During my service with the Montpelier Parks & Trees Department, I have had the opportunity to learn and collaborate with incredible people from vastly different backgrounds, countries, and experiences from around the world. Many of these connections grew from my small support and leadership interactions in conservation with the Volunteers for Peace, who shared three weeks of their lives to support our Montpelier community and my host site.
These collaborative relationships made possible through my service have blossomed into dear friendships that will last a lifetime. Each member of the Volunteers for Peace who I had the privilege of supporting and leading on projects taught me invaluable lessons from their homes and communities over our shared service time together. And in return, I had the joy of not only sharing the skills and methods of conservation that I have quickly learned during my service, but also the joy of sharing the love of community and heart of what makes Vermont and Vermonters special: the unique unity of care for the people and places in our communities.
In a whirlwind tour of Central Vermont, I tried to bring surprise and joy, wonder and awe through sharing the many cultural and unique sites of Vermont in guided touring experiences for our visitors. From first experiences of mountain ridge sunsets, carving pumpkins for Halloween community events, to experiencing maple creemees and visiting galleries of local community artists, I tried to share the aspects of simple community immersion that endure as lasting memories. And in return, I gained an incredible wealth of learning from cultures so different from Vermont, yet having many of the same goals, aims, hopes, and aspirations all around the world, And to this day, I keep in contact with many of the dear friends all across the globe that came from our shared time and service.