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The friendliness of the people and the natural beauty of the country have made Ghana the perfect place to volunteer for me. I have enjoyed speaking to the locals and learning the Twi language whilst in Nkwanta and on my travels. The children at the orphanage make the experience unforgettable and are quite humbling. My happiest moment was when we were all sat around and the kids started singing a song for us in Twi. My saddest moment was when the kids went 1.0 down in the local derby. My biggest regret is not staying for longer and the kids are praying for me to get a good job after university so that I might be able to go back!
My favorite moments were all the little times we saw improvement in behavior or new learning with the preschool students I worked with. They all had disabilities, so every little gain was a big victory. The best day was when Nely (a new student with developmental delays and some autistic characteristics) actually sat down at the table and ate her entire lunch with a spoon and without any tantrums. This sounds like a normal expectation, but for this child who had to be fed hand over hand at a separate table with much screaming, crying, and throwing of food only the day before, this was a huge gain.
I also loved all the extra travel! Costa Rica is incredibly beautiful. I could go there again and again and have a different experience each time.
Im back home from Peru and have finally settled back into routine here..
I wanted to let you know that I had an incredible experience in Lima and Lidia and her family were wonderful! I felt really comfortable and safe!
I just wanted to write and let you know I made it home. What a WONDERFUL six weeks I had in Palampur. The sponsors and my family were both great. They were always there whenever we missed a bus, had questions, or just needed someone to bounce ideas off of. The little daycare was run by a wonderful woman who had the interest of the children in the forefront. We were able to leave behind a written curriculum for about 4 to 6 weeks that other volunteers can come in and repeat with very little effort.
We had an amazing time with the orphanage. We were brokenhearted to leave. Thank you IVHQ for all you did to make this such a life-changing, amazing experience for us.
I liked meeting so many different people. All the kids were very fun and willing to learn despite their struggles. My host family and the other volunteers also were so much nicer than I ever could have expected. I am really glad that I had the chance to go to another country and help. It is not something most people have the chance to do, but IVHQ allows more people to help around the world with low fees and kindness
Everything has gone according to plan and the volunteer house has been excellent in their organisation. The volunteer house is perfect for volunteers, the rooms are clean and neat, all the basic needs that we require.
The people running the orientation were all very helpful and the program was perfect for us, it gave us the basics and we can learn more as we go along. If there were any questions, they were all answered well. The tour on Monday afternoon was also a good "taster" for some of the city highlights. I could sense that some people had no idea of the significance of S-21, so it was a good education for them into some of the recent history of Cambodia.
I am glad we are doing 3 weeks as this first week is all about getting used to the city, the people, the placement, etc. I feel that the next 2 weeks will be productive and worthwhile, however, I am sure it will be us that will get more out of the experience than what we can give back.
Cherie and I are doing great here at Phnom Penh and everything has been running smoothly so far. Settling in wasn't a problem at all and we are enjoying ourselves at our placement at Joy Day Care Centre. It was great meeting many other volunteers here and also interacting with the local Tuk Tuk drivers and visiting the local shops and markets. We have been diligently taking photos and certainly hope that we will have a chance at the photo competition. We have also been jotting down our daily experiences into our diaries to keep them as fond memories and also to share with others our journey as a volunteer.
Arya Kanya was a beautiful orphanage and the girls were unbelievable - so happy that I ended up there and was very emotional to leave after getting close with the girls. I feel that I made many of the girls smile and I was helping in any way that I could! I tutored a lot of the children and they were very thankful and made gifts on our last day! So it was definitely a worthwhile and sentimental experience.
Everyday was memorable! But especially going to the the Taj Mahal, meeting the volunteers, riding on elephants and spending time with 95 precious girls.
I love it here..Everything is going great. I'm having a good time and love the children. I have enjoyed and experienced a lot. Thank You to IVHQ and to the local team all were helpful.