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Love volunteer review
Submitted by Karolina - University of Warsaw | September 18, 2016
At first, you may find it a bit difficult to understand South Africa. But as long as you keep treating it with respect, you're guaranteed to find yourself deeply in love with this country, amazed by the variety of cultures and beliefs it represents. More than that, you'll find yourself admiring its liveliness and powerful nature, standing at the top of the Table Mountain, gazing at the ocean waves crushing at your feet.
Love Volunteers made my experience a truly unforgettable one, providing me with assistance on every step of my lone journey. I couldn't wish for being better taken care of! All the members of LV team are golden-hearted people - thoughtful, genuine and undoubtedly professional, with their adroit handling of all the volunteer programs.
Thanks to LV, I not only got a taste of South Africa, but a mouthful of its flavours.
I was placed in a community based clinic at Goodwood Day Hospital (Cape Town suburbs) and accommodated at a host family (5 min. walk to the clinic). Since I'm a pre-med student, I was surprised at the wide range of tasks I could get involved in. I was working along with the nurses and was allowed to:
- take blood pressure
- do urine and pregnancy tests
- take out stitches
- give tetanus injections
- clean wounds
- measure HGT and Hb levels
- fill in patients' files
- shadow the doctor
(Please note that while doing all those things I was always supervised by a nurse/doctor.)
This placement allowed me to get invaluable hands-on experience in the medical field, completing hours of direct patient care. I've developed a deep understanding of out-patient clinical care ad observed a great variety of casualties/cases/medical procedures performed.
I strongly recommend this program to all volunteers willing to step out of their comfort zone and not afraid of getting their hands dirty.
Love Volunteers responded to this review September 24, 2016 at 10:19 PM
Thanks so much for sharing such an informative and supportive review of our medical program in Cape Town. It's fantastic to hear that we at LV and our partner in SA surpassed your expectations :-)
It's abundantly clear that you loved being in Cape Town and the program itself and how much you were able to learn and do.
Thanks for being such an awesome volunteer and we wish you all the very best with the rest of your medical training and future career in this important feild.
The Team @ Love Volunteers
Costa Rica - Wildlife Rescue Center (Turrucares)
Submitted by Claudia - KU Leuven | September 01, 2016
Dear future volunteer,
My 3 weeks in Costa Rica were extraordinary, an experience that will always stay in my heart. This was the first time I traveled on my own, and so far away. Right before landing, I was getting a bit nervous, but at the airport, two members of the local team were waiting for me with two other volunteers that had just arrived. They drove us to the Animal Rescue Center and I remember it was raining really hard, since it was the rain season at that time.
During every morning on the following days, we had a meeting to assign different activities to volunteers. These activities consisted in maintaining the center (cleaning the cages, preparing the food, feeding the animals, rehabilitating some animals) and in working on the new center in another location very close to this one, where they would move a few weeks later. Some of the activities were not related to the animals, like helping to cook for the volunteers, cleaning the pool, collecting branches, and maintaining infrastructure. Animals in that center included sloths, capuchin monkeys, spider monkeys, howler monkeys, pet dogs, a pet goat, a baby porcupine, small parrots, scarlet macaws, marmosets, one olingo, two kinkajous, owls, and peacocks. I learned a lot about them, some evenings we even had lectures on a specific animal.
In our free time we read, swam in the swimming pool, played cards, called our families and friends (there was wifi there). This is one of the things that bothered me at first, that many volunteers were on their phones during free time, instead of socializing. Sometimes I wished there wasn't wifi right on the center. But after some days had passed, I also spent some time on my phone because I realized that it's very nice to keep in touch with your loved ones. Concerning free days, we took one or two days off per week. Me and other volunteers went to Montezuma, Manuel Antonio, Land of the Strays, and Los Chorros waterfall. On my birthday evening, we all went to a bar close-by to celebrate. What was even more amazing is that before going to the bar, after dinner, the manager and the coordinator brought by surprise two cakes to me and to another birthday girl, and we had 40 people singing happy birthday to us, which felt incredible.
