Madventurer
97% Rating
(25 Reviews)

Madventurer

Madventurer offers a unique combination of empowering community development placements, service learning, and exhilarating adventures in some of the most exciting destinations in the world including Ghana, Kenya, Peru, Thailand, Fiji, Tanzania, and beyond! The MAD Tribe works on many different projects which support the advancement of education and the relief of poverty by focusing on teaching, construction, health, and sports development.

Madventurers are the earth shakers, risk takers, and difference makers of the world.

Most Recent Program Reviews

Cat
Female
22 years old
Fresno, California

Sota Tale! It's not goodbye - but a see ya later!

10/10

In the summer of 2015, I had the opportunity to join Madventure in an individual community-service trip to the small village of Naboutini, Fiji. I had multiple friends who had been on the trip before that spoke very highly of their experience, so I made it a point that I go. There were 2 parts to this 2-week stay: (1) working on the community-service project (2) learning about everyday Fijian life. The community-service project included finishing up the community hall that Madventure had been working on for a couple of years, this included repainting the outside of the hall and building the cabinets for the nurse's room and serving room. By immersing myself in the Fijian way of life, I was able to learn a lot about the culture, gender norms, and education, as well as build strong relationship with some of the villagers. My experience in Fiji was so great that when I returned to the US I began planning a group trip with California State University, Fresno. The following summer in 2016, I as well as another student, led a group of 24 students and faculty on this amazing experience. During their trip we had a few projects going on at the same time that included building a community kitchen, visiting the local primary school and teaching lessons, and a water project that would help with villages limited water access. Aside from their community service the group also engaged in everyday Fijian life and culture. As part of the Service-learning course they also had set aside time for reflection and discussion of their experiences. This trip is different from any other trip that I have experienced because not only do you engage in community service, but you also get to immerse yourself into a new culture and learn about their everyday life. Definitely a trip I would recommend and I can't wait to go back!

Default avatar
Zandra
Female
25 years old
Exeter
California State University- Fresno

Fun times in Naboutini

10/10

My time in Naboutini was like nothing I could have imagined! When we arrived the villagers were there to greet us with open arms. Throughout my time in the village I made many personal connections that changed my outlook on life! It is hard to say what my favorite part of my trip was, but if I had to choose I would say it was our time visiting and teaching at the Volivoli primary school down the road from the village. It was eye opening to see what the kids do with what they have. I will never forget my time in Fiji and I hope to return someday soon. Vinaka!

How can this program be improved?

I think the program would be improved by explicitly stating that much of your time will be spent connecting with the villagers. I think that is a valuable part of this trip, but some may want to choose a trip where they will find themselves in a more labor intensive roll.

Izzy
Female
22 years old
New Providence, New Jersey

Sadly disappointed

4/10

I am sad to report that my experience with Madventurer was extremely disappointing. I went into the trip with an open mind and ready to have an impact on a community. I have done a number of service projects so I had a little expectation. To start, signing up for the program was a frustrating process. Everything happened through email, no medical or emergency information was asked and it took up to two weeks at a time for an email back. About two days prior to departure I was informed that I had to book another flight to a remote island, which would have been okay if I had know ahead of time. Once I got there I was ambushed by the fact that all other participants were from the same college and I was the only solo traveler. While that had its benefits, it would have been nice to know in advance. The village and the people were wonderful but at times it felt that we were not needed. All work, the little that was needed, was done by male participants due to cultural beliefs. The females in the group spend every day sitting around the village and helping for maybe half an hour a day to cook and clean. A number of us spent all day sitting in a hammock just talking. While the 'tuition' price is quite nice, there ends up being a decent amount of added expenses (food, internal flights, excursion on the last day). Out of all of my travels, traveling with Madventurer was sadly the most disappointing. Spend the little extra money and actually enjoy your trip and feel as if you are making a difference.

Response from Madventurer

Hi Izzy,

Thank you for your feedback. I am really sorry that you were disappointed with your project. I was concerned when I read the review as while you were in Fiji our project leaders felt that you didn’t show any indication that you were having a bad experience and you seemed to jump right in with our Fresno group and it looked like you made some strong relationships with other volunteers. It was tough for our group to contribute to the building project on this phase as much of the work was very labor intensive or it involved dangerous working conditions (for example, constructing the roof).

