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Volunteer Diaries

First Step

Nirosha Balachandran's diary:

I took the first step today towards achieving one of my personal goals. I submitted my application to teach English in Zambia and Madagascar over Christmas 2015. So excited!!!

The love story continues....

Elke Wijnants's diary:

They always have to "modify" blog posts to assure it is no spam, so you read everything I write with more than a day delay. Sorry for that.

I was not planning on writing again so soon, but I wanted to say that I absolutely love my placement. It is a centre for abandoned kids ( abandoned because they have heavy mental and physical disabilities), that only has one staff member for about 20 kids, so whitout volunteers they would have to close down (they get no support from the government, they exist from donations). That makes we are really needed.

NBIC Day 1

Michelle Truong's diary:

My first day of placement at NBIC (National Boray for Infants and Children). Started off by dodging peak hour traffic on my walk to the main volunteer host house for breakfast. Only a few minutes into our tour of the orphanage, I was in tears. Never before had I been in the presence of very young disabled children. I could not believe how and why these children could be abandoned because of their disabilities. Some were laying so helpless on the floor, stuck in one position as their bodies physically do not allow for them to be placed in any other position.

It's really happening!!!

Bunmi Odubanjo's diary:

So I've decided to travel to eight countries in the space of five months, and volunteer in each of these locations. A guaranteed 6 with IVHQ, and an extra 1 if time permits...

In the space of nine days I've applied to seven locations, being accepted at all of them, completed my registration payments (x7) and purchase my flight tickets.

The remainaing two items on this weeks To Do list, are to purchase my travel insurance and apply and submit by criminal bureau check application. Been told it can take up to eights weeks....

View from the kitchen.

Day 1.

Farhanah Jeewa's diary:

They journey to Frankfort was lovely, it was short and simple. Everything was on time and there was nothing to stress about and the fact that I was travelling on my own made it better, I had no one to worry about.
After getting into Germany things changed, I did not understand the language and if anyone has been to Frankfort airport you must know how huge it is. To get from one gate to the next there's trams to take.
I had 50 minutes to get to my next flight and then I met a lovely lady with two kids who pointed me in the right direction. Just got there on time.

The start of something beautiful

Elke Wijnants's diary:

First, this is a qwerty clavier, so just like last year: sorry for the typing mistakes.

Then, I introduce you to my new name: Elka. No one seems to be able to pronounce my name - or they made very ugly things of it, like "Elk", so Elka it is.

Getting Started

Rachel Johansen's diary:

A whim followed by some google searches and further research...

All of a sudden I'm heading to Zambia in less than 3 months. There is plenty to accomplish in that short amount of time. Supplies to buy, flights to book, money to raise, visas to attain, foot to replace, etc.- you know, the typical travel preparations.

Day one: From Colombo to Kandy

Ayla Duggan's diary:

There are 3 wheeled cabs everywhere called tuktuks! They look so neat detailed and personalized by each driver with paint and stencils. I feel like Clever getting excited over the yellow cabs. Must remember to get some pictures. Also, a lot of motorcycles and bicycles, all sharing the two lane roads with pedestrians, trucks, vans buses, etc. It felt a bit like chaos riding from the airport in Colombo to the Green House in Kandy. As jet lagged as I was, I stayed alert the whole way; partially because everything was so new and interesting and partially out of self preservation.

The planning begins

Paul Bowell's diary:

Monday 3 August 2015 - Dairy entry 1.

The planning begins

Today I paid my registration fees and the interactive site at IVHQ got opened to me. The excitement levels in me are high. For the first time the reality of this amazing opportunity has materialised. I can’t wait to read all the information provided by IVHQ and start preparing for my trip to Ghana.

Hello completed application...

Jackie Wu's diary:

So everything has been done and completed now, just going to order my money and then that's it.
Finding it a bit difficult to process that I'll be penniless when I come back - but its the process that's important personally. Hopefully I'll meet other volunteers in the same boat as me!
I believe I'm the first in my entire family to go somewhere completely foreign to us and embark on this adventure many don't have the guts to do. I'm hoping it will give me a little bit more of an idea of what I want in reality when I come back!