Volunteerism

Venezuela, here is my voice.

bvgonzal

A very close SU friend from Venezuela told me one of her friends from home was murdered today. I have been preparing for some days to write this post, and I have asked many fellow SU students if they know about the situation in Venezuela and most people have no idea. This gave me even more motivation, so I would like to share with you the terrible reality that is going on in Venezuela.

Venezuela has been facing economic, social and security problems, among others, caused by the corrupt Venezuelan government. More than 90% of the murders in Venezuela go unpunished. On February 12, Venezuela’s national youth day, students were tired of the injustice and corruption in their country caused by the government, so they started a peaceful riot for their rights. These students were unarmed; they carried flags, cameras, signs and flowers. The police force reacted aggressively and attacked…

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First Boat Crew Training for Auxiliary

Once again deviated from Florida posts. Will get back to that sooon! So, I finally went on my first boat crew training patrol for the coast guard auxiliary.

The Auxiliary is the volunteer branch of the USCG–Aux isn’t allowed to be involved in anything military or police.

Anyhow, last Sunday I had the chance to finally start training. I was very nervous! A lot of the guys/people who join are usually boat lovers, or have at least a decent amount of knowledge ahead of time. I felt like I knew very little. Once we were underway, however, it was fine. It was also beautiful out! I love Sandy Hook, and this was exactly what I wanted to be doing.

We trained Man Overboard, and anchoring. They also went over basic boating and operations, such as assessing the crew and situation etc. Each thing we train we need to get sign-offs for. I didn’t remember my checklist to sign off on (opps!), but I’m sure I’ll have to do this many, many more times anyhow.

July 9th we might be going over basic fire situations and the dewatering pump. I can’t wait! The only difficult thing is juggling this, my other charity, work, and my friends.

Dealing With Charities

I think sometimes we tend to become so use to things, and what the normal reaction is to those things that it becomes almost a muscle memory. You hear certain words and it triggers certain words from your own mouth–maybe without you even realizing it.

Sometimes, it’s reading certain words. You’ll get an email, and promptly delete it before really taking in its contents. Or a person will hand you a pamphlet outside your favorite store, and you shake your head while walking faster. Life is short. You don’t have time to waste on things that aren’t important to you–right now important–and who can blame you? We all do it.

Let’s face it. I love volunteering, and I love charities. If I could, I would help the entire world solve all its problems. I can’t do that, though, no matter how hard I tried. And sometimes even I get annoyed with how often certain (though not all!) charities can bug you.

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But please. Don’t let it become a reflex. Don’t shun and run away from them because you are busy and you’ve heard it all before so many times.

It’s true you can’t fix everything, but everyone has the chance no matter what they do to make some kind of difference.