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Review Volunteer Elle Weberling in PERU Cusco at the Orphanage program
2- What was the most surprising thing you experienced?Program: I was surprised by how large the complex was. I was able to help in all different kinds of places like a ceramics class and the kitchen.Host Family: Here in Peru, people eat a large lunch and very little for dinner. This threw me off the first few days but now I am used to it and prefer it.Another surprise was how similar the house was to one in the United States, I immediately felt at home and had no trouble settling in.Country: I am still shocked by how crazy people drive here. You have to be careful in the streets because drivers have little regard for traffic signs and signals.
3- What was the most challenging thing you experienced? Program: The language barrier was most noticeable at the orphanage. It took me a week to feel comfortable enough to try out my Spanish but once I did I definitely learned a lot.Host Family: I did not really have any challenges with my host family. Maria Elena was such a nice host mother and helped me all along the way.Country: Again I would have to say the language barrier was the most difficult part of adjusting but now I feel pretty confident in my abilities after hearing Spanish almost exclusively for the past month.
4- Any tips for future volunteers… (clothing, travel, personal items, donations)
1. Bring things you wish to donate to your project with you on the plane. It. is much easier for everyone this way
2. Expect a relaxed pace
3. Bring lots of layers because the weather changes throughout the day.
4. Expect to spend more money than you think because there are so many wonderful things to do in Cuzco and Peru
5.1-Other things volunteers should know before coming here: (thats not in the orientation guide)a. Everyone will help you just have to ask.b. You can't be afraid to try out your language skills, practicing is how you learn the bestc. Be ready to hit the ground running.d. Expect flight delays and have the emergency ABV number handy in the airports.
7- How would you describe your accommodation, meals, security, friendliness, quality others: I was worried that I wouldn’t eat very well because I don’t eat beef or pork but Maria Elena was more than accommodating and the food was amazing. I also never felt unsafe or nervous walking around the city because everyone is so friendly and helpful.
8- What was your favorite memory of this trip?:
Program: One day there were ABV volunteers from another program visiting the home and the girls had the opportunity to ask them questions about their life or interests and one girl I knew really wanted to ask one in English but she didn’t know how. We worked for a few minutes on how to ask what their favorite sport was and she practiced until she felt comfortable enough to ask. She was so happy that she was able to do it and it was adorable.
Host Family: Maria Elena taught me how to make baked chicken with Coca Cola and it was so good. I was so excited that she taught me how to make something so that I can cook it for my family back at home to give them a taste of what my time here was like.
Country: Going to Lake Titicaca was absolutely beautiful and it was so interesting to see how the indigenous people live and work. It is different than anything I saw in Cuzco or Macchu Pichu, I was glad I got to see how different all the regions are.
9- How was the ABV USA support prior traveling? Everything I got was very helpful and I felt prepared for the trip. I did send one email about bringing hand me down clothes to the girls but I never got a response. I don’t know if it never went through or what happened but that was the only problem I had with support.ABV: we answer all the email 100% in less than 24 hours, it may have gone to spam perhaps?, If you don't get an answer for any reason, call our office or the chat online in our website.
9.1- What do you think about the reservation system online?The system was easy to understand and set up. I had no problems with the process.
9.2- Who did you find Abroaderview website I found abroaderview through a website that recommended a broad programs. I can't remember the name of the website now.
10 – Are you willing to speak to other potential ABV volunteers?
Of course. I would be happy to talk to anyone about the experience and I would highly encourage people to ask questions and do research before.
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One Nurse At A Time (ONAAT) is committed to lowering entry barriers for nurses interested in volunteer and humanitarian nursing. Whenever possible, ONAAT makes scholarship funds available to nurses to offset some trip costs. Scholarships of up to $1000.00 US Dollars per person per mission/trip may be awarded and are limited to one per nurse […]
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Volunteer: Sarah Yeazel - Location: Arusha, Tanzania
1- How was the local ABV Coordinator and the support provided in-country?
Review Volunteer Rachelle Valenzuela in Peru Cusco PreMed and Senior Center
Review Volunteer Patricia Martinez in Cusco Peru at the orphanage program
2) Another thing I discovered is that similar to the 2 other volunteers that were staying in my home while I was here many people come to volunteer for longer duration of time like 1 month to 3 months like some other people I met while in the city. This is encouraging to me because I hope to stay longer in the future and do more work in the orphanage and other places.
1) My host mother had the same name as my mother and I have the same name as her daughter, funny and happy coincidence.
