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Global Crossroad

I was sent out to the small town of Ewuaso to work alongside a modernized Masai family. I assisted with the herding of the cattle, along with many others. My main job while I was there, was to learn as much as I could about the Masai. Questions were answered in the form of one of the sons, who of which I worked with to herd the cattle. He taught me about the different Masai age groups among men, as well as the value of family and the cattle. The mother taught me about how many of the Masai are converting over from indigenous beliefs to Christianity, and how many of the women are dealing with emotional issues from the polygamy beliefs of the traditional Masai. It was a very interesting visit, and I learned a whole lot. I will be going back in the future.

Program: Volunteer Abroad
Location: Kenya
Posted: Aug 31, 2015
Overall:
10
Support:
10
Value:
10

Institute for Field Research Expeditions - IFRE

I arrived in Kenya and was immediately picked up to my satisfaction even though the airport pickup fee was a bit high. I made it to Kibera, near Nairobi, where I stayed for a night at the country coordinator, Barnabas' home. The country coordinator and everyone else was very welcoming and courteous and made me feel at home.
The next day, I was driven to Maasai land where I stayed with a host family for four weeks. I helped with the family jewelry business and I learned a lot about how to make keyrings, bracelets, bangles, and necklaces. I also learned a lot about the Maasai culture, customs, and clothing. I even learned some Swahili during my stay.
I was very sad to leave but I can say that this has been an experience that I'll never forget. I made lifetime friends and connections with people across the world. Helping others, I have discovered more about myself and the people of Kenya.

Program: Volunteer Abroad
Location: Kenya
Posted: Aug 31, 2015
Overall:
9
Support:
8
Value:
10

Frontier

Having been to Mafia before I was apprehensive to come back. However seeing how the project has developed has been great. A much stronger collaboration with conservation organisations such as M.I.M.P and Sea Sense shows the lengths that people go to to ensure that Frontier contributes to the conservation of the environment.
Life on the Frontier camp is a good change compared to living at home, always being outside is a refreshing change compared to the average indoor lifestyle. Food on camp is varied and so tasty and is much needed after an active day diving.
The projects which are run cover a wide range of areas. The terrestrial and marine projects survey multiple sites across the island while the teaching program helps to teach English to the locals.
There is a great variety of dive sites which home a huge variety of wildlife which is a pleasure to see. Being able to collaborate with the Marine Park and go outside the bay to survey sites was a privilege, the change in habitat compared to the inner bay is good to see.
All of the staff be it Scientific or Teaching are all great at what they do, being an intern I was able to get to know all the people on camp really well and I've not met a group of nicer people and I'm going to be really sad to leave.

Program: Volunteer Abroad
Location: Tanzania
Posted: Aug 31, 2015
Overall:
10
Support:
10
Value:
10

Projects Abroad

For the past two years I have been researching for the perfect program and organization to volunteer abroad. I finally made the decision to travel to Cambodia as it is one of the poorest countries in Asia in need of English speaking volunteers. This trip turned out to be everything I expected it to be. The Projects Abroad staff was helpful and available every step of the way, the volunteer apartments were comfortable and very clean, the food was delicious, and every individual I met while volunteering was grateful for the work I and other volunteers were doing. In just two weeks it felt as if I completed a month’s worth of things on the Khmer Project. I not only was able to help a family in the rice fields and teach English in a school; but, I also learned about Cambodian culture through making a traditional Khmer puppet, cooking traditional Cambodian food, learning traditional Khmer dancing, learning the basics of the Khmer language, visiting the national museum, visiting the ancient temples in Siem Reap, visiting a floating village, meditating in a Buddhist temple in Phnom Penh, and visiting the areas of Cambodia that were used during the devastating Khmer Rouge. All of which was covered in my expenses. The experience was life changing in the way I was able to make friends with volunteers from all over the world, learn about Cambodia first-hand from my Cambodian coordinator who was with me every day, and most importantly how I was immediately exposed to the unfortunate circumstances of this very poor country by teaching young children and simply travelling around the country.
Volunteering is the best way to travel and the only way to truly understand and empathize with the inequalities of this world. As a student studying to become a social worker, this experience gives me an advantage on my resume, as well as the confidence to broaden my career goals to a global level. I left Cambodia an even greater advocate for change and I am already planning my next volunteer trip with Projects Abroad as my trip would not have been what it was without them!

