I was very nervous when I got on the airplane at the airport. On the first day, I was always nervous. The reason why I was nervous is that it was my first time to work as an international volunteer, to travel alone, and to work with people whom I meet for the first time, which was hard for me who is very, very shy. When Japanese volunteers arrived in Taipei, Taiwanese volunteers welcomed us friendly, and I was surprised. It is because even though we met for the first time, they talked with us like close friends who know each other for a long time. Thanks to them, I could be relieved.
For the first two days of my volunteer work, the job was hard and I was very busy. When I had a hard time, Japanese and Taiwanese volunteers always helped me and I appreciate for it. When we did not have work, Taiwanese volunteers took us to go sightseeing and we could enjoy Taiwan a lot.
There are three main things that I learned from this volunteer experience. First, teamwork is important. I realize that although volunteers come from different background, they can achieve the goal if they cooperate. Second, it is important to know their own culture if they want to work as international volunteers. If they work as international volunteers, they may have to work with people from different culture and have chance to introduce their own culture to them. I actually had chance to introduce Japanese culture to Taiwanese volunteers and they taught me Taiwanese culture. It is important for international volunteers to know their own culture and to prepare so that they can introduce the culture to others. Third, it is important to learn the language which is spoken in the country where volunteers work. Of course, it is almost impossible to speak the language fluently if they start learning after being chosen as volunteers. However, I sometimes had trouble because I could not speak Taiwanese. So it is important for international volunteers to learn the language spoken there, even for a little bit.
I had great experience in this volunteer work, and this experience will be useful for my future.