Rustic Volunteer and Travel

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9.1 / 10 after 81 Reviews Based on overall, support & value average ratings

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We loved the host family we lived with! Hannah and Freddy were amazing and very welcoming. If you live with them, you'll have a blast and a very authentic experience! They showed us around town and introduced us to so many people. They took the time to make sure we were comfortable and felt safe. We highly recommend them!

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Location:
Posted: April 29, 2010
Overall:
10
Support:
10
Value:
10
By: Anonymous
Age:

In short, I told them that I had an interest in doing two sites, but that there was a chance I might not do the second site. Two days after I paid for both, they informed me that a full refund of a $1000.00 would not be a problem. 3 weeks later, the money was not wired back to my account as they stated. Then the changed their mind to that the money had already been dispersed. IN TWO DAYS??? No way. They got me back just over $350.00. Aside from that, I went specifically to volunteer, but they told me to put on the form that I was a tourist. Why is that? Something didn't seem right. Do they save some processing fee or money that way? Save some time somehow? Not sure, but what I am sure of is that myself, and two other girls who I met after they left another site didn't have a good experience. The other two were placed in a very dirty place, of which Rustic doesn't admit to. There was human feces on the floor, and bird feces on the bed, and around it. They seemed to try and justify it by saying there were only three droppings! Are you serious? Also, one of the girls wasn't able to call her husband for 4 days. He called and left messages of which they weren't returned. They could have easily informed him that she was there at the location safe and sound. But they didn't. I would NOT use Rustic for the reasons mentioned. There are many other more qualified places to get you a great experience. While they sound and were extremely helpful in answering all my questions, and I can't stress that enough, however, when it comes to money and your well being, it is another story entirely!

Program:
Location:
Posted: June 18, 2009
Overall:
9
Support:
9
Value:
9
By: Anonymous
Age:

Comments

Its not possible to get a "volunteer visa" in the USA for Tanzania. One must enter the country on a tourist visa and then obtain the Volunteer Visa once in the program location at the Immigration office. This is what I did.
I and my boyfriend also worked through rustic in tanzania. It is true that now a days, tanzania government needs work permit for all volunteers. You may get arrested if you work in tourist visa. Just check with immigration services of Tanzania.
I also volunteered through Rustic (in Tanzania) and was told to get a tourist visa. Once I got there (along with a MILLION other problems) I was told that it was actually illegal for us to volunteer under a tourist visa. They were going to make us purchase another visa but the people from Rustic did't show up for over a week and a half to remedy things so we never ended up getting the new visa. I would not recommend this organization to anyone but my enemies. They are very unprofessional and cause more of a hassle for us than anything good. The host family we were staying with didn't even know that we were coming. We were not picked up from the airport and all the contact numbers we had were old so we couldnt get ahold of anyone. We had to search out our host family by asking people in their village if they knew who she was.
It is common for volunteer organizations to ask their volunteers to mark "Tourist" on their visas applications. It isn't a scam or anything like that, it just saves a lot of headaches for everyone involved.
If you can reply to this ....I was just wondering you said you would volunteer with Rustic again, but what about the bird and human stuff on the floor? Was that true? You would go back to them?
I would like to add to my previous review on Rustic Travel, since I feel it is important to include information that was no available to me. The individual who was responsible for my bad experience, and those mentioned in my previous review is no longer with Rustic. I believe Rustic took the necessary actions to remedy the problem, in addition, were very professional in helping to resolve my complaint. I believe this says a lot about the organization. I would use them again if and when I do volunteer work.

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