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CADIP

On May 3rd I began a journey from Halifax N.S. to Iceland through CADIP. I didn’t realize how life changing the experience would be. I always knew I wanted to visit the land of ice and fire and fortunately my experience through the volunteer organization helped me to realize my goal earlier than expected. At 18 I was new at travelling on my own. I had already visited many different countries throughout my lifetime but had always been part of a family or organized group with people I knew. CADIP helped me to feel at ease and answered any questions I had early on during the planning phase. They assured me I would be well looked after once I arrived at the planned destination and that I would enjoy my time. They were not mistaken. I left my home, alone and initially overwhelmed by the task at hand. I would transfer airports, arrive in Iceland knowing no-one, get money, make my way to Reykjavik, find my guest-house, spend a day and a night alone, completely alone, and then make my way to the meeting point where I would begin my two week volunteering experience alongside others I had never met. I didn’t know what to expect and it terrified me. I am an introvert by nature and I knew that this journey would be an important first step towards learning more about my strengths and abilities. I had to rely on myself and step outside my comfort zone. On the morning of the 5th of May I ordered a taxi and made my way to the meeting point. CADIP and the affiliated volunteer office in Iceland had organized several excursions for us to join and the first of three amazing tours was combined with making our way to the Hveragerdi where I would spend the next two weeks. It was a great introduction to a place that had already captivated me from landing. The landscape was exhilarating and more dramatic than I ever imagined. I arrived in Hveragerdi after a day that put me completely at ease in my new surroundings hoping that the workcamp would be a peaceful place where I could learn and explore and breathe after an exhausting first year of university. It was more. I was given my own basic room in a dorm or what I like to call cabin of sorts. I love my sleeping bag so I felt right at home and comfortable once I was settled in. Ours was a small group; Canadian, French, German, Latvian, Korean and Italian. I was the youngest and initially I was a little worried about how I would fit in. I shouldn’t have been. It was the best experience. I met the most wonderful, dynamic, interesting people who have inspired me to continue travelling, alone, discovering all the wonders that the world has to offer including unique friendships with strangers. The countryside was beautiful with every angle and view postcard perfect. I love the outdoors and Iceland is definitely the ultimate outdoor enthusiasts paradise. We hiked, we rested in the hot springs, we travelled to new places every weekend, we enjoyed the sights and tastes that our small town had to offer and oh yes, we worked and learned a great deal. Our primary role was to help in the greenhouses and on the NLFI grounds. I thoroughly enjoyed all the interesting and helpful information that was bestowed on us everyday. I have brought my new found knowledge home and use it for our family vegetable garden. I will never forget what I learned or the kindness and patience of the environment in which it was taught. I have to admit the very best part of the adventure, aside from the people, sights, excursions, pools, hot springs, bakery, glaciers, colours, sheep, horses, work, earth-quake and Icelandic air to name only a few, was the food. I am a foody. A vegetarian foody and I love to eat. I enjoyed, no I celebrated, every meal. I have never eaten as healthy or as well (sorry mom). I loved the food so much I would cut short any outings just so I could be back and sitting at the table for meal time. Thank you to the wonderful chefs who put together the meals that sustained me and brought me such joy. Initially I thought that my days in Iceland would drag, that I would be constantly wishing away the time until I was back with the familiar in Halifax. On May 3rd I left my family and home with tears and on May 19th I left new friends and Iceland with tears. I will never forget my journey or the life changing lessons I learned while overcoming my apprehension. Can I make it on my own? Yes I definitely can. Thank you CADIP for offering me the opportunity to realize this.

Program: Volunteer Abroad
Location: Iceland
Posted: Jul 19, 2017
Overall:
10
Support:
10
Value:
10

RCDP Nepal

I really enjoyed Ghana. People are really nice and welcoming, sometimes a bit too much. I genuinely really enjoyed the people and the country. My host Franklin was extremely welcoming. I felt at home from the moment i arrived. the whole family was very nice. the room in which i slept was perfect, it was spacious, the bed was comfortable and i wasn't hot. The house was very convenient too. the food was good but a little bit repetitive and we had too much food to eat for breakfast sometimes. We taught kids in Countryside orphanage. We gave them French, Maths, Science, English and Art lessons We also taught songs to the children in Kindergarten. Outside of school hours we played with the kids and they followed us everywhere. The weekends we went on excursions to canopy walk and slave castle in Cape Coast, went to the beach and also rested at home. We were constantly supported at home. We were never left on our own and the same thing in the orphanage. However if we wanted to go somewhere on our own during the day we were free to do so. I would recommend this experience a million times. It was such a wonderful out of the ordinary and enriching experience. it also gives the opportunity to discover a whole different culture and country in a total immersion due to staying with local people

Program: Volunteer Abroad
Location: Ghana
Posted: Jul 19, 2017
Overall:
10
Support:
10
Value:
10

RCDP International Volunteer Abroad

I had a fantastic stay in Ghana which is a very welcoming country. Ghanaians are very friendly but sometimes a bit too much. Franklin our host and his family were incredible. i could not have felt more at home. the accommodation was great, we had our privacy and lots of space. The food was delicious even though sometimes too spicy for me but very varied and we got to taste many different local foods which was great. during my two-week stay, i worked at an orphanage teaching children of different ages school subjects such as mathematics, french or English, played, cared and had a lot of fun with them. the children are so caring, sometimes stubborn but enriched my experience here in so many ways. in our spare time, we visited the market, the beach, a slave castle in Cape Coast and went on a canopy walk. these activities permitted for me to discover Ghanaian culture and made my trip very exciting and full of emotions. if i ever had a problem,i knew i could count on Franklin,his daughters or anyone at the orphanage. The people are so caring that i felt constantly well supported. i would greatly recommend my experience in Ghana if you wish to discover a new culture, help children and come back as a different human being. this trip was eye-opening, so gratifying and a magical experience.

Program: Volunteer Abroad
Location: Ghana
Posted: Jul 19, 2017
Overall:
10
Support:
10
Value:
10

Discover Corps

The Galapagos Islands program was OUTSTANDING. My mother and I took a 10-day family volunteer travel trip together. As an Ivy League graduate who is very well traveled, I have very high expectations in looking for trips that give me exclusive access to being immersed in the local environment. Discover Corps delivered very strongly on this. We both had such a good time, and this company puts some of the extra touches on this trip that make it memorable. Thank you very much, and now I need to think about where we want to go next.

Program:
Location: Ecuador
Posted: Jul 17, 2017
Overall:
10
Support:
10
Value:
10

Institute for Field Research Expeditions - IFRE

I would not recommend signing on with IFRE. My daughter is currently an IFRE volunteer in Quetzaltenango, Guatemala.. She was supposed to start her medical volunteer work today. However, the IFRE worker in Quetzaltenango told her she could not start today because of some cleaning work being done in the hospital! She is very disappointed, and we are wondering if a volunteer position was ever even arranged. IFRE stated that volunteers will live with local families who are respected members of the community. However, my daughter's "home stay" is in a boarding house run by an older woman. No family members are there. There is no shared living room, just individual rooms for rent. Her room has torn bedding and blankets. In addition, no towel or toilet paper is provided. If the situation is improved, I will post a follow-up review.

Program: Volunteer Abroad
Location: Guatemala
Posted: Jul 17, 2017
Overall:
2
Support:
2
Value:
1

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