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Xtreme Gap

My experience with We Volunteer Nepal – Sam & Bess
My adventure in Nepal with my best friend started with a car ride from Kathmandu airport into the suburbs of the bustling city. Bhagawan and Santosh greeted us warmly, and we began our journey to the volunteer home. We spent two nights in Kathmandu before heading to Pokhara for the 5 day trek to Poon Hill. Our time at the volunteer house was great – the families were hospitable, the rooms were comfortable and the food was sensational. We were served traditional dhal bhaat, along with some amazing spicy side dishes.
Our time in Kathmandu was a cultural whirlwind of exciting experiences. We visited Patan and learnt about its history from a knowledgeable guide, explored the streets of Thamel and made many friends along the way. Bhagawan and Santosh transported us all around the city, recommending places to visit and shops to buy our hiking gear. Our Pokhara trekking itinerary had also been planned for us, and everything had been organised perfectly – our trekking guide, accommodation and food while on the trek, and transport to and from the trekking location.
Our journey in Pokhara was incredible, from the spectacular views offered by the bus ride to the phenomenal trekking experience. When we arrived in Pokhara we were picked up by Saroj, our trekking guide, who warmly introduced himself and gave us details about the hike. The next 5 days were filled with the most breathtaking views I had ever seen. Although the days were quite long and tiring, especially when we had to hike steeply uphill for a few hours, it was all well worth it. The days were spent hiking at our own pace, stopping off at small villages for some tea or freshly cooked lunch. The nights were spent in cosy tea-houses run by local families, who were all extremely welcoming, and happy to have us! Reaching the top of Poon Hill felt like such a huge accomplishment, and was such a stunning sight. Both the ascent and descent were equally as beautiful and joyful. We met many trekkers along the way, some with similar journeys, and some very different. Trekking was such a fulfilling and enriching experience – I definitely recommend to any traveller who is fit and able.
Throughout our journey in Pokhara, Bhagawan kept in regular contact with us to make sure everything was running smoothly, which was very comforting. When it was time to head back to Kathmandu, Bhagawan organised our bus tickets and was waiting at the bus stop to pick us up. Our adventure ended with another spectacular day in the vibrant Kathmandu, exploring the streets, sampling Nepali delicacies, meeting the locals, and saying our goodbyes to the wonderful people who housed us and kept us safe during our trip. Thank you to you all!

Program: Gap Year
Location: Nepal
Posted: Apr 1, 2015
Overall:
3
Support:
4
Value:
6

RCDP International Volunteer Abroad

My name is Caroline and I am from Canada. I came to Sri Lanka and stayed with Michael, who has an amazing family, they were warm and welcoming. Which was a relief cause this was the first time I had ever done this and I was very nervous at first. I would strongly recommend anyone to do this. You get a chance to experience a different culture and way of life. I spent 3 weeks at the local government run orphanage. It was a life changing experience, the children were so sweet that you can't help but get emotionally attached. The local people here were always so kind to me and always smiled back when I smiled at them. I thank Michael and his family from the bottom of my heart for opening their home to me and making me feel so comfortable. They were always so helpful, kind and answered any questions I had. I will do this again and I fully recommend this or the other programs you can pick from and if you have the chance to stay with Michael's family then it will be a home away from home.

5 stars for sure!!!!!

Thank you very much Michael
Your friend Caroline

Program: Volunteer Abroad
Location: Sri Lanka
Posted: Apr 1, 2015
Overall:
10
Support:
10
Value:
10

Frontier

Unfortunately, although I had a good time at my placement in Namibia the advertisement for Volunteering at Naankuse was misleading. We were more like glorified farm hands than volunteers who were there to learn and help. I have since submitted my review to the coordinators at Naankuse who by the looks of it from facebook have taken some of my points on board ie mixing up the work. However, we were often left out of what was going on and not given details which would have made the overall experience more engaging, interesting and I would have been willing to go back. Unfortunately this was not the case. I feel it was Frontiers responsibility to advertise this better and make sure they are up to date with what is actually going on at Naankuse.

My next project was in Madagascar, I was a little out of my comfort zone and although the support on the ground was faultless the guys in the office I found distant, once you were a few weeks off from joining the project and once you were on the project.

