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Beyond Virtual: Sarah's Unforgettable Meet-Up in Spain

At ENGin, our community is built on the powerful connections forged between volunteers and their buddies. Sarah Mackin, a dedicated ENGin volunteer, shares her heartwarming story of friendship that transcends geographical boundaries and highlights the transformative impact of language exchange.

ENGin volunteer Sarah Mackin and her student Dasha met in Valladolid, Spain

Sarah reflects on her nearly year-long journey as a volunteer, expressing gratitude for the unique experiences ENGin has brought into her life. She reminisces about the moment she connected with her buddy, Dasha, last December.

In Sarah's words, "We immediately hit it off. Her English was already pretty advanced, so we soon found ourselves talking for several hours each weekend."

Their friendship, however, extended beyond language exchange. Discovering shared interests in reading, learning languages, and a mutual love for cats and dogs, they formed a bond that goes beyond the confines of screens and keyboards.

Sarah adds, "We 'introduced' our cats and found a special connection through our shared interest in Jane Austen/British regency era books, movies, and shows, like Bridgerton."

As Sarah and Dasha navigated their language exchange journey, they found inspiration in the stories shared on ENGin's Instagram account—stories of buddies meeting in person. "We hoped that would be us someday," Sarah remarks. Living in Boston, Massachusetts, and Cherkasy, Ukraine, respectively, an in-person meeting seemed like a distant dream.

However, fate had a different plan. This fall, Dasha had the opportunity to study abroad in Valladolid, Spain. Learning about her friend's plans, Sarah decided to expedite her own travel arrangements, leading to a joyous reunion during a weekend in Valladolid. The experience was beautifully captured in a series of photos that showcase the genuine happiness of two friends finally meeting face-to-face.

ENGin volunteer Sarah Mackin and her student Dasha met in Valladolid, Spain near university

Sarah emphasizes the significance of ENGin in facilitating connections that go beyond borders, saying, "I've appreciated this opportunity to form such a meaningful connection across an ocean, an entire continent, and a couple of computers."

Now, Sarah invites others to join ENGin and be part of this transformative journey.

"Being a volunteer with ENGin is not just about language exchange; it's about building friendships that defy distance and cultural barriers," she encourages.

Through ENGin, individuals can share the gift of knowledge, connect with diverse backgrounds, and become part of a global community where meaningful friendships thrive.

Sarah's story is a testament to the power of language exchange, fostering connections that enrich lives and break down barriers. As we continue to celebrate stories like Sarah and Dasha's, we invite you to embark on your own journey of friendship with ENGin. Join us, share knowledge, and be part of a community that believes in the transformative power of human connection.


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