Saying Bon Voyage to the Volunteering Nomad @tgboeck

Thilo at Salisbury Cathedral
Thilo at Salisbury Cathedral, Oct 2013

Today I say a temporary farewell to my lovely friend Thilo Boeck. I have no idea when I’ll see him again, but I’m sure it will happen. Like me, he has taken voluntary severance, but rather than use it to snuggle up by the seaside as I have, he’s setting off for the great unknown. This is how he describes his plans:

Having turned this year 50 and being single, I thought this is my opportunity to do something more hands on and use my academic background to benefit community development. I grew up in Peru, I speak Spanish and I know quite a bit about the culture, so Latin America seems a good place to start this adventure. End of this year I will pack my rucksack and I have about two years during which I can offer to do voluntary work.

Amplified Leicester 2009-10. Picture: Alex Hannam
Amplified Leicester 2009. Picture: Alex Hannam

His post  #Socialmedia #Vulnerability and #Humility, or the hashtag, like and share effect gives quite an insight into his preparations.

I’ve worked with Thilo since 2009, first on the ground-breaking Amplified Leicester project, then on his own Amplified Resilient Communities. I have to thank him not just for being a great colleague, but also for many conversations which were important to me both professionally and personally. We come from very different backgrounds and lead very different lives yet he has taught me a great deal. He grew up in Peru, but his family is German, and this mix of cultures has endowed him with a unique blend of romanticism and pragmatism that can often take you by surprise!

And, after much preparation, today is the day that he flies to Buenos Aires to start his adventure. He’s travelling light but with abundant generosity and good humour. Whoever is lucky enough to receive him as a volunteer will find that he is wonderful to work with. You can follow his journey on his blog and on Twitter at @tgboeck, and look out for his amazing photos on Instagram. Good luck, Thilo! I’ll miss you, but we’ll see each other soon in cyberspace, I’m sure!

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