Volunteer Name: Camila Gaudin Gonzalez
Location: Lusaka, Zambia
Volunteer At: Orphanage/Youth Project
I do not think I can pinpoint one memory as my favorite, but I know that I will always remember all of the people I met and the important things that I learned. I loved sitting at dinner talking with Olivia who is so interesting and has so much to talk about. Meeting all of the other volunteers was life changing as well as meeting the Zambians.
The most difficult thing I experienced was my bus ride to Victoria Falls. I saw a man get beaten and then brought onto our bus and whipped. I have never seen anything like that and it was really hard for me to see.
I wish I was better prepared for the food. I wish I had brought a lot more food and healthy food. While my host family did have food, it was not food that my body was used to and so that was hard on my body for 7 weeks.
One thing is that if you want to be able to use a phone while being there your best bet is to bring an unlocked iphone or blackberry and then just buy a sim card when you get there (a sim card is only 5 kwacha). Bring comfortable walking shoes. Go to Lilayi Elephant Orphanage, Chaminuka Lodge (where you walk cheetahs), Victoria Falls. Take at least one trip into town. Do not be afraid of the bus, it is a big part of the experience.
The staff in the US was helpful before the trip and checked in during the trip but was not really needed while in Zambia because Josphat and Olivia were there for whatever was needed.
Going to Zambia changed my life. I think that every single person should spend at least some time in Africa so that they can get a new perspective. There were times when it was hard but by the end of my 7 weeks I was so comfortable there that it was hard to leave.
Yes I am more than willing to speak to other volunteers.