2) Another interesting thing that I learned is that the altitude affects the inhabitants of the city and how it operates. While I was here I noticed that breakfasts were light, lunches were enormous involving a few courses which were deliciously prepared. Dinner unlike the US were super light if nothing at all, tea and crackers maybe or some coffee but because of the altitude you do not eat too much late at night because your digesting is affected. I hope to take that habit of eating light or nothing at dinner home with me.
1) I learned how the educational system works in Peru as far as how attending university here works; the public university is free if you pass a test they have. Otherwise if you do not then your options are pretty limited unless you come from a family that can afford to pay for your schooling. For those who do not that really limits the types of opportunities that you can have in life.
2) History History History! The city is rich with history and ancient architecture and I learned so much about the Incan people and how they lived, what they believed and about many of their rituals. Living here for only a short week has helped me to only scratch the surface about the Incan civilizations and has sparked a great interest in me to continue to learn and read about their lives and plan another trip of course. I hope to do a 4 day hike to Machu Picchu at some point and visit other neighboring cities, still so much more for me to see and explore here.
4- Any tips for future volunteers… (clothing, travel, personal items, donations)
1. My flight was cancelled/delayed so ensuring that you have the travel insurance is helpful.
2. Bring a jacket, I failed to recognize that it was winter here when I arrived and although much milder than my winters in Seattle the nights and mornings and some middays were very cold. Especially if you are doing any tours while here the climate may and probably will be colder depending where you go.
3. This is noted in our guide document but bring and take toilet paper with you as most toilets do not have.
5.1-Other things volunteers should know before coming here: (that is not in the orientation guide)
a. You will fall in love, with the people, the city, the culture, the food! b. Tourism is a big industry in the city, be wary of vendors who are attempting to make money off unsuspecting outsiders.
c. Your cell phone may or may not work, plan ahead and optimize internet time at your home if you have wifi (I did thank goodness) and or check restaurants and places that wifi is offered if needed
6- Personal Paragraph about the experience (ABV Program Testimonial): This was the first time I have done anything like this and at 37 I feel like I am way overdue. This is something that every person should do in my opinion right out of high school or right after college or at any stage of life really. What an amazing opportunity to combine visiting a new location seeing the sites of a new city with giving back to others. I knew I wanted to work with children and coming here I had no idea what age ranges I would get or whether they would be female or male. When I arrived I learned that it was an all girls orphanage ages from 11 to 17. In my mind I have a greater love for smaller children but without a doubt what I discovered is that these girls because they are not toddlers who usually get a lot of attention because of their age are ignored and are in greater need of the love and attention. This was the perfect mix for me, especially since I am a woman and was once a teenager myself I could see the desire to be accepted and struggles they faced as young women. This opportunity ignited a spark in me to seek out other young women who are in need of love and guidance and counsel in my own city as well as in Cusco and other places across the world. This is such a pivotal age for them and we have an amazing opportunity to speak into their lives right before they embark on their own journeys whatever that may be. This trip has changed me for the better, to do better, to be better and help empower others to also be better.
7- How would you describe your accommodation, meals, security, friendliness, quality others: I had my own room with a window and adjacent to the bathroom with plenty of blankets and a small closet to make my own while I was there. My meals were always prepared for me which were all deliciously prepared. There was always hot water on the table along with tea, coffee, cookies, breads etc for us to eat at any time of the day we needed. Even on the days I went on a tour and returned later there was still food ready for me to eat when I arrived home, so awesome! I was given my own key and was able to leave and return as my scheduled required. Maria Elena always made an effort to check in with me on my cell phone to make sure I was doing ok and if I needed anything, really nice and appreciated.
8- What was your favorite memory of this trip?: Program: One of my favorite memories will be sitting with the girls in the ceramics classroom listening to the sing songs on the radio and asking us to translate what the songs said. That same day they decided they wanted to dance, so we (me and Elle another volunteer) tried to dance with them which resulted in a lot of laughter. I saw myself in them and could relate so much, I will never forget that and hope and pray that they do well in their lives. Host Family: Having a big family lunch with Maria Elena and some family visiting one day, along with her daughter, and son in law and myself and 2 other volunteers. It was a feast of a meal and I felt like I was back home. Talk about language immersion, everyone was so interested in learning about us and us about them and all in Spanish and only a tiny bit of English. Country: Seeing the indigenous women in their native clothing, hats, back satchels carrying items or babies. I had never seen such a thing in my entire life and when I went on different Incan tours I could see them carrying lumber or different things, it made realize how lazy I am as an American and how ungrateful I have become for all of my luxuries that make my life so easy. I hope to walk more when I return home and not take some of these things for granted.
