Mar Del Plata, Argentina
When I was asked to write a story to be shared with Birthright Armenia’s family, I knew exactly what I wanted to tell.
Therefore, here I am, my dear readers, not missing this opportunity to spread my message to as many people as possible. I want to write not so much about what I was able to do during the Birthright Armenia's volunteering program, but about the immense happiness that filled me, and still fills me every time I talk or think about it.
So there was this guy, Narek, at the engineering lab in Yerevan where I was volunteering. He is an electronics student who was working on a very interesting engineering project about building a smart aquarium with various automated and surveillance systems. The project leader introduced him to me so I could help him with some modeling skills using a well-known software, where almost anything can be designed and controlled before being built and that includes his aquarium. Through his practicing hours with the software, he sometimes needed to merge some components, add moving mechanisms to them, design some quite complicated parts, etc… So whenever he had a question or some trouble doing something, he asked if we could solve the problem or even avoid it from the beginning. Every time my automatic answer was, “ … իհարկե կարանք անել (of course we can do it)… ” and we could work on whatever he needed. After several times of that answer, he said, “Էնքան հավեսով ես ասում կարանք, որ ուզում եմ լրիվ իմ գործերն էս ծրագրով անեմ, (you are saying “we can” with such enthusiasm, that I want to do all my work with this software)” and BOOM … there it was; the priceless impact everybody talks about when involved in a volunteering program.
Those few words gave a huge different meaning to my being there and filled me entirely with an inexplicable, unmeasurable joy, a kind of joy that if you are reading this and haven’t started your volunteering yet, you are surely going to feel or if you have already experienced it, you know exactly what I mean. It is definitely not about the person who received it or me, that is for sure. It is about the beautiful chance that this program offers, and the feelings that appear when giving or sharing something simple, yet much appreciated by the receiving person. Besides, it happened during the last week of my volunteering, so imagine, my dear readers, future volunteers, my worldwide Birthright Armenia family members, how bad I wanted to stay there to continue making the same impact on others. And what better than doing it in your fatherland, with a brother or a sister by heart who is eager to learn something from you, whom you didn´t know before arriving there and probably you would never meet if not through this experience.
Now that I am already home writing this text, I know that there's nothing better than giving, my friend, even if it is only your time, and that I want to be in the same position again, SO SOON. This was my first volunteering experience of its kind and the furthest one from the last. During my last interview with the Birthright Armenia staff, I was asked about where and what will I be in five years from now and in my answer I was very sure when I said a person with many many volunteering experiences as a result of the first and the most fulfilling one in my sweet Hayastan.