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Projects Abroad

I traveled to Nepal for three months to work on the disaster relief/building project. The support I received in the months leading up to my departure from Projects Abroad was amazing. I had my flights and insurance organised by their team and the staff were always happy to answer my many questions about visas, money, Nepali culture and the project itself. Upon arrival I was welcomed into my host house with 13 guests, I quickly learnt that the volunteer community that Projects Abroad created would be, after the Projects Abroad staff, your lifeline. From teaching you the ins and outs of the way of life and the language, to becoming your tour guide for the cities attractions, there would always be someone who had been in the city long enough to make you feel like you were travelling with a local.

Work was very varied with demolition, bricklaying, concrete mixing, sanding and painting. It was busy and hard work at times but every volunteer could work to their own capabilities. The onsite Nepali engineers and masons guided us through every step while our Projects Abroad building coordinator was always there to ensure the smooth running of the project as well as the overall well-being of the volunteers.

For the duration of my stay I was looked after by incredible host parents, Ram and Mina and their two year old daughter Eva. After work we would often spend hours with Eva teaching her how to kick a soccer ball or chatting to our host dad Ram who had very good English, about his life and Nepali culture. The food provided for us was always plentiful and delicious, with the local masala tea served twice daily quickly becoming an addiction for many volunteers. Volunteer life was always busy, you were never short of places to see and people to meet with weekly activities hosted in the centre of Kathmandu by Projects Abroad. We practiced yoga and momo (a dumpling) making and learnt traditional Nepali dancing. Projects Abroad made sure that you were wholly immersed in the culture whilst having the experience of a lifetime, could not recommend it more highly.

Program:
Location: Nepal
Posted: Oct 21, 2017
Overall:
10
Support:
10
Value:
10

Global Leadership Adventures (GLA)

This summer, I went on the 21 day flagship program to Thailand with Global Leadership Adventures, and it was the best experience of my life. I grew so much as a person from group discussions and seeing all different walks of life in another culture. I never once felt unsafe, which was very nice. It was definitely clear that safety was the number one priority. The support we received from our mentors was amazing; they were always there for us to talk about missing family, to being scared of an activity, to personal struggles affecting you on the trip. The mentors really help to make you feel welcomed. We got to see every aspect of Thailand, from the nightlife of the markets to the daily lives of rice paddy farmers. The activities were all so much fun and had something to learn from them. The mentors are always making sure we're aware of what's going on. My favorite part about the trip, besides teaching Thai children, would be the last night of the program when we all laid out on the floor to write our bag notes and stayed up late to finish them after our final dinner. We had all grown so close throughout our 21 days and we just talked about our favorite parts of the trip and it felt like everything came full circle.

Program: Volunteer Abroad
Location: Thailand
Posted: Oct 20, 2017
Overall:
10
Support:
10
Value:
10

A Broader View Volunteers Corp

Before I left for my travels earlier this year I completed the necessary training to receive my EMT certificate in the states. After some searching online, I found this opportunity and thought it would be a great way to combine my travels with my newly learned skills.
The pre medical program was a fantastic way to experience a different hospital environment in a place with limited resources. I had the opportunity to observe the ER general OPP multiple endoscopies, the path lab and 4 surgeries during my 3 weeks.
The bedrooms and common space provided were both very nice in areas to stay for 3 weeks. Enough space was provided even with 7 volunteers, the volunteer house is very big and safe.
And I was pleasantly surprised how much I enjoyed everything about Nepal. Its challenges, its food, its people made it an amazing experience and I want to return very soon.

Program: Volunteer Abroad
Location: Nepal
Posted: Oct 20, 2017
Overall:
10
Support:
10
Value:
10

Frontier

After several bus rides and a boat trip we arrived on the island of Omotepe. We stayed in the Hostel Magdalena which had beautiful views over the volcano and Lake Nicaragua. Whilst on Omotepe we visited the picturesque fresh water beach where we chilled out in the sun and went for a swim in the clear blue waters. We had lunch in a cosy beach side café and lazed around in hammocks for the rest of the day, enjoying the relaxing atmosphere. Our journey continued to the colonial town of Granada which had a bustling central square full of street sellers selling colourful jewellery and ornaments. We stayed in Hospedaje Central which had large comfortable dorms. Whilst in Granada we enjoyed a guided Kayak tour on the Laguna Apoyo, sightseeing round the town and enjoyed the traditional Nicaraguan dances and local music in the nearby bars. We then continued to Leon on the local ‘chicken bus’. We stayed in a fantastic hostel, called Bigfoot, which had a really relaxed atmosphere. We were lucky enough to get the opportunity to go volcano boarding, after a long and tiring trek to the top of the volcano dragging our boards up with us we were rewarded by breathtaking views. We all boarded down the volcano, which was very scary but exhilarating. Some of us were better at it than others and one or two of us had a couple of tumbles but it was all good fun.