The group was really good about being engaged with the village and they saw a lot of our volunteers participating in the different cultural activities throughout the village everyday. Our project leaders felt that you seemed to have been enjoying yourself whenever they were with you or when they checked in on how you were doing. The cultural immersion is a key part of the trip, and although the local skilled workers have to take over at different points in the build, the other activities that are part of the trip, such as the snorkeling boat trip, giving lessons at the local primary school, or even just sharing time making lemonade with the Fijian woman, you all seemed to enjoy. Hammock or porch time for rest and reflection is part of a College Service Learning itinerary. You did seem to have made really great connections with the group and become really good friends with some of the girls from Fresno State.

However I can also see where being the only independent participant in a group project may have been difficult and although we did try to promote your trip extensively we could not achieve individual sufficient sign-ups to run a separate project for you for your desired dates, and we did give it as long as possible to try and fill the other places. The alternative would have been to cancel your trip but this may have been even more disappointing for you. Rest assured that when you signed up we had all your emergency contact and personal health information included in the registration form.

In the project debrief with your project leaders we discussed your feedback we are all fully committed to make sure that the circumstances which led to your disappointment should not happen again. We will no longer offer or try to integrate independent travelers with our college groups.

We have also just changed the way independent travelers are looked after pre-trip and our Head of Operations to care for independent travelers pre-trip as they have the scale and capacity to respond more quickly, and although the arrival airport to book flights is included in the project overview we will ensure that she reemphasises to all independent travellers the arrival point.

Your feedback has highlighted important gaps in our pre-trip support that we had for individuals this summer so thank you for this - it is all very much appreciated.

Safe journeys,
John Lawler,
MAD Foundation Trustee

Default avatar
Eduardo
Male
43 years old
Lincoln, Nebraska
Nebraska Wesleyan University

Bula-sia: Fiji was life transforming!

10/10

We went to Naboutini as part of a Service-Learning trip from our university. I was one of two faculty advisors to a group of 14 students. What we loved the most about Naboutini was the pace of life and community life. Their understanding of family, time, and community were transforming.
The memories I cherish the most were the times in which I would sit down by myself and friends from the village would come to sit with me. The first few days I felt the need to start a conversation (no one likes awkward silences). But they would not talk. They just wanted for us to be in each other's presence. By the time we were done there were times in which we would accompany each other for quite a while without saying a word. A different experience of freedom.
In Naboutini I learned a new way of being human by enjoying someone else's presence not by what they have to say but by simply being there!

How can this program be improved?

Probably a little bit more of a cultural orientation as to what to expect particularly among gender roles.

Default avatar
Boris
Male
24 years old
Fresno, California
California State University- Fresno

Get ready for Fiji Time!

10/10

Bula!

I had such an incredible experience working alongside the amazing people of both Madventurer and the villagers of Naboutini. After being part of such an amazing program it is very easy to recommend Madventurer to anyone interested in having an incredible service learning experience!

Having the opportunity to become part of someone's lifestyle and to learn so much about others all while providing meaningful service was what I enjoyed the most about the trip to Fiji with Madventurer. Only with trips and service projects to such small and rural areas can you truly see how much of an impact a few students can have on a society and with these types of trips you are forced to try new things, meet new people, and grow as an individual.

Fiji 2014 was one of the most inspiring things that I have ever done and it has motivated me to continue with other service projects and incorporate service with my studies of medicine.

Program Listings

Fiji

Madventurer
Come to Fiji and be welcomed into a community in one of the most beautiful places you will ever go and by some of the most be...

Ghana

Madventurer
Join the MAD Tribe in Ghana and become immersed in a community where you can serve, learn, explore, and truly make a differen...

Tanzania

Madventurer
Experience life in a Moshi Village in the largest country in East Africa home to the stunning Serengeti and Kilimanjaro the t...

Kenya

Madventurer
Madventurer projects in Kenya surround you with incredible preserved wildlife and culture as your new home will be in a Natio...

South Africa

Madventurer
Join a Madventurer Project in one of our many locations throughout South Africa to find the service trip that best fits your...