • Chris says:

      Exit interview was nothing special. I expressed what I thought could have been done differently and I left wishing them good luck with their future programme, and that was it. Whether or not they’ll take any of it into account I’ll never know but that all right.
      Regarding the seeds, I have kept most of them (what I didn’t keep, I had planted in the garden already) so I’ll have plenty to experiment with over the next few years probably.
      I haven’t been able to help Ann with the other organization, I’ve been focusing on freelance work and had little time for more volunteering, and also there was so little time left that I didn’t feel I could have got involved into anything.

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