Regarding accommodation, it was alright, but not great. The mattress was too thin so you could feel the metal bed frame, there were too many people in one room, it was a bit stuffy, and there was hardly any space to put your things. Besides, showers had only cold water. However, I realized that one gets used to anything. Once you return home, you really appreciate and are grateful for the usual level of comfort we have in developed countries. Note to future volunteers: the new center has new thicker mattresses and the rooms are way nicer, still a bit packed with too many people, but more pleasant :)
Now, about food, we had food three times a day. In the morning it was either rice and beans with eggs, or pancakes with syrup and fruits. The other meals were Costa Rican dishes. Some facts I realized about Costa Rica, especially in the rain season is that everything is humid (things don't completely dry, like hair and clothes); your skin is always hydrated without the need of creams;; there are no big brands in shops (i haven't been in big cities though), for instance one shop was called “clothes for babies”, instead of Mango or Zara; there are not many highways, but for this reason, buses go through very beautiful roads around nature; there are no traditional addresses, for instance, our center was located in 1 km to the southwest of the church of San Miguel de Turrucares :p and the post still works fine! Buses and cars can be very old and not well maintained. One low of the program is that at one point we were too many volunteers and had not enough activities for each one of us. It would be nicer to be less volunteers and feel more needed.
Nevertheless, overall, I'd recommend this program to whoever likes working with animals and helping them. In the meantime you'll meet some amazing people from around the world, you'll get to know a bit of Costa Rican culture and see a bit of this beautiful country. One tip: you could reserve a week or two to travel after staying at the center!
Love Volunteers responded to this review September 04, 2016 at 7:49 PM
Wow, your review is so helpful to future and potential volunteers on the Wildlife program in Costa Rica! Thanks heaps for taking the time to include so much detail. It's fantastic to hear about the work you were involved in with the animals and supporting volunteers.
How exciting to have been able to celebrate your birthday in their unique setting. We're so glad the local team made you feel special and welcomed.
All the very best for the future and thanks for being an awesome volunteer.
The Team @ Love Volunteers
Palestinian people are beyond awesome
Submitted by Anonymous - High School | August 30, 2016
Despite their harsh situation, the Palestinian people are the most hospitable and generous people imaginable!
The camp was also very well organized and the volunteers did not want to leave when it was over.
Program: International Summer Camp 2016!
Love Volunteers responded to this review September 04, 2016 at 7:53 PM
We couldn't agree more with this sentiment. Thanks so much for sharing your time and energy to help where it's needed most.
All the very best for the future.
The Team @ Love Volunteers
Teaching and assisting at schools
Submitted by u2ikmx | August 29, 2016
The time volunteering in Nepal was an unforgettable experience for me. If I had the opportunity to come back again, I would love to go there again. Thank you for giving me the chance to contribute in the education of those children and hope to cross lives once again in the future.
Love Volunteers responded to this review September 04, 2016 at 7:55 PM
Thanks for this great review of our programs in Palestine. It's wonderful to see the benefits our volunteers gain from volunteering. Giving is the very best way to reward yourself as well as others.
Thanks again and do come back and join us again sometime soon.
The Team @ Love Volunteers
My time in Palestine
Submitted by Kimberly Swafford - California State University, Sacramento | August 15, 2016
Volunteering for Love Volunteers and the local team was one of the best decisions I have made in my life. I spent three weeks in Nablus, Palestine and enjoyed every moment of my stay although time flew by and I wish that I could have stayed longer. Many people have asked me what my favorite part of my whole trip was and my answer has remained the same: the children. I spent almost every day in Askar Refugee Camp. Because the children were on summer break, the time I spent with them was for their summer camp. We did a variety of recreational activities such as drama, dabke (the Palestinian traditional dance), arts and crafts, games, and soccer. Volunteering in Palestine means being given the opportunity to provide a link to the outside world to the Palestinian people and helping to get their message out. It means spending time with children that have been affected by the violence while living under occupation and providing energy and activities with them to reduce lasting psychological effects. I recommend this experience to anyone who is given the opportunity; to see the occupation first-handed, to hear the personal accounts of the Palestinians, to help boost the resilience of the Palestinian children, and to help document the basic human rights that are neglected for the Palestinian people.
Program: Education Program in The West Bank
Love Volunteers responded to this review August 17, 2016 at 6:37 PM
What an amazing review of our incredible program in Nablus, Palestine! Thanks so much for sharing your experience :-)
Palestine can be a difficult location to access and we do encourage volunteers to know what's involved in advance and to undertake their journey with confidence. Reviews like yours help so much! We need more volunteers to let the Palestinian people know we care.
Thanks for being an amazing volunteer and we wish you all the very best for the future.
The Team @ Love Volunteers!