I had been warned, albeit after I'd paid my money! that Frontier aren't too client focused and have now found they are actually quite expensive. There were hidden costs in Madagascar for extra food and also Naankuse, which meant missing out as I wasn't informed about it and this made it hard to budget for.

I will say this all the guys working on the projects are very passionate, if sometimes a little complacent.

Frontier need to advertise truthfully and be fully client focused and make sure communication is their top priority. Volunteers are paying a lot of money to join these projects & we should not be made to feel like we are just throwing money away.

Unfortunately I won't be using Frontier again.

Program: Volunteer Abroad
Location: Africa
Posted: Mar 31, 2015
Overall:
3
Support:
7
Value:
2

Frontier

I took part in the Frontier Madagascar Community Teaching Program for 6 weeks, and Forest Conservation for 1 week, over the months of February and March. I can honestly say it was a life changing experience, and I whole-heartedly and without reservation recommend it to anyone prepared to work hard and have an amazing time.

The project takes place in the town of Hellville, on the island of Nosy-Be off the North-West coast of Madagascar. The community house is very central in its location, being very close to all of the schools and places where volunteers work. I volunteered primarily at a primary school known to locals as "L'école frère," run by catholic nuns, the youth club of Nosy-Be, and a village school near to the Frontier Camp at Ambalahonko. At the catholic school, I taught around 5 or 6 30 minute lessons everyday, teaching them basic english such as body parts, and family members. Each class held around 70 children, which was very intimidating at first! However, in my first week, the community staff member trained me and guided me through how to best and most effectively teach, thus by my second week I was ready and raring to go! It was very rewarding teaching at the catholic school, and a lot of fun. The kids absolutely love the Frontier Volunteers, and always said "'Ello Annah!" whenever I passed them in the street after school and at weekends.

Every Friday, we would go to spend the night at the Frontier Camp at the village of Ambalahonko. It was great fun, and really good to spend time with the Forest and Marine staff members and volunteers. In the afternoon, we taught english at a school in a neighbouring village. Although the children were always quite loud, it was always a great learning experience and lots of fun! The walk there and back through the forest always involved seeing lemurs and eating mangos, which was an added bonus!

By far my favourite part of the project was teaching at the youth club. I taught them three times a week for two hours. It was great because I had a lot of freedom with what I taught them – I started by teaching them about Australia, and then over my 7 weeks covered subjects ranging from music and films to feminism. I really felt I was making a real difference in the lives of those who attended class, and we always had such a good laugh. Some of the students asked me to take extra classes with them, and so starting from my second week, I gave individual help and extra classes in all of my free time. Although it was tiring, I’m so glad I did this, because as a result I made life long friends, and became part of their family. One particular student, benefitted greatly from this extra help, and made it all worthwhile for me. In the beginning, although very strong at English, he lacked confidence in himself, and was too scared to apply for jobs (his dream is to become a tour guide). Over my stay, I made it my personal project to get him to apply for jobs and hopefully to secure one in the future. We worked on his oral skills, English CV and did practice interviews. In my last week, he finally secured an interview for an apprenticeship at the Economic Development Board of Madagascar. After many practice interviews at his house, he went for the interview, and came out having been offered the job! This made all of my hard work worthwhile, and deeply touched me. I also just found out he now also has a tour guide job secured for December.

I'm so glad I decided to take part in the Frontier Community Project in Madagascar. The opportunities that Frontier provided were really awesome, and it was so amazing to actually make a difference in the lives of our students. The work that Frontier does in Madagascar is incredible - it's reflected in the cheery greetings anyone in a Frontier t-shirt receives from any locals wandering past. The support from the staff members was superb, and they made the whole experience so amazing and highly educational. I hope to return very soon.

Program: Volunteer Abroad
Location: Madagascar
Posted: Mar 31, 2015
Overall:
10
Support:
10
Value:
10

Rustic Volunteer and Travel

We had one of the most wonderful experiences here in Xela. The women´s project was very empowering and we could see how communities are benefited by stoves we built.
Our host family was fantastic and we loved having had the chance to meet them and share our experience with them. Thank you to all the Guatemala staff for such an empowering experience. As the trip leader for this service-learning trip, I would recommend Rustic to other student groups. There were some communication issues with the US office which made things a little complicated but my experience in Guatemala was great overall.

Program: Volunteer Abroad
Location: Guatemala
Posted: Mar 31, 2015
Overall:
9
Support:
9
Value:
10

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