Overall this was a great experience and I would suggest it to anyone who is thinking of doing any type of similar work. This being my first time leaving the United States it was a huge culture shock but it made it so much better in the long run. You get a real sense of the people and the culture that the country is made up of that I don’t think a tourist vacation would allow you too see. I think in the future I will put more thought into what kind of work I would like to do in a trip because I learned that anything can change and become what you wouldn’t expect. If I had the opportunity I would do this program again but for a longer period of time so I had more time to see the country.
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A Broader View Volunteers Corp
We arrange short-term international mission trips and long term volunteer projects in South America, Africa and Asia. Designed with flexibility and customized attention with volunteer options in African orphanages, teaching English, medical and dental volunteering, HIV awareness projects, conservation in national parks, animal welfare, environmental and community development.
When I first signed up for the Guatemala Animal Care Center program, I didn't know what to expect. Volunteering in a different country was definitely a challenge for me. Navigating the streets, talking to the locals and eating new food are all part of the experience. Issues will come up in new environments and I can attest that it was overwhelming. Losing items and getting lost to name a few ;) . It takes time to get comfortable for some volunteers. Interactions with the animals at the care center, cleaning their straw beds and play areas, and providing them with food are all good memories. Volunteering at the animal program was an up close and personal experience to witness first-hand how to care for many varieties of animals.
Through the volunteering you'll find that there is help needed from you. Any work will be appreciated and acknowledged. This is the best feeling. So be proactive and show initiative.
I worked for 4 weeks in Arusha, Tanzania with the HIV/AIDS Awareness and Care program. Most days were spent at an orphanage in a nearby village that housed children, all of which are HIV positive. Other days, we would go to remote villages and provide villagers with donations, support, and medical products as needed; most of the villagers we visited were also HIV positive. I definitely worked hard, and there was always a list of tasks that needed to be completed. I felt like I made some valuable contributions, and I really had a positive and rewarding experience.
In country support was excellent. On our first day we were given a tour of the city and shown the highlights of where we might need to go, and were taken to the cell phone store to buy SIM cards. Transport to and from the airport was handled by the local ABV staff, and they also helped us arrange our safaris. They were also accessible the entire time whenever we had a question.
My favorite memory of the trip was being with the children at the orphanage. These children come from many different backgrounds, but they all have HIV, and have burdens I can only imagine. However, they are very loving, energetic, and thankful, and took to me when I first walked in the door. I'll definitely miss spending every day with them.
I had a great experience volunteering in Tanzania. I worked in a hospital and was exposed to many different diseases I don't see at home. It was quite the experience to see healthcare in a developing country. I enjoyed getting out of my comfort zone in a new city and trying new experiences. I traveled on the weekends. I met a lot of interesting people from that country and also from other countries. I would do it all over again in a heartbeat.
I chose a broader view Nepal with little knowledge of the country previous to this experience, but I am extremely glad because I was given the opportunity to embrace so many people, place, culture in short amount of time I was there.
The coordinator was extremely helpful. I was never scared to ask a question, and he even provided me with a new perspective of the country. I had many people supporting & caring for me.
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