I knew I was going to have some extra time between semesters this past year and wanted to spend some time volunteering abroad because: 1) I love to volunteer during my free time, and 2) I love to... Karol
Health and Safety
Making the Most of an Experience
Submitted by Karol - El Paso Baylor University | January 22, 2016
I knew I was going to have some extra time between semesters this past year and wanted to spend some time volunteering abroad because: 1) I love to volunteer during my free time, and 2) I love to travel. I wasn't sure where to begin my search so naturally I started online. I found several different programs boasting about what they have to offer, but I found the ones that had reviews from past volunteers to be the most helpful. Ultimately, I decided on ProjectsAbroad because they had many projects in various locations as well as across different professions. As I looked further into it, I decided that I wanted to do a medical project in Kenya.
I was pretty excited about my decision but the closer it got to my departure date the more nervous I became. I remember feeling incredibly anxious and afraid as I sat in the airport, about to board my final flight; up until then, I had never traveled outside of the United States by myself, especially to a continent that I had not visited in the past and with a culture completely different from anything I had ever experienced. Terrified, I looked for a ProjectsAbroad staff member to pick me up at the airport and I found him fairly easily. Peter was friendly and helped ease my nerves, and he was not the last of the staff members that made the solo trip all the more enjoyable.
When I arrived at my placement at a small hospital, I was not sure how much I would be allowed to help with since I had little experience, but all the nurses that worked there were friendly and quick to include me in their groups and were willing to not only show me how they did their jobs but also let me get involved. Although I was only at the hospital for a short period of time, I feel that I learned a lot and benefitted greatly from the experience. Not only was the actual work a fantastic learning experience, the people of Kenyan made me feel so welcome and wanted that I cannot wait to find an opportunity to return.