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A Broader View Volunteers Corp

The first couple of days are quite difficult because you are adjusting to all new things. It is helpful that there are other volunteers there that have been through the process and are already adjusted to the Nepali lifestyle and ready to help, but you really have no idea what to expect even after reading about the trip, so it was hard to adjust to everything right in the beginning. Once you get the hang of it, time flies so quickly but the first few days are quite slow and a little confusing.
One of my favorite memories of the trip was watching a Caesarian section take place. I've shadowed an OBGYN in the States saw a normal delivery but watching this surgery was a completely different experience. Going into surgeries you already have to be open minded because third world medicine is completely different from what we are accustomed to. Then, the doctor warned us that this would be a difficult birth because the woman was overweight and the baby was on the bigger side. As we were watching the birth, it seemed like the baby would never come out, they were pulling the head and pushing the feet and nothing was working. Finally they pulled out birthing forceps and seemed to be yanking the baby out. I genuinely thought that the baby was not going to come out alive. It was so harsh that the volunteer that had come with me to watch the surgery with me almost fainted. Then finally watching the baby girl come out and hearing her scream as they were cleaning her off made the whole surgery worth it. She was the sweetest little girl. Her skin was pink and wrinkly and had a very loud strong cry. We came back from the surgery and were gushing about the whole experience to everyone in the volunteer house.
Although I was warned to wear modest clothing, I didn't realize how hot it would be. I came in the summer monsoon season and I had bought some pants and capris, but I think the best type of clothing for this trip would be light cotton and loose clothing. I bought some of the Nepali pants, also known as Harem pants, there that I would wear almost every day and the boys bought a lot of cotton light shirts. Also, it rained a couple of times so I would definitely bring a good raincoat, because it rains quite heavily during monsoon season.
There is a grocery store right by the house where you can by almost anything you need. If you are into hiking, there are some amazing hikes in Nepal that you can do, and you should definitely leave some time for that. Another place I recommend is Chitwan, they have a national park there that serves as an elephant reserve. It's a wonderful experience.
The coordinator helped with anything we needed and was present for any help we required. The girls that live at the house are so extremely helpful and kind. They take care of all your needs and treat you like a part of their family.
Overall, I really enjoyed my trip to Nepal and would definitely recommend it to anyone that is looking for a trip to combine sightseeing and volunteering. Working with the Clinic is a shadowing program and you don't get to do any hands on work, but there are other opportunities to work at the farm owned or to go to a more rural city and do some more hands on work. The shadowing at the clinic is great because you get to have a front row seat during some extremely interesting surgeries.

Program: Volunteer Abroad
Location: Nepal
Posted: Jul 28, 2014
Overall:
10
Support:
10
Value:
10

A Broader View Volunteers Corp

When I first arrived in Quito I was completely surprised. It was my first time out of the country and I literally knew no one in Quito and my Spanish was not that great. I felt lonely for the first week or two but after I got to know the other volunteers things totally changed. We would hang out multiple times per week outside of volunteering, and we also met volunteers from other organizations. The social life in Quito was great! The volunteering was also very eye-opening. The medical center is so much different from one in the United States and it was incredible to be able to volunteer there and gain a broader view of the world.
The accomodation was great. Three meals were prepared every day so I did not have to worry about cooking. I lived in two places. The first was with a single older lady and she was a great host. The second was a family and they were one of the nicest families I have ever met! I could not have asked for better accommodations.
My favorite memory of the medical center is when two interns and I walked around the neighborhood looking for children who had not been vaccinated. If we found children without the necessary vaccinations we would do it right there in the street. From traveling, my favorite memory is going to montanita and puerto lopez with two other volunteers and an Ecuadorian. We surfed in montanita, watched the world cup final and then headed to puerto lopez to do a tour of Isla de la Plata.
There are a few things that really surprised me. First, the people here generally have less money than people from the United States, but they seem to be happier in general. Second, the people here are incredibly nice. Multiple times when I needed help, I would ask a random person and they would go completely out of their way to help me. At the health center, patient confidentiality is not very strict which was interesting. Histories were taken in the presence of other people which would never happen in the United States.
The local coordinator was fantastic! She made it very clear that if I ever needed anything, all I had to do was ask. She did everything she could to make sure that I had everything that I needed. She also made sure that I was happy in my project. For the first three weeks, I did not really enjoy my project so she let me change to the health center. When I first arrived I did not live with her, but with another lady. About halfway through the project it was just me and the host mom in the house. I asked to switch locations to be closer to the other volunteers and she happily let me move to her house. She was great!

