Volunteer Story: Sam’s Trip to Bosnia

Sam’s trip to The House of All

As I was completing my undergraduate degree this past March, I spent some time thinking about what was next, what I wanted to throw myself into, and how I wanted it to look. Come June, I decided to spend a year travelling and soon after set off East. I was insistent on moving ceaselessly in an effort to see and do as much as I could, as well as feel like I was ACTUALLY doing something. A few months passed and I began to feel completely depleted, lost, and lacking purpose.

I’d had the idea of working with refugees prior to leaving, just as I’d thought about cycling through India or buying a motorcycle in Laos or anything else my mother would disapprove of.. Like most, I reached out to my dear friend, the interweb, for answers and felt frustrated at the seeming bureaucracy limiting me from something more intentional. Not long after, I stumbled upon IndigoVolunteers, did some reading, and applied right away.

I had no prior knowledge of any ongoing refugee work taking place in Bosnia and upon informing myself more of indiGO Volunteers’ projects in the country, I felt restless awaiting a response. Upon hearing back (quite promptly I would add), I bought my bus ticket and headed off. I volunteered with House of All for about two weeks and it was one of the most enriching experiences I’ve had to date. Some of my responsibilities included miscellaneous children’s activities, introductory english courses, quotidien football outings, coffee pilgrimages, making the occasional lunch and/or dinner, repeated weeping over chopped onions, and losing incessantly at UNO.

Everyday was so diverse and demanded new ways of thinking, processing, and understanding–it was like nothing I’d ever experienced. Indigo Volunteers wholly facilited the connections needed allowing these moments to come to fruition. I truly believe I’ve left my time with House of All a much more devoted, patient, and empathetic human being and for that, I am forever grateful.