How would you describe/rate your experience working with the ABV staff in the USA? When I first emailed ABV and showed interest in the organization I was extremely pleased of the quick response and personal touch of the email and with Sarah Ehlers. She made me feel comfortable by answering all my questions and assisting me through the application process. If I wasn’t 100% sure of the organization before talking with Sarah Ehlers I was afterwards. She made me realize the great decision that I made going through ABV.
What was your favorite memory of this trip? My favorite memory of this trip was the people. Everyone was so friendly and kind. No one ever complained and people were always smiling. I felt welcomed everywhere I went and never felt unsafe in Kpando.
What was the most difficult thing you experienced? The most difficult thing I experienced was getting used to littering. I am a huge environmentalist and it was hard to watch people destroy our earth. I understand it is a cultural thing it was just hard to accept at first, although I did get used to it.
What was the one thing you wished you were better prepared for? All in all, I felt pretty prepared. Luckily I had spoken with a friend who had been to Ghana a few months prior to my trip. She helped me prepare a lot. She told me what she brought or what she wished she had brought.
Any tips for future volunteers… (clothing, travel, personal items, donations, sightseeing etc) Bring lots of snacks. I was fed three meals a day but it was nice having snacks from home to eat between meals. I would recommend a book about Ghana to help you get around and experience the real Ghana. Defiantly try to travel on the weekends. It made my trip that much better by experiencing other parts of the country.
How was the local ABV Director and the support provided in-country? I felt very safe in the town I was living in and the family I was living with. They are great people and made me feel safe and comfortable. Edem, the program director is a great guy with great ambitions but there were some concerns that I had about him during my trip. Edem has a big heart but he is very unorganized. I understand he has a lot on his plate but being unorganized is not something you can afford to have when working with volunteers on a daily basis.
Personal Paragraph (ABV Program Testimonial): My month in Ghana was one of the best experiences of my life. I could not have asked for a better location for my volunteer abroad adventure and working in an orphanage was the best part of it all! All the children were truly grateful and made me smile everyday. Being able to teach and share with them was a truly amazing experience.
Are you willing to speak to other potential ABV volunteers? yes!!
Melissa Volunteer Abroad in Kpando, Volta Region, Ghana
Volunteer Name: Melissa Somers
Project Location: Kpando, Volta Region, Ghana
Program Dates: August 15- September 13, 2012
Volunteered At: Orphange
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