The night life in Leon is fantastic with there being numerous bars to enjoy the party atmosphere in. We all danced the night away to lots of Spanish tunes before crawling back into our comfy beds at Bigfoot.

We then headed up into the hills of Miraflor for our conservation project. Over the next three weeks we visited three different locations - Centro de Gestion, Finca Esmeralda and Orro Verde. During this time, we did daily birding sessions for an hour every morning and evening. Amongst others, we sighted many grackles, hummingbirds, toucans, flycatchers and vultures. We also performed daily butterfly catching sessions to compare their relative abundance and distribution between the three different areas. Also, whilst in Miraflor, we enjoyed a day of horse ridding with a local guide. The trip was very enjoyable and we were each given a delightful placid horse and spent six hours in the saddle. We trekked through the dense picturesque Nicaraguan forest and splashed through rivers - we had a lovely day, although we ached a bit afterwards! In Miraflor we were lucky enough to be able to bathe in the beautiful crystal clear waterfalls. After the boiling hot trek to the waterfall it was so refreshing to cool off in the icy cold waters. At the last location, Orro Verde, we went on a guided tour of the communities organic coffee plantations, which was very interesting and gave us an insight into how the coffee plants are grown, whilst in the cloud forest, local families cooked for us. We enjoyed a combination of rice, potatoes, beans, eggs, plantain and tortillas for breakfast and tea. We were also taught by the local women how to make tortillas which was great fun although quite a long process. After recharging our batteries in Leon we travelled to Utila, which is one of the bay islands on the Caribbean.

Frontier voluntiers training for PADI Open Water certificationWhilst in Utila, we all decided to work for our PADI Open Water certificate. Obtaining the PADI qualification involved taking a written exam and completing lots of practical work under the water. Scuba diving was one of the best experiences ever and the feeling of being under water is like being in a whole different world. We were meters away from colourful fish, breathtaking coral and enormous sea turtles. We would all recommend the experience to everyone. The nightlife on Utila was almost as exciting as the diving and there was one particularly impressive bar called Treetanic which was built around a tree and had mosaic design inside it. It was beautiful!

We then travelled to the tranquil town of Copan where the cobbled streets and beautiful countryside made for a very relaxing couple of days. We also visited the Copan ruins and had a guided tour, which gave us an interesting insight into the Mayan culture and history. After our relaxing stay in Copan we headed for the bustling town of Antigua. We spent all day looking around the exciting street stalls and buying unique gifts for friends and family. We than caught a boat across Lago Atitlan to San Pedro. We spent a cool three days there chilling out (or hotting up!) in thermal pools, kayaking on the beautiful lake and relaxing in the hippy hangouts. We then travelled through Coban to Semuc Champey. We visited the natural pools which were amazing - they were all connected by waterfalls and we spent hours relaxing in the sun by the clear waters. Finally, we went tubing, which was very exhilarating but got us soaking wet!

Program: Gap Year
Location: Central America
Posted: Oct 20, 2017
Overall:
10
Support:
10
Value:
10

Frontier

My 6 weeks on the frontier trail were amazing. It's my first trip to central america and having just finished university i wanted to go on a group trip and preferably one with some volunteering involved. The adventure travel part was fun and we took part in lots of activities in Mexico and Guatemala including diving, other water sports and various cultural experiences. The volunteering part was teaching primary age children in a school in honduras. i really enjoyed it and would have happily spent another week or two there.
Some of my fellow trail people are now heading off to costa rica to do the wildlife conservation and i kind of wish i was going to, but all in all it's been a great 6 weeks.

Program: Volunteer Abroad
Location: Central America
Posted: Oct 20, 2017
Overall:
10
Support:
10
Value:
10

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