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One volunteer: Terence Curzon, Principal Mechanical Engineer, AECOM, U.K.

“It was a moment that I will remember for as long as I live.”

“I think about my experience in the Philippines often,” Terrence mused. “My outlook has changed regarding what our wealthy country should do to help these countries that lack such basic things as clean water and sanitation. Our governments should do more to help and provide not only money, but expertise and guidance.” Looking back, Terence said, “There were so many valuable moments from my trip, but I think the one I will never forget was seeing the completed tower used for the first time, and the look of excitement and happiness on the faces of the kids. To me, that moment summed up the reason we were there.”

Short description of your / your company’s main area of work, your years in the industry, any awards or major projects or achievements you’d like to share.

Building services and infrastructure. 35 years in the industry.

How did you get to know about Waterdrop?

Through my Xylem representative.

Why did you choose to participate?

I saw this as a once in a lifetime opportunity.

What did you expect to experience before the trip started? And what was your first impression when you finally arrived? How did you feel?

I had no idea what to expect. My first impression on arriving at the school was how welcome we were made to feel. The children greeting us were so happy to see us and it made me feel very emotional and humble. It was a moment that I will remember for as long as I live.

Building water towers in elementary schools: Tell us a little bit about your experience – both building the towers and working with the children.

Building the towers was great fun and very interesting. Working with the teams from the other countries was very enjoyable and shows how we can all work together in unity for a wonderful cause. Working with the children and teachers was a fantastic experience, they were all so friendly and welcoming. The children were all well behaved and courteous. They were all wonderful hosts.

What were the major challenges you encountered and overcame during the trip? (i.e., heat, sanitary conditions, tiredness, etc.)

I encountered no major challenges during the whole trip. I felt it was an honour and a privilege to have been invited and to be there and to be part of this fantastic experience.

What’s your single most valuable moment or experience from the trip?

There were so many valuable moments from my trip but I think the one I will never forget was seeing the completed tower used for the first time, and the look of excitement and happiness on the faces of the kids. To me that moment summed up the reason we were there.

How was the relationship building and teamwork with the other participants – both from your country and from the other countries?

I thought all the teams got on very well with each other in constructing the towers and also on a personal basis. Each team worked on a specific task in constructing the towers and all co-ordinated well together. I feel that I made many friends from all the countries that participated in this wonderful project.

Now that some time has passed since your Waterdrop volunteer trip, has anything changed in your life? What is your favourite memory?

I think about my experience in the Philippines often. My outlook has changed regarding what our wealthy country should do to help these countries that lack such basic things as clean water and sanitation. Our governments should do more to help and provide not only money but expertise and guidance. Another favourite memory was the fabulous shows the teachers and children put on for us when we completed the towers.

Would you recommend this Volunteer Trips to your colleagues or do such a trip again?

Yes, I would definitely.

Anything else you’d like to share about your experience that we didn’t ask?

I would just like to thank everyone at Xylem and the Watermark project for giving me one of the greatest experiences of my life. This trip has changed my outlook on life and what is important in this world and how people with so little in terms of material wealth can be so happy with something that we take for granted.

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