My name is Jessica Alejandra Gomez Manrique, I’m 25 years old and I was born in Bogota, Colombia. I graduated as a nurse, and since then I’ve been involved with people of different ages and everything relating to their caring. However I didn’t have any previous experience working with people with learning disabilities so my time at Camphill has given me more knowledge, understanding and a different view about caring.
I heard about Camphill Blair Drummond from a friend in Colombia who had applied as a volunteer, the whole idea and the opportunities this will bring to my life attracted me from the beginning. Before I came, I searched on the website and checked some videos online to give myself a better idea of what to expect. On my arrival I found so much more than I had ever imagined, because Camphill is a beautiful place with a multicultural environment created by all the volunteers and employees that come from all over the world every year.
Now, when I look back over the last two years, I can see it has been a valuable learning experience that brought big changes to my life from the beginning, starting from moving to the other side of the world and experiencing different cultures, languages, food and weather, but also because of the personal challenges I faced once I set foot on Scottish soil. However I always had the support, help and love from my friends and the family I have built around me here.
My role as a second year volunteer and the tasks I’m responsible for within the community, have evolved and deepened over time. I’ve been involved in the workshops with the day students and mainly helping in Rowan house with the residents to improve their skills.
I have amazing memories that will stay with me always from all the European countries I have visited while I’ve been here, and from every person I met at Camphill and Scotland. This adventure taught me, challenged me, helped me to grow and learn about myself and the world around me. That’s why I decided to volunteer for a second year and it has been a pleasure and a life changing experience.