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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It is hard to evaluate the food here because of the differences in standards. In Ghana there are a set of expectations that are different than in America. One of those differences is portion sizes. In Ghana having bread and hot water for breakfast is okay but it was not okay for me. Another example is chicken and soup. In America there is much for meat on the bones, the amount here wasn’t enough to be a meal. I very much appreciated the fruit at meal time. The cooks were also very helpful creating plates for individual restrictions. It would have been good to know in advance that we would have to pay for water.
The people in this house are beyond great. One of the women is always around to answer questions honestly. They also are willing to go with you anywhere you need to go. The sisters ensure that everyone’s needs are met. They also take the time to get to know people personally. If you are not feeling well the night before, you will be the first person they check in with in the morning.
Our experiences varied greatly here in Ghana. I actually truly enjoyed only a hand full of moments during service. I feel we were thrown into situations where we were way over our head. There was little training on our end and little explanation given to the teachers on what our role was while during service. The experiences were so overwhelming and frustrating. It was hard to enjoy. It also felt impossible to make a difference in the time we were there and that is hard to accept.
Overall we feel we could have been more prepared for this trip and I believe that fall back on Rustic.None of the summaries or descriptions we got about our trip before hand were accurate. The service was different, the excursion was different. I understand that happens sometimes but there are things that we could have known in advance, like paying for water, the HIV/AIDS clinic not happening and all the entrance fees during excursion week.
I would recommend someone to come to Ghana and stay here. The family takes such good care of people here, doing their best to explain and understand American differences. I would recommend countryside or marvelous for a long term( the full weeks) volunteer project. I believe it could have been better if we had been at one site the entire service time. I would recommend the slave castle and canopy but not recommend Kumasi. The trip was not worth what we did there. I would for sure recommend a day in Accra like we did.

Program:
Location:
Posted: June 6, 2014
Overall:
8
Support:
10
Value:
9
By: Mcfeene
Age:
20

The food was a major part of why I had a seamless transition in Ghana. Most people get sick in various forms because of the transition of meal ingredients; however, because our meals were prepared in such a way as to ease us into the Ghanaian culture, we were able to be introduced to local dishes in a way that did not make us sick. Mary Ann was an amazing cook, preparing many dishes that I will miss when I return to America.
The family was wonderful. They have already become a major part of my life, just after merely three weeks. I love each person so much because of their kindness. They attempted to accommodate every aspect of our desires and made us all feel at home. As this is my first time out of the United States, I would have had very difficult time adjusting to this new environment if I had not been with such an amazing family. Each member of the family made me laugh so much, and in the end, they made me cry with each goodbye. They are lovely, lovely people. Franklin is such an amazing man who goes out of his way, above and beyond to make sure that everyone in his house feels safe, happy, and comfortable. Wisdom has always been there to answer any questions I have and has really helped give me the most cultural knowledge he could about Ghana. Mary and Josephine have had me laughing from day one, becoming my sisters almost immediately. Mary Ann is the wise eldest sister, always going out of her way to make dishes that everyone would enjoy, give hugs to everyone when they need them most, and keeping the house spotless at all times. Joyce and Cynthia were always kind to me, giving me hugs when I walk through the door and helping Mary Ann cook amazing dishes and clean the house.
The service was amazing. The family went out of their way to be as accommodating as possible and went beyond that to make us feel like we were family. I could not have asked for better service.
Even though I did not receive as much information as I would have liked before my trip to Ghana, I think that Rustic did a wonderful job arranging our flight and housing destination.
I would definitely recommend this exact trip to anyone and everyone. I will also be returning for a second time because I enjoyed the family and location so much.

Program:
Location:
Posted: June 6, 2014
Overall:
10
Support:
10
Value:
10
By: Summer
Age:
21

I can honestly say that in my preparations to Ghana, I wasn’t sure what to expect. After getting of the plane and getting through customs, franklin and the family were nothing but comforting. As soon as we got off the tro tro, we were immediately shown to our sleeping rooms. Everything was clean and tidy for a great night of sleep. Even though beds may not be up to other’s standards, I slept knowing it was the best the family could offer and I was blessed to know how much they care. Every morning we wake up to a breakfast prepared on the table to energize us for the day of service. I never went hungry on this trip because I was always offered healing servings and seconds when that wasn’t still enough. Some people might be skeptical to try traditional Ghanaian food, but I would encourage everyone to try it-because not only will you not find it anywhere else in the world, but you can taste the love it was made with.
The support from the host family and staff was incredible. Not only did they provide a safe environment to relax in but they truly cared how I was doing/feeling every day. Without their love and daily support, I don’t think I would have had such an easy time that I experienced.
Unfortunately, the HIV/AIDS clinic program was suspended while I was here, which is what I am passionate about. Even though my expectations dropped, I still had a wonderful time at the schools and orphanages. I do not like teaching. However, the children still taught me so much about myself. The amount of love that the Ghanaians give is incredible.
I would 100% recommend this experience to others. I can say that with confidence because I plan on coming back to this house when I return to Ghana. Rustic provided a lot of insight about the culture and what to expect. I felt really comfortable and relaxed before this trip because of the ease of communication between parties. If anyone has doubts about this program or visiting the beautiful country of Ghana, I say you forget about your worries and book your trip now. I have done nothing better in my life thus far.

