Review Volunteer Laura Micksch in Ecuador Quito Health Care Program
1- How was the local ABV Coordinator/staff and the support provided in-country?
They were great! They were there when/if needed and a good orientation the first day I arrived in Ecuador.
2- What was the most surprising thing you experienced?
Program: How different things were done and how with less amenities available, the same things could be done as I do at my permanent job.
Country: How relaxed and calm everything seemed to be. Living in a city normally and going to another, the calmness of city life in Ecuador was refreshing.
3- What was the most challenging thing you experienced?
Program: The first week the language barrier was difficult. After a week, Spanish that I had learned in the past had come back and made it much easier but still, following doctor orders in Spanish was so different than just participating in a conversation in Spanish.
Country: Again the first week, not knowing the area and getting around being so different than what I was used to was sometimes difficult to get places but usually if I got "lost" I just explored the area I was in and enjoyed the random adventure.
4- Any tips for future volunteers… (clothing, travel, personal items, donations)
1. Pack for all weather especially if going to the jungle, coast and mountains.
2. If you're working in the same hospital, the equipment told to bring is not necessary, they have everything there and prefer you use their things instead of your own. Can be donated to a poor clinic if you want.
3. Things at the supermarket are expensive, especially imported products. Food and other things are better from markets.
4. The chocolate is delicious!
5.1-Other things volunteers should know before coming here:
a. You need to have 100US$ in cash for a deposit that you don't get back until your last day, so plan on being an extra amount or you will have to go to the ATM.
6- Personal Paragraph about the experience (ABV Program Testimonial):
This being my first time doing this type of thing, I really did not know what to expect! The city, the country, the people, the work, I absolutely loved it and was not ready to leave when it came to be that time. Being a nurse from the US I was finally staffed as a nurse. With some help In terms of learning how things are done there and also sometimes with the communication, I feel like I was helpful for them as well as got a lot out of it myself. The weekend trips and friends that I made through the organization as well as backpacking, in addition to my overall experience, was life changing and something I would definitely do again! In Ecuador or other countries for more variety!
7- How would you describe your accommodation, meals, security, friendliness, quality others:
Great host family experience, great friends from other countries, almost everyone is friendly and helpful, and the food is delicious!
8- What was your favorite memory of this trip?:
Program: Amazing experience, loved the staff and everything I learned!
Host Family: great cultural and language immersion! The food, the family, the living conditions were all wonderful!
Country: being in a city where things are so different than the city I live in really made me see things of life in a different way! I loved the country from the different travels and city where I was actually living!
9- How was the ABV USA support prior traveling?
Everyone was helpful! The people from the US as well as the local staff in Ecuador.
9.1- What do you think about the reservation system online?
It was fine. No complaints.
10 – Are you willing to speak to other potential ABV volunteers?