What was a daily schedule at the program/ hours volunteered?
Monday to Friday from about 9am-5pm. Mornings at the hospital sometimes included meetings, checking in with medical director and being assigned a project or patient.
What was the most surprising thing you experienced?
- Accommodation - Having my own bedroom in the guest house
- Program - lack of equipment and some lack of medical knowledge by local healthcare staff
- Country - social norms between Kenyans - very friendly and open.
What was the most challenging thing you experienced?
- Accommodation - adapting to time change
- Program - adapting my skills to the context of the hospital standards and norms
- Country - recognizing that many challenges faced by the people are fueled by politics
Any tips for future volunteers....(clothing, travel, personal items, donations)
Leave expectations at home, be open and caring and do not hesitate to try to connect. Locals are as curious about you as you are about them. Make friends!
Other things volunteers should know before traveling to Kenya
- Accommodations - Nothing to note, home stay was perfect
- Program - expect the local medical staff to take some time to get comfortable with you, and you interacting with the patients.
- Country - everyone speaks English but not everyone understands to "american" accent. Be patient. Speak slowly and avoid expressions.
Personal Paragraph about the experience (ABV Program Testimonial)
My transition to the hospital was made smooth by the local staff who have been welcoming and friendly. ABV Coordinator Gilbert was by my side any time I needed him.This was an amazing experience in such a different culture, and it was unique to discover that medicine is not truly all that different. There is so much to learn, but you need to seek it out and be proactive. I am pleased to say that in just a week I was in Kenya I have learned so much and my time has been well spent, and I hope to return in the near future!
How would you describe your accommodation?
- Meals - delicious and accommodating to dietary needs
- Security - I felt very safe here
- Friendliness - everyone I met was very friendly and helpful, do not hesitate to initiate conversation
- Quality - Overall was surprisingly high. I expected harder circumstances both physically and socially and was pleasantly surprised by how my trip turned out.
How was the local ABV Coordinator/staff and the support provided in-county during services?
Great. Orientation and introduction was helpful, I would have liked more information on Kenyan cultural norms. My schedule was very accommodating to allow time at the hospital as well as local sightseeing. Any issues were solved with simple open communication.
What was your favorite memory of this trip? Learning the workings of different departments in the morning and observing with patients on rounds.
- Accommodations - sharing meals with my hosts and getting to know each other
- Program - observing an inguinal hernia repair in the OR
- Country - doing a Masai Mara safari
How was the ABV support prior to traveling?
Emails from ABV were very helpful to manage my expectations. Prompt answers to my questions and phone calls made me feel prepared and connected.
What do you think about about the ABV online reservation system?
very convenient. I think the system was great and easy to use and stay connected.
How did you hear about A Broader View?
recommended by a family friend
Are you wiling to speak to other potential ABV volunteers?