Program:
Location:
Posted: May 31, 2014
Overall:
10
Support:
10
Value:
10
By: wages
Age:
23

Thank you and the family for your great hospitality! The food was absolutely amazing. I love how you all kept in mind the various food allergies among the group. It was nice of you all to start us out with the food that we are familiar with then eased us into the food of the Ghanaian culture. Thank you all for letting 15 strangers into your lovely home. You all welcomed us and made us feel as if we belong here. You all made sure that each and every one of us was comfortable and supported. This family offered us so much with what you all had and you expected nothing in return. I can only imagine how difficult it is to cook,clean, and shelter so many individuals at once but you all did an amazing job with that. I LOVE spicy food so that was never an issue. Overall, the accommodation and food was beyond my expectations.
Thank you Franklin and the family for the support we have received from you. During my stay here, I have never felt alone or felt as if I wasn’t part of this family. Each and everyday,the family greeted me and made sure I was feeling okay. Back in America,it is harder than here for individuals to even speak to you let alone ask how was your day. Not once during my my stay here did the family treat me any different from the other 14 volunteers and for that I thank you all. I can honestly say that during these two weeks here I have smiled more than ever,a big part of that comes from this wonderful family. We have made a great connection.
The overall placement of the trip was phenomenal. As much as I hated the teaching aspect because I’m not passionate about teaching at all. I absolutely loved the children at every location. Going into this trip I had no idea what I’d be doing, but I knew that I wanted to make a difference. It was heart breaking to see the structure and the needs of the school, I just wish that we would have done things outside of teaching that the school, teachers, students and headmasters could look at each day and remember us. Each placement was definitely a different experience which I like a lot because we got the opportunity to see how each location varied. I also wish that we had more structure as to what we’d be doing at the different sites. Overall, the joy of the kids, teachers and headmasters impacted me more than anything. I knew that I couldn’t come here and change everything, but I did know that I’d made a difference in someone’s life just by a simple smile, hug, nurture and exposure to something different.
Without a doubt, I would recommend my experience to others. When I first began to tell people about me going to Africa, almost everyone had a negative comment that went along with the negative stereotypes of Africa; however, I didn’t let that stop me because this was always a dream of mine. Recommending this to others will spread the awareness needed to impact others and make a change in Ghana. The more people I’m able to recommend this experience to is definitely the better. I know that I’d be able to share such positive things about Ghana to make others want to experience the same thing. What you all are doing for volunteers is absolutely amazing, just continue to do it. Eventually, this will go beyond just Ghana, it will reach other aspects of Africa as a whole. God bless you all and thank you so much.

Program:
Location:
Posted: May 31, 2014
Overall:
10
Support:
10
Value:
10
By: Porscha
Age:
22

I can’t imagine experiencing Ghana in any other way but living here at this house. The accommodations and food were better than I expected. I feel as though I am at home. The house is gorgeous and there is so much love here. The food the girls prepare is fantastic. I love that they eased us into traditional Ghanaian food through replicating food we had in America. Even though sleeping arrangements were sometimes hot and uncomfortable, the family made sure we had everything we needed at all times. They replaced fans when we needed it, fixed us more food when we were hungry and by showing us unconditional love.
The support from the host family was unmatched. I always felt loved and cared for. They are an amazing family who has had years of experience working with volunteers and that shows. The sisters, Wisdom and Franklin were always around for questions we needed answered,trips to the market or our volunteer placements and for fellowship. I learned so much from the family and I’m happy to know I have my own Ghanaian family over here in Africa that I will never forget.
I was placed for volunteer work in four different schools/orphanages: Marvellous international, Good shepherd international,countryside orphanage and Christ outreach. All of these placements taught me so much. I built incredible relationships with many of the teachers I met and of course lots of the children. I enjoyed being able to experience four different placements and to be able to compare all of them. My favourite placement was the first place I went, Marvellous international school. The staff and students there are amazing and I hope to do more work with them in future.
I would definitely recommend this experience to everyone I know, especially my fellow teacher friends. I came here and was able to do what I love, which is teaching. I would also make sure my friends stayed with this host family in Kasoa. Even just experiencing Accra one day, I realized just how different my experience would have been if we were placed in the city. Here in Kasoa we are what seems like the only obronis. It’s a lot of fun.

Program:
Location:
Posted: May 31, 2014
Overall:
10
Support:
10
Value:
10
By: Kayley
Age:
22

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