1- How was the local Coordinator/staff and the support provided in-country? The support I received exceeded my expectations. I was well taken care off and help was always a phone call away.
2- What was the most surprising thing you experienced? The way foreigners are referred to as “muzungus” which roughly translates to “white person”.
3- What was most difficult to experience? Feeling sorrow for the families I had to visit in the communities. My director had me visit local families who had been living with HIV/AIDS in order to check up and help them when needed.
4- Any tips for future volunteers… (clothing, travel, personal items, donations) Get a bulk of cheap clothes and medicines that, if you choose to do so, you could leave behind for orphans. Also expect to help out the orphanage or etc. financially as most are crippled in that perspective.
4.1-Other things volunteers should know:
a.- Get first aid kit
b.- Be aware of “muzungu pricing”, which is common for local goods. You will almost always be given a price which is higher than standard.
c.- collect local taxi numbers for personal use at night
d.- keep hand sanitizers & toilet paper with you at all times
5- Personal Paragraph (ABV Program Testimonial):
This has been a very eye opening experience for me. I look forward to the many more volunteer adventures I plan on having. Also, if I was to travel with a volunteer program, ABV would definitely be the first pick.
6- How would you describe your accommodation, meals, security (e: host family, on-site, shared)
The accommodation was very pleasant indeed. The food was good and the house was always kept clean. The residence is also very private and gives you the feeling of security.
7- What was your favorite memory of this trip?
There are too many memories to count. The people, volunteers and my hosts will stick in my memory though.
8.- How was the ABV USA support prior traveling?
Very good. They were always very quick and helpful when it came to responding to my emails and calls.
9 – Are you willing to speak to other potential ABV volunteers
Yes I am definitely willing to speak to potential volunteers given prior notice.