Lesson 2: Saying goodbye and preparing for coming back

Lesson 2 Chapter 1

tips from former volunteers about saying goodbye

  • Make your last day a positive one! Try to do something active (with the children) and make your goodbye a good day. 
  • Like to give something to the children or people at your project to show your appreciation? Do not make a difference in the size or quantity of your gifts. 
  • Make sure that you give attention to the fact that you will leave. Let everybody know on time, so that they can prepare and be aware of this. When you are working with children you could make a countdown calendar to make it visual for them.
  • Try not to be too emotional when saying goodbye, especially when you are around children. Keep in mind that on most projects they are used to the fact that volunteers come and go.
  • Think of which ways of saying goodbye fit in their culture. Do not assume that the way of saying goodbye that you are used is also a good way to say goodbye in another culture.   

Tips from former volunteers about preparing for coming back

    Think of which goals you had in the beginning and what gives you the most energy. Focus on these things during your last days.
  • Take time to think of how you want to say goodbye and which people, places or other things you would like to see or do once more.
    Embrace the time you have already had and make sure you make the best of your last days.
    Make time to pack your bags, try not to do it last-minute. Leaving in a rush, might make you regret when you are back home.
  • Make pictures or videos of your daily activities, for example your breakfast, the road to your project, the people you spend a lot of time with. 

Next lesson: What can you experience when you come back to your own country?