Program: Volunteer Abroad
Location: Ecuador
Posted: Jul 28, 2014
Overall:
10
Support:
10
Value:
10

RCDP Nepal

I completed the one month volunteer abroad programme in Sri Lanka. During the course of this one month, I volunteered in the orphanage, elephant foundation, as well as teaching English to monks at the local temple. My week at the orphanage was an interesting experience however I found that the living conditions of the orphans was relatively poor and the matrons working at the orphanage did not seem to be very welcoming to volunteers. However, the orphanage had a separate pre-school section for older children. I found this portion to be more welcoming to volunteers.

The Millenium Elephant Foundation was an amazing experience as the programme is very personal. You get assigned your own elephant to work with alongside other volunteers. During my stay I learned a lot about the organisation and elephants in general. The staff at Millenium were very friendly, welcoming, and appreciative of volunteer help. The Foundation also allows you to develop your own projects in order to help the foundation or the local community. While volunteering at MEF, we were also given the opportunity to teach the local kids of the community. All in all, it was a very well rounded experience.

My time at the monastery was very enjoyable. The young monks aged 12-14 were very willing to learn. The classes were relatively small, my class consisted of only 3 students, allowing for effective teaching. The monastery is only 2 hours per day 5 days a week, which gives you time to get to know the city you are living in and enjoy the local culture. I would recommend both the monastery and the Elephant Foundation as places to volunteer in Sri Lanka!

Program: Volunteer Abroad
Location: Sri Lanka
Posted: Jul 28, 2014
Overall:
8
Support:
7
Value:
8

Island TEFL Thailand

DO NOT SPEND A SINGLE PENNY ON THIS COMPANY. It's the most fraudulent company I've ever come across (and I live in Thailand). The main guy, Phil, doesn't do any of the work but instead uses a free teaching agency and you pay Phil to essentially hook you up with them when you can do this yourself FREE. Phil is a poor business man, he was consistently rude and undelivered on every request I made, all due to his sheer laziness. Sister companies include Invasion and Thaijobs.co.uk, I would avoid these too, they're all set up to make a boat load of money from vulnerable and eager travelers.

Program: TEFL
Location: Thailand
Posted: Jul 28, 2014
Overall:
1
Support:
1
Value:
1

New Hope Volunteers

The accommodation at this home exceeded my expectations. The food was absolutely delicious, the rooms were nice and spacious and the washrooms were clean! It felt extremely safe in this house and there was never the issue of something going missing! The house had such a homely feeling and our hosts/roommates all felt like family.
The was always help when needed. Whenever I needed to go somewhere I was provided with directions and suggestions. One of my biggest fear prior to this trip was that I didn’t know places in Ghana and I would get lost. This was never an issue. On my first day, Franklin took me to the school I would be volunteering at. I also appreciated the fact that I could move around ( to a less fortunate school) when I felt like I needed to do more. Mary Ann is such an amazing cook and would cook extra food (when we wanted e.g fried plantains)
Working at countryside and Bentum was such a humbling experience. We could move around until we were satisfied with the students we were teaching. The kids are so welcoming and kind. This experience can be amazing but you need to be willing and open to adapt. The one thing all these kids are looking for is love, so as long as you go to school with an open heart, you will realize how blessed you are to get to be part of this experience.
Before arriving, I was really worried about whether this was a legit organization. Because it is new, there were not a lot of reviews and the accommodation price was so cheap relative to other organizations so it worried me. To change this I’m definitely going to post a review so that people can read about my amazing experience and about the loving family I have made here.

Program: Volunteer Abroad
Location: Ghana
Posted: Jul 28, 2014
Overall:
10
Support:
10
Value:
10

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