Volunteering on Fuerteventura
After the Ayurvedic treatment and the Christmas holiday spent in Hungary I flew back to Fuerteventura because I got accepted for a volunteering position.
There are several volunteering sites through which you can apply for several different positions all around the world. I list the ones I know of, in case you are interested in travelling with volunteering too:
You pay a small sum of an annual fee (about 30 something Euros but the fee is slightly different with each organization), set up your profile and you can immediately start to contact hosts and apply for positions. I recommend you always read the reviews and contact your host with your questions before you set out to travel. The more you know, the better. Stay tuned with your intuition and be open to the new experience. Know that you can always leave if you don't like a place, and no one can force you to do something you are not comfortable with. As in most cases, the volunteers work for free, they should be treated with respect and gratitude.
I was excited to embark on a new adventure on my beloved island especially because I made a wish in the recent past (or manifestation) that I wanted to live in a camper van. I visualized a camper as my home with tasteful but minimal decor, with a pop-up tent or foldable roof adjusted to it under where I could sit and work outside, and welcome local kids for alternative art & craft classes (this part would have been the next step once I learned Spanish and made some reliable contacts to start a little business to help children learn English through arts & design). Ana and Ricardo's camper + tent set up was the initial inspiration. I also emphasized that the camper is in great working condition providing me the opportunity to move around the island if I wanted to. To the visualization, I added the feeling of the deliciousness of freedom, health, abundance, safety, and happiness.
When I saw that I would be living in a camper on the volunteer place, I was like "Wow, it is a great start!" I arrived with a big smile. I had no expectations, I embraced everything with curiosity and the willingness to explore, help and fit in. I was open to staying as long as I felt I was serving a purpose and as long as I was happy and inspired.
We, volunteers, were expected to work 5 hours/day with 2 days off in a week in return for free food and accommodation. Instead of receiving meals, we got a small sum of cash to buy our own food in the nearest town and cook for ourselves. This was a small town with a small supermarket offering limited choices, so if we wanted to go shopping to another, bigger supermarket we needed to pay for the bus trip or ask our host to take us with her in case she was going in that direction. Otherwise, we were not allowed to use the car further than the nearest town which was about 15 mins drive away. There was also an organic vegetable garden on the finca (farm) with different types of salads, beetroot, cabbage, onion, aubergine, broccoli, kale, mint, lavender, etc. from which we were allowed to take. I was very happy to add raw organic veggies to my daily meals. Mostly I cooked soups from the greens.
There were 2 cats and a dog strolling around us on the finca. I grew a special bond with Lola, the black and white cat. I felt so much love coming from her that I couldn't pass by her without giving her a cuddle and a kiss whenever I saw her. Most of the time, however, she was napping on the chair outside the main house. I loved calling her and she would reply with a sweet meow and stretched forward one of her paws. She never failed to make me smile.
At the time I was here I shared the volunteer camp with an Italian couple and there were 2 other men coming to help for 2-2 weeks during my stay. It worked out well as we looked after the place and had respect for each other's space and needs but the vibe wasn't always good. There were negativity, misunderstandings, and judgments coming back and forth between one of the volunteers and my host which was not pleasant energy to stay in. After a month I slowly started to feel trapped, energetically drained, and with time and experience, I gained a different perspective on the work I was doing here.
A) There were 5 houses on the finca the volunteers cleaned regularly after the holiday guests and there were 3 more apartments in the nearby town. There was a cleaning fee charged from the guests for each house on top of the accommodation fee which I didn't understand why as we volunteers cleaned the houses for free.
B) It started not to feel right to work for free for someone who makes a lot of money with the help of the volunteers and not even paying a little reward or pocket money for them in gratitude. My lady boss told me that she "can" only pay € 100/ month if I stay longer than 3 months, which would come out to € 1/ hour salary. I did research online and found out that the average income on the island is between € 5-7/ hours. The minimum wage in Spain, including the Canary Islands, is legally € 7.04/ hour. Even if she pays half of the minimum hourly rate, it's still below minimum wage yet more than €1. I didn't even try to negotiate with her because on a soul level I knew that overall I would not be happy here in a long run.
C) If there was no work to do our lady boss tried to use us for her personal needs. She asked us to wash her dishes, clean her car, clean her house, and tidy before & after her birthday party. She also wanted to dress us as hostesses to walk around with trays offering drinks and food between the party guests but she eventually dropped that idea. I think she heard me discussing it with the other volunteers and we were not happy about this plan of hers. She knew no boundaries, so if we were uncomfortable with her requests we needed to stand up for ourselves and say no.
D) Her confusing behaviour and communication style (not language barrier). I sensed she was battling with insecurities and vanity which was behind her narcissistic and controlling persona. I could laugh off her exaggerating attitude in the first month, and then I slowly started to feel energetically drained by it.
I can not say that she didn't help us or she was mean or selfish toward us because it wouldn't be true. But I noticed that she was only there for others if it served her interest. She was wearing a mask. Not necessarily for a bad reason but as a habit of survival, or so as she learned. I experienced her inauthentic and narcissistic. I don't think she was conscious about her behaviour and I didn't feel the necessity to confront her. I just moved on after 2 months for my own good with respect for her and for her business.
You can watch Teal Swan's video on Psychic vampires/ Energetic vampires. She explains it beautifully what a person is going through when feel energetically drained and why it happens.
F U E R T E V E N T U R A
The place itself was wonderful as the whole island always and there were many positive things about volunteering here, not just negative, which I also want to outline. I liked living in the camper so much (even with the termites...yes, I saw the termite outlets and heard their tiny scratching at nights), the organic garden, the good weather by day, the dinners our host invited us for, friending other volunteers, etc. all added to the good memories.
I hired a car on my last week to visit some places I love and to look for new ones to discover. I've said it before and I'm saying it again that I absolutely love driving on the long deserted roads, meet other travellers, and bond with nature. Travelling is so inspiring! During these last day trips, I won back my goofy, happy vibes and loving energies which I have lost at the volunteer place. I feel FREE and HAPPY again!
I've also learned that routine and I are still not best friends and that cleaning houses on daily basis is very tiring and boring. I bow in front of people who make a living from being full-time cleaners. All my respect!
I'm intrigued to do more volunteering not just on the Canary Islands (definitely still my favourite place to be!) but around the world. I would rather volunteer at places where I learn something new e.g. arts and healing, or serve a good cause, particularly with children, animals, or plants.
My next adventure, however, will be a paid role as I've run out of money again. I will be flying to a small island in Denmark for the summer to look after a little girl and help to improve her English. I'm super excited to explore a new island! I'm also looking forward to climate change. I've turned lazy and somewhat aimless under the Sun on the Canaries. ☀️
Check out my TRAVEL DIARY videos on YouTube. Here's one of them below. The rest is available on my channel.
I also want to tell you what vivid dreams I had in the first two weeks! They felt so real that it confused me when I woke up. I don't remember now what happened in the dreams exactly but in one of them, I was laughing so hard that I was sure I laughed out loud in my bed. Then I had a very sad dream. And then I wrote songs and when I woke up I remembered the words and the tunes that I recorded quickly with my phone. Maybe if I stay longer on the island, I will be able to write a whole music album, lol. These dreams are proving the power of the Third Eye Chakra that is active on Fuerteventura. "IF THIS CHAKRA IS BALANCED: It can enable clairvoyance, telepathy, lucid dreaming, expanded imagination, and visualization" You can check my previous post on more details on the chakra-island connection here
Thank you for reading!
Until next time ♡