My name is Jamura and in February I went to Arusha to volunteer for one month. I expected to be the oldest among only young girls, but the residents of the lodge were both boys and girls rating from 18 to 32, which was actually a relieve. I expected to be a lot on my own, but in fact you get to know the other volunteers quickly and before you know you already made some nice contacts. During the weekends we went out for dinner together, we had a 3 days Safari and a weekend at Zanzibar! The perfect combination of volunteering and going on holidays. During the week everyone was more to themselves, writing, reading and contacting family and friends as we all had internet on our phones. (Donald will make sure you get it :)) Sometimes we went to a market after work/the project or we watched movie at the lodge.
After an intensive day and the many many different impressions it is so good to “come home” somewhere and the lodge really felt like homecoming. Diner is served around 18:00 and at the end of afternoon everyone is coming home and gather around the big table underneath the veranda. You’re never alone, except if you feel the need to be. You can always read a book in the sunny garden or listen to music in your bedroom. Whatever you like, it’s all good. Nobody judges.
It was a very inspiring month and I enjoyed everything that was different from Holland. It’s educational to experience life in a whole different country with different people at a different job. You might consider of moving or you appreciate more of what you have at home – it can go both ways.
My advice: expect nothing, just go with the flow and keep in mind that everything is different from what you’re used to. That’s the challenge. Oh and write your experiences! Even if you write for yourself. It makes you more conscious of everything you experience.