A Visitor on a Mission
We have been chatting with Truman Bagley, a 19-year-old from Idaho in the United States. He has been telling us that as part of his faith community, the Church of Jesus Christ and Latter Day Saints, it is usual for young people to take time out between leaving school and starting college, to offer their time voluntarily in service and ministry.
“Anyone over 18 can apply and we are placed somewhere by our church, it can be most places in the world, for up to two years.”
Truman says that it was hard at first as he comes from a close family and the only contact he has had with them is by video, but it’s a great opportunity and one that he knows he will never forget.
He has been in Milford Haven now for the past five months so we wondered how he has found it so far.
“It’s been great,” he told us with real enthusiasm, “and really cool to experience Wales coming out of lockdown.”
As part of his mission, he is here to serve the community and has been involved as much as covid would allow in helping people in the community with various tasks.
“There is a group of us from many different places. I share a house with someone from Loughborough, but there are people from all over the world. We are assigned tasks on a first come first served basis. We do things like gardening, painting fences or helping with moving house.”
We asked Truman if he found living in Wales very different from living in Idaho. “It was quite a challenge at first because I didn’t know anyone.” He laughs. “We all speak English, which is great, but I have had some difficulty understanding some accents, particularly over the phone. The climate is rather different too. Idaho has colder winters and much warmer summers. Where I come from is really desert-like, so the green of Wales is really beautiful but I am not used to the humidity.”
Roads and driving are very different too. “Of course at home we drive on the opposite side and on much wider roads. People drive much faster here on narrow little roads but they seem generally to be good drivers.
“It’s very beautiful here and I have a keen interest in history. There are so many castles and sites of interest. I really enjoy that. I have a particular interest in the Second World War but there is so much earlier history here that I can explore too.”
And Truman is a keen photographer, so we are sure he will be able to return home eventually, not just with his happy memories but with some fabulous photos to remind him of his time in Wales.
If you would like to know more about the voluntary work that Truman and his community are involved with please contact:
Phone – 07800-614619
Facebook – Truman Bagley