9- How was the ABV USA support prior traveling? (who helped you, emails, phone calls, chat online, how fast did you got an answer, did you got all your answers) I can honestly say that support was super smooth, I think I only had to send one email to ask something and the response was fast within one day. When my flight was cancelled and then delayed by a day I called the number on my guide and was answered immediately by someone who told me they got my info and would pass it to my host family and keep her updated. All went well when I arrived all smoothly handled.
9.1- What do you think about the reservation system online? Super easy, no glitches and straight forward with the tabs telling me what else I had left to do.
9.2- Who did you find Abroaderview website (keywords, search engine, word mouth to mouth, recommended by .., other) I just googled mission trips and came upon the website. I liked the option to filter by causes such as children and regions of the world, it helped make my selection super easy.
10 – Are you willing to speak to other potential ABV volunteers? Yes! Absolutely! Especially those in my age range but any age too
Review Volunteer Julia Casagrande in BELIZE at the Orphanage program
2- What was the most positive surprise you experienced?At the program: How accepting and loving the kids were. The first day at least a dozen kids just came up and hugged me and it really made me feel at home and a part of the family.At the accommodation: The accommodation was at the program, and I didn’t realize how much I would enjoy that. it was really nice because I could focus on the kids and working when I needed to and then go up and take a break when I needed to.About the country: I love all the colors. The houses, animals and buildings were all colorful and I loved how bright everything was.
3- What was most difficult/cultural shock to experience?At the program: I am close in age to a lot of these kids, and the difference in curriculum shocked me because it was so different than what we learn.At the accommodation: The humidity was hard to handle because it was so intense. I was prepared for it but it was still everywhere, all the time.The country: I walk through some residential areas to get to the post office one day and the poverty I saw was really shocking it’s one thing to know it’s there, but it’s another thing to see it.
4.1-Other things volunteers should know, about what to bring, what to do in country, what to eat, transportation, other:
a.- There is a lot to do in Belize, so make sure you go out and experience it. I went to an Island and Mayan Ruin and they are both amazing.
b.- There is some mango trees at the orphanage, make sure you try some of them and some fruits because it is nothing like back home.
c.- Bring a lot of bug spray and make sure it is strong!
d.- Everything you might need is in a walking distance, so take a walk.
5- Personal Paragraph (ABV Program Testimonial):My time in Belize is something I’ll remember for the rest of my life. It taught me independence, compassion and patience. I’m so thankful I got to spend time with these kids and these people. I learned so much and truly feel so fortunate to have been able to be here. It really made me want to travel more and volunteer more, so I am so glad I went at such a young age. I would instantly recommend this program to anyone.
6- How would you describe your accommodation, meals and security in detail:Everything was just fine. I am a vegetarian, they really accommodate meals very well. Even when I was the only volunteer here I never felt scared because the orphanage is very safe.
7- What was your favorite memory of this trip?
Program: Playing with the kids and seeing them laugh and smile.
Country: All the friendly people and how everyone here is so welcoming.
Tours: Snorkeling in Caye Caulker was Amazing! I’ve never seen anything so beautiful.
8.- How was the ABV USA support prior traveling? Communication (Phone/emails/Online chat): We were able to connect to ABV whenever and it was convenient and informative. Website Information: The website info was great and really told you all you needed to know.
9 – Are you willing to speak to other potential ABV volunteers? YES!
10 – Can you be specific how did you find or know about A Broader View? What keywords did you use, what did you search for. I search “Volunteer Abroad” and just kept clicking links, eventually I came across ABV.
Sadly, there are too many communities around the world in need of healthcare support and a few of them are desperate for the medical expertise that the modern world can offer. Some nations are actually struggling to keep their populations in basic good health. Most of these distressed countries gratefully long for any support they can get when it comes to the health of their citizens. This is where international healthcare volunteers can help tremendously. Whether you, as a nursing student or new professional, are eager to gain specialized experience, learn about public health issues, or are simply looking to be challenged in a multicultural environment, an international medical volunteer program can be a definitive and rewarding experience. Building your resume, creating a global network, learning a new language all while gaining valuable insight in third world medicine can be a life changing experience. The support our Nurse volunteers offer the doctors and hospitals in the poorest world areas is invaluable. The additional hands allow more patients to be seen, more medical testing to be performed, more medications to be distributed, and more life-saving information to be distributed.
Review Volunteer Alexis Bailey in Nepal Kathmandu PreMed Program.
Review Volunteer Lisa Duong Nepal Kathmandu PreMed Program.