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I am so grateful for the opportunity to work with Experience Durham in the UK—I have had the time of my life! In particular, this past week and a half I worked with the kids’ holiday sports camp that Team Durham hosts for the summer. Personally, I worked with the Mini Group (aka the 4 to 6-year-old kids). This was an amazing experience, as I was able to help lead the children through day-to-day sports activities and create fun memories with them. Teaching and volunteering there showed me how fun it is to work with kids, as well as the bond that can be created in so little time. On our last day of work, many of the kids I had been working with were really sad to see me leave, bombarding me with I’ll miss you’s and hugs. Even though I was hesitant about my UK placement at first because of its emphasis on sports, as I have never been a particularly athletic person, I can honestly say that it was both a fun and fulfilling experience. I hope that I have been of help to the staff there, and I definitely hope to use the knowledge and experience I gained to seek other opportunities working with kids in the future.

Outside of the workplace, we have been busy exploring all that Durham and the UK has to offer. On Wednesday, we had a really cool panel discussion, visited the Town Hall, and met the mayor. I also went rowing on the river with Harry and Sean, which is an activity that I would definitely recommend to all future DukeEngagers, as we were able to travel through the city again from a whole different perspective.

Rowing through Durham, UK

As the program draws to a close, I feel extremely lucky for each of my DukeEngage placements, both in North Carolina and in the UK. In both places, I felt welcome right from the very start and was kept busy (in a good way!) the whole time. Further, I feel that I was able to gain experience and knowledge about all different types of people—from little kids to local teenagers to vulnerable adults. Exposure to these various groups of people has taught me so much about communication, learning from others, and more. My work through DukeEngage has been amazing, and I would honestly recommend this experience to anyone else looking to serve and learn more about these two communities!

Shoutout to Neil, Sam, Domonique, and all the DukeEngage staff who made it possible. Thank you!!