By Ameet Gohel, Volunteer, Vadodara Chapter

“If we danced and shared music, we’d be too busy en-joy-in’ life to start a war.” 

“Perhaps one of the greatest means to achieve global peace & harmony is CULTURAL EXCHANGE. I created a tailor-made program along with Ms. Tiene Lemmens of AFS BFL, called the ADAM & EVA (Couple) volunteer exchange program.

Gratitude can transform common days into thanksgivings, turn routine jobs into joy, and change ordinary opportunities into blessings. At Brussels International airport, we were received with whole-hearted love and hospitality. After much of kisses, hugs & affection during the course of introduction to each of the families with their hosts, we proceeded to Mr. Frans & Mrs. Carine’s home for a traditional Belgium style drink & dinner experience that lasted for 2 hours with a lot of joy, excitement & nerve breaking humorous talks etc.

All of us were flabbergasted in the span of these 7 days stay with the host families, who made sure that neither did we miss the fun part of this trip nor do we miss our important cultural lessons. While on our visit to the national office of AFS Belgium Flanders, we’re given to understand that 200 students from AFS Belgium Flanders were a part of different sending programs and around 160 students from different parts of AFS all over the world are being hosted in Belgium Flanders from a month to a year, from which majority were from Thailand. We had a very good interactive session with AFS Belgium Flanders communication staff Ms. Katrien Mestdagh and National Director Ms. Caroline Steyaert.     

Though we have taken ICL “W” Level workshop and attended Intercultural Learning lectures during our AFS life, however, what practical intercultural learning has taught us was indeed mind-blowing and can never be forgotten under any circumstances. We’re delighted to have this couple exchange program as significant and exceptional. We have created a lifelong relationship with the families.

We thank and appreciate AFS India to inspire, motivate and encourage us to customize such type of volunteer exchange program and we are looking forward to more such prospects in the future to keep learning all about living in harmony and to bring the world closer with Global Peace