I lived with and shadowed the Director of MAD, Theresa Grant, everywhere. I came in the middle of winter when there are no other volunteers so I was fortunate to stay with Theresa. During summer months the volunteers stay together in a local guest house.
A typical day would be breakfast (usually granola and fruit) and we would drive around town on errands that supported the orphanage children. We would pack lunch and water with us for the day. The children were in a local private school. We would arrive at school around 1:00 pm and work with the students in the new computer lab until 4:00. MAD had recently donated computers and built a computer lab for the entire school to use.
I would have a 30 min. Swahili lesson every day from one of the teachers. I loved learning Swahili. After 4:00 pm we would follow the 22 (MAD orphan) children home to their house and be available to them for a variety of tasks from helping with homework, to playing games, to singing, making jewelry (their profit program) to just sitting and holding a hand. We would leave the house just as the children would be served dinner. We went home to our guest house for dinner. Theresa has a cook and housekeeper who helps with meals and laundry for the volunteers.
On weekends or holidays, we did special trips with the children to local parks, hiking, athletic events, or clinic visits.
Theresa would also arrange for visits with local agencies for the volunteers to learn about AIDS, Malaria, hospital work, infant orphanages and visits to other NGO work sites. She has numerous contacts in the area and they always enjoy an extra person around to help for a day’s visit. Whatever a volunteer expresses an interest in, Theresa will connect you with local people in that field.