Alumni Spotlight: Natasha Bolourirad

Natasha, veterinary technician living in Arizona, volunteered abroad from July to August 2011.

Views of an island from Costa Rica

Why did you decide to volunteer with VIDA in Costa Rica?

Natasha: I decided to go with VIDA because after months of researching other volunteer groups, I found that VIDA offered the most hands on veterinary experience. They also had a perfect balance of volunteer clinic days and day adventures making it a very enjoyable vacation.

Describe your day to day activities as a volunteer.

Natasha: My trip last year lasted for 2 weeks. The first week was spent in Costa Rica and was packed with things to do. Most of the nights were spent in various hotels while 2 of the nights were spent living with a local family (the best part!). We had 2 clinic days with small animals and activities included latin dance classes, a volunteer soccer game with our homestay families, beach, national forest, shopping and tons of great restaurants.

The second week was spent in Nicaragua and included 3 clinic days (2 small animal and 1 large animal day). We also went to a casino, sang karaoke, danced, went ziplining, shopping, and went on a boat tour of monkey island.

How has this experience helped you grow personally and professionally?

Natasha: It helped me confirm my desire to become a veterinarian, and likely strengthened my application as I got into 4/4 of the schools I applied to. It has also made me realize that I really want to continue to work with VIDA for many years to come. Volunteering anywhere is a very rewarding experience, but mix that with a wonderful experience abroad and you really cannot beat it.