Volunteer Zambia: This was my second trip with ABV. Africa was an extremely different place (than Peru). However, it was lovely to see the contrast. I had a hard time adapting to the laid back attitude by the locals, but by the end of my time there it didn’t even phase me.
1- How was the local Coordinator/staff and the support provided in-country?
He was very attentive to me and ensured I was settled in well. He immediately showed me around and helped with booking excursions. He made introductions to the key staff at the clinic. He helped me sort through the paperwork needed for the clinic.
2- What was the most surprising thing you experienced?
The unexpected las minute US$100 clinic fee. It made things seem unorganized, but ABV refunded the US$100 which I was thankful.
ABV: The clinic changed the policy a day before your arrival, some programs do this, but is not common practice of the clinics or hospitals. We will always try to have updated information from all our 245 locations on a weekly basis.
3- What was most difficult to experience?
The lackadaisical attitudes of Zambians and laid back attitude about everything, including professional issues.
4- Any tips for future volunteers… (clothing, travel, donations)
October was very hot/extreme heat. Bring a bathing suit. Be ready for relaxed attitudes about punctuality even with tours/dinner service. Donations: toys, pencils and crayons for the kids in the nearby villages
4.1- Other things volunteers should know:
a.- Water is safe to drink in Livingstone. I had no issues
b.- Absolutely use mosquito nets. You need it. Bring one
c.- Kids are very friendly and curious. They ask a lot & ask for money
d.- Livingstone is safe. The coordinator is great about ensuring safety.
5- Personal Paragraph (ABV Program Testimonial):
This was my second trip with ABV out of 3. Africa was an extremely different place (than Peru). However, it was lovely to see the contrast. I had a hard time adapting to the laid back attitude by the locals, but by the end of my time there it didn’t even phase me. You learn to adapt. I felt like this trip was great for my patience. The clinic I worked at was a good exposure for me to see how healthcare works there. Everyone was so happy and friendly. Plus, the excursions in the area were amazing.
6- How would you describe your accommodation, meals, security (e: host family, on-site, shared)
The house was clean and comfortable. The meals were delicious and I loved trying traditional food. I felt safe and bonded with the family. I miss them.
7- What was your favorite memory of this trip?
The safari was exceptional. Seeing the animals in the wild and learning about them made me feel more connected with nature.
8.- How was the ABV USA support prior traveling?
ABV staff in USA were supportive throughout and help with with anything I needed or asked. I appreciated the refund of the $100 unexpected fee.
9 – Are you willing to speak to other potential ABV volunteers