This guest blog post is brought to OSSO by Ecuador alumna, Morgan Claybrook.
I took my first trip to Ecuador in December of 2010. I had just graduated high school and had been searching for months for an opportunity to travel and serve. I stumbled across OSSO’s website and immediately knew it was what I had been looking for. I only spent one week in Ecuador that December, but it changed my heart and I knew I would come back some day.
I was finally able to return the spring of 2012. My heart was full as I landed in Quito and walked through the orphanage gates. I was back. I loved the next few months I spent in Ecuador because I fell in love with the children. I loved the work; it was challenging. I was tired, but I was full. I developed friendships with other volunteers. I explored the beautiful country and culture of Ecuador. But, most importantly, I gave all I had to the children I worked with. And it changed me. I grew because of those children. I was pushed and pulled and stretched and it made me better. I learned a little about sacrifice and the pure love of children.
In November I returned for a third time. OSSO was in critical need of volunteers and I couldn’t refuse. I was only there for one short month, but I loved it just the same.
Each time I had to leave, I did so with a tugging feeling in my heart. I missed them. And that feeling is still there. Ultimately, what kept bringing me back was love. When you sacrifice and serve someone, even just a little, you can’t help but love them. I owe much of who and what I am today to those children in Ecuador.
It will be a sacrifice of your time and money to volunteer, and there will always be reasons not to go. But time and money will not always last; it is the experiences you will come away with that will last you a lifetime.