Volunteer Name: Taylor Carpentier
Project Location: Belize
Program Dates: From 08/11/2014  to  08/25/2014
Volunteered at: Children’s Home

1- How was the local ABV Coordinator and the support provided in-country?
Very nice and helpful! I felt at ease talking to them, which was especially great because it was a little scary going to a country all alone.

2- What was the most surprising thing you experienced?
By far the most surprising thing I faced was the heat. I was not expecting it to be as hot as it was, and at times it was quite unbearable. I was prepared for the bugs because I read the warnings of them in other reviews.

3- What was most difficult situation you experienced or had to overcome?
The most difficult situation I experienced was adjusting to the heat. I was not used to it to it took a while to become accustom to it. I found it helpful to wear a baseball cap and drink plenty of water to help me do so.

4- Any tips for future volunteers… (clothing, travel, personal items, donations)
I would suggest wearing long pants starting around 5PM to prevent getting as many bug bites. I would also suggest bug repellant with a good amount of DEET. I would also suggest bringing U.S. dollars in smaller denominations because it was easier to use those at the smaller local shops.

4.1-Other things/tips for future volunteers:
Come with ideas and things to do with the children. They love learning new games! Also it is a very laid back environment which was one of my favorite things about it. If you ever need to take a break and go inside to cool down, you can do so by all means!

5- Personal Paragraph (ABV Program Testimonial):
I had so much fun on my trip and I thought it was an amazing experience. All of the adults and staff on campus were so welcoming and the children were absolutely amazing. They were very open in getting to know me and the other volunteers and I made great connections with all of them individually!

6- How would you describe/rate your accommodation, meals, security (e: host family, on-site, shared).  Any suggestions for improvement?
I would rate the accommodations very highly. The meals were basic, but still very good. I felt very secure at the home because I could lock up where I was staying and there was a security guard on duty every night. Where I slept was even better than I expected. There were fans, the bed was bigger than I expected, and there was also wifi where I stayed.

7- What was your favorite memory of this trip?
My favorite memory of this trip was the dance party the children had one night. It was so amazing to see them all come together and having such a great time. It was an amazing cultural experience!

8.- How was the communication and support you received from ABV prior to traveling? Any suggestions for improvement?
The communication prior to my trip was amazing. ABV was very good in getting back to my e-mails quickly and they always answered my questions thoroughly.

9 – Are you willing to email/speak to potential volunteers about your ABV experience?
I would love to!

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