It's hard to describe, or even put into words; my time in India. India was my second volunteer trip with IVHQ, previous one being; Zambia, Africa. With a new country came new challenges, environment and experiences. My previous trip in Zambia, I was volunteering in the Construction Project; helping build a school. For India, I decided to do teaching. Helping teach English in a lower income school, as well as a preschool. It was a rewarding, yet challenging experience. Having to draw on completely different skills and tools to achieve our desired outcome. Volunteers were given a healthy amount of support and guidance from the local team. Volunteers also had transport provided to their placements as part of their fees, which was delightful. Compared to Zambia, volunteers had to arrange their own transport to their placement, many renting bikes from the volunteer house to travel to their schools, or taking taxis. IVHQ are good at what they do. Well structured programs with plenty of support and guidance from the local team. Each volunteer is adequately introduced to their new environments during orientation. Given adequate information to dive into their new surroundings and placements, building a strong base, which they can develop on as they continue forward. The accommodation in India was quite different to accommodation in Zambia, with volunteers staying in apartment building. There were three apartments on one level, with multiple rooms. Each room contained 3 beds as well as a balcony area. This layout was wonderful in a social sense, it made it very easy to talk to everyone and socialize. All volunteers ate upstairs in the volunteer kitchen and dinning area. The atmosphere would always be wonderful during dinner time, giving you a chance to talk to all your peers.
Social life at the volunteer house was also amazing. Everyone had an insatiable thirst for exploring. During the week, we would travel to Delhi and explore the bustling city, but during the weekend. Many volunteers would leave Faridabad and complete the golden Triangle. Which consisted of cities such as Jaipur, Udaipur, Rishikesh and Agra.
The moments and bonds you develop from volunteering are hard to compare to anything else. Traveling as a Volunteer, you get the opportunity to travel and experience a country in a way you never