Monday, October 3, 2011

Year of Service Interview: Australia (2)

The Baha'i House of Worship in Australia

5.What are some pointers you would give to those looking to do a year or shorter period of service?
I think going in with an open mind and heart is the most important thing for service. Going with a pure motive to just serve God, everything else will fall into place. It’s amazing all of the different people I met. I truly feel like I was given the opportunity to go to Australia because I was meant to be there at that time with those specific people. I think the bottom line is to just do it. School will always be there, and work too, but a chance to go serve as a youth won’t always be an opportunity someone can take.

6. What were your living arrangements?
At the House of Worship in Sydney they have youth houses set up for service youth to stay in. So in my application process they scheduled me to live in the girls youth house for nine months.

7. Describe an average day on your year of service.
An average day is hard to describe because my roles and jobs kept changing as I was there. Being at the temple was a very special opportunity because there are many jobs that youth can do. First, I started guiding and gardening, then bookstore and reception work. Most days went from 8am-5pm. With gardening, we usually raked the path, pulled weeds, planted flowers or plants, cleaned the shed, and cleaned the office and the visitors’ center. These tasks were rotated throughout the week, so each day was a different task. With guiding, that’s when we would talk to the visitors that would come to the temple about the Baha’i Faith, and the temple itself. Bookstore work was mainly selling books to the visitors, and also re-shelving new books. As a receptionist I was taking in calls to the National Baha’i Office, and transferring them to different departments, along with replying to emails, and sorting mail. All of these jobs happened during the day, and so during the evening many of the service youth would participate in community activities. We set up a regular devotional gathering, a few Ruhi study circles, children’s classes, and participated in the children’s classes that are taught in state schools, that’s called BESS (Baha’i Education in State Schools). So there weren’t too many ‘average’ days. My schedule frequently changed the longer I stayed.

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