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Volunteer & Culture Experience

I arrived in Bali on April 1, 2014. The working and living environment in IHF Bali center was very clean. The co-directors were nice, and they often communicated with us volunteers to know our feelings. I met and worked with volunteers from other countries. The atmosphere in the center was like a big family. We lived near the sea, and the sound of waves was like a song accompanying us all the time. I liked this place.

I taught English classes for the students in 10 and 11 years old. They were very active and smart, and could acquire knowledge in a short time. I also taught computer classes. I tried my best to solve the Excel questions that students raised. Taught by another volunteer, I learned to woven bracelet. I felt achived when I made my first bracelet. The bracelets would be sold, and the income would be a part of the fund for the children.

On every Sunday, we volunteers traveled temples, volcano and beaches. The scenery was very beautiful. I liked Bali and the staffs in Bali center. They were not only my colleagues, but my brothers and sisters. One month went quickly, and I would miss the co-directors and other volunteers after going back to China.

Program:
Location:
Posted: Apr 23, 2014
Overall:
9
Support:
9
Value:
9

A Broader View (ABV)

The most surprising thing would be the culture change. I didn't know what to expect. I haven't traveled anywhere outside the US before so it was very different for me and I had to adjust. It was nice to see what else is out there in the world.
A difficult thing I experienced was seeing the lives some children have to live. I've been pretty sheltered living in Utah. It was sad and sometimes hard to see but it made me so grateful for what I have and made me realize how minimal my trials are.
I would definitely recommend if you're going to a country that speaks a different language to get a basic knowledge of it. The hardest thing for me was the language barrier. It would have been a lot easier to communicate effectively had I learned some Spanish before coming. I would also pack light. I didn't bring much for 3 months and I don't regret it. You don't need a lot to live.
Beatriz (my local coordinator) was so great! She showed me many places around the city and took me out frequently. I know if I ever needed anything I could call her and she would make sure it happened.
My host family was awesome! They treated me like I was part of the family from the beginning. They always made sure I was fed and comfortable. They showed concern and wanted me to be safe and I really like that.
Overall it was been a wonderful experience. I got to witness a different culture, meet some amazing people, and have so nice memories I'll keep with me for the rest of my life. It was eye opening to see a little part of the world away from home.

Program: Volunteer Abroad
Location: Peru
Posted: Apr 19, 2014
Overall:
10
Support:
10
Value:
10

A Broader View (ABV)

I volunteered in Ecuador Quito in the Centro de Salud from February 21st to April 14th and my time there was very rewarding. I would say it was the perfect mix of work, gaining experience and free time to see the country and have fun.
The apartment was full with volunteers, but still spacious (everyone had there own room). The meals were very good, and it was a fully modern apartment.
Ecuador is 99.9% Spanish only. Bring small denominations of US$ money. Have an open mind, plans change.


Program: Volunteer Abroad
Location: Ecuador
Posted: Apr 19, 2014
Overall:
10
Support:
10
Value:
10

Global Volunteer Network

I helped organize a trip through the GVN and my fiancé was sexually assaulted and her friend was also raped by one of the staff that they were placed with. Her trip was suppose to be 7 weeks. The last 2-3 weeks were not spent in the program, instead spending her own money for medical exams, filing police reports, and finally rescheduling her flights out of her own pocket as well. Of the $2500 paid to GVN, they kindly refunded her $395. What an absolute disgrace and a sick and terrible organization. I'm very supportive of volunteer organizations and whole heartedly believe in the good work that the local program was doing despite what happened. The disappointment lands in the handling of the matter by GVN. Beware. The larger GVN clearly does not care about their volunteers. The local programs that have little to no money did everything they could do to help with the situation. Shame on you GVN.

Program:
Location: Peru
Posted: Apr 19, 2014
Overall:
1
Support:
1
Value:
1

Frontier

An absolutely amazing experience. I honestly couldn't recommend it enough. A little pricey, but absolute nothing compared to what I've gained from the experience. Would reccomend this project 100%

Program:
Location: Madagascar
Posted: Apr 18, 2014
Overall:
10
Support:
10
Value:
8

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