Staff Spotlight: Ansley Easterlin

What is your role at Cross Cultural Solutions (CCS)?

Ansley: I am a Program Advisor – Group Specialist at CCS. I assist individuals, university groups, and corporate groups in finding the perfect volunteer abroad experience for them.

Ansley volunteering in Bagamoyo, Tanzania

What inspires you most on a daily basis?

Ansley: In my job, I get to relive my experiences from volunteering in Tanzania and Peru by sharing them with people who are interested in finding out more about the program. My experiences were incredible and completely life-changing. To be able to talk about it every day is amazing.

Where did you most recently volunteer abroad? What was your favorite part of the experience?

Ansley: My most recent volunteer abroad program was in Lima, Peru. My favorite moment was when I ended up cutting hair at the elder care facility where I worked. I volunteered for the task, momentarily forgetting that I had never cut hair before. After a deep breath, careful note of how close the ears were to my scissors, I just started snipping away. As it turns out, I can cut hair! That was when I really understood the value of just jumping into new experiences head first, and how CCS really offers an environment where that is easily done.

Ansley volunteering in Peru

Where do you want to volunteer next?

Ansley: I’m thinking either Morocco or India for my next program. I have experienced a rural African program, an urban Latin American program; I want to experience a North African or Asian culture as well! Each country will have so much to offer as far as sights and cultural experiences, but I think the reason I continue to do CCS programs, despite the fact that I am now a confident and independent traveler, is the opportunity for community relationships. The CCS program offers a chance for volunteers to meet and make friends with people in the community like nothing I have ever seen before or since. Those bonds seem to be life-long, using social media and technology to stay connected, regardless of the distance. Having your “crew” strewn across several continents, in a smattering of countries across the world is pretty cool!