Program: Volunteer Abroad
Location: Cambodia
Posted: Aug 30, 2015
Overall:
9
Support:
10
Value:
10

Frontier

Ever since being a child, the underwater world has fascinated me, I have only ever been as deep as my snorkel would allow me so the thought of diving to 30m sounded not only appealing but thrilling. Learning to dive on a small African Island, interacting with the local people, participating in scientific work and leaving Europe for the first time in my life were all factors which drew me to choose marine conservation in the Mafia Islands. In terms of activities, I was genuinely amazed. I had not expected to participate and experience the things I did. For example, one Sunday we embarked on a morning boat ride to Juani Island and followed a tour guid across the island to a beautiful open but rough sea. We were quickly greeted with squeals as baby turtles started to poke their heads out of the sand and scramble, one by one, down the runway (which had been cleared by the organisation that led our tip). It amazed me how each of them instinctively knew they must make a wild dash for the sea. They had only just been born! We watched some turtles struggle and fall into sand craters but finally each little soft grey turtle made it into the sea. 100% success rate. It was easy to be carried away by such an experience, when the last turtles arrived at the breaking waves, it was only natural to follow them into the water; still fully clothed and in possession of my digital camera! Almost everyone was in the water, and having lost sight of the last turtle we ventured to steep, foamy waves that were breaking on a coral bar further out to sea. It was immense fun being thrown around by the waves and jumping to greet each one. The entertainment continues, on another Sunday a group of us hired motorbikes and took a spectacularly beautiful journey across the island. Utende is essentially a dead end at the south east tip of the Island and as a passenger I marveled as the island unfolded beneath my eyes. We crossed the whole Island, passing through villages, each one completely unique in their infrastructure and character. Vibrant patches of colours from a distance would turn into communities joining for either prayers of form groups of children walking from school. We had to leave our paved road early on in the journey, the only tarmac road on the island was the one which linked Utende to Kilindoni (the main city of the island where our internal flight landed), and take to the dirt tracks. It was an adventure in itself, exploring different areas of our island and being thrown around at each bump and tossed upwards when hitting a ditch! I almost couldn't believe it was real when we heard monkeys calling in the trees. We parked our bikes and after frantically searching the tree tops, our gaze met a small monkey peering down at us. We concluded our outbound journey when we reached the lighthouse in the north. Our group were so excited by this sight, after hours of biking on sandy, rocky terrain, we had traversed our island.
Generally, the locals in the nearby village were warm and welcoming, when we told them we were part of Frontier, they nodded in approval and I felt a sense of pride. It was evident Frontier has worked hard over the years to maintain a strong relationship with the local people. This had been achieved through conservation measures, primary, secondary and adult teaching and above all respecting muslim traditions and rituals. I was lucky to have experienced the delights of the Mafia Island with the people I did alongside the wonderful memories we share.I absolutely loved my time in Africa, I cannot comment on other Frontier projects but it was really quite unique the way in which we had such a strong bond with the local community. I believe over the years Frontier have made a real effort to maintain such a strong relationship. The lady who cooked our meals and the two men who operated the boat were all locals. We were delivered rice, beans and flour in huge sacks from local villagers. I felt that the camp I lived in was not at all an imposition on the local community but rather an friendly interaction. There was something strangely satisfying about sorting through beans in the morning and throwing away the ones with holes as opposed to supermarket GM products packed in layers of packing. Without a doubt, I recommend to anyone looking for an adventure and a break from western society to seriously consider doing a Frontier project on your own. Discover yourself and a remarkable area of the world.

Program: Volunteer Abroad
Location: Tanzania
Posted: Aug 30, 2015
Overall:
10
Support:
10
Value:
10

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