How would you describe/rate your experience working with the ABV staff in the USA? Everyone was very helpful and it was an easier process than I thought it would be thanks to them
How was the local ABV Director and the support provided in-country? She was very helpful and responded to my emails very quickly. There never came a time when I needed support provided in-country.
What was your favorite memory of this trip? Definitely playing with the kids and putting them to bed at the end of the day, that’s when we bonded the most.
What was the most difficult thing you experienced? Getting used to being dirty all the time but at the end I didn’t care because everyone was the same. But the worst was saying bye to the kids.
What was the one thing you wished you were better prepared for? I felt I was prepared for most things actually… I did get sick with malaria and common colds and a lot of volunteers had allergies from the dust. So maybe bring antibiotics and cold medication and if you don’t end up using it you can always leave it behind (they always need that stuff).
Any tips for future volunteers… (clothing, travel, personal items, donations, sightseeing etc) Dont give the donations to the social worker right away. I gave him a lot of my donations and he put them away in a room and I never saw them again. I also over packed. I lived in around 4 outfits (I know it’s gross) but everything gets stained red from the dirt there and washing was a pain in the butt. Also bring wipes for your face! They come in handy.
Personal Paragraph (ABV Program Testimonial): This trip really opened my eyes and now when I’m at home I don’t take simple things like a toilet, clean and running water, warm water for granted. I loved the food there but I REALLY missed my own cooking and eating anything that I craved but I got to experience their culture full on and unlike most tourists I took the matatu and boda-boda’s (local transportation) everywhere and tried all their food like chapati (my favorite) and ugali and a lot more. I also helped in the class room, which was so much fun. I got so attached to the kids and it made it so hard to leave but I hope I’ll go back in the next couple of years and see them again.
Are you willing to speak to other potential ABV volunteers? Sure!
Olivia Volunteer in Mayuko, Kenya
Volunteer Name: Olivia Kochuk
Project Location: Makuyu Keny
Program Dates: June 6-Aug 1, 2012
Volunteered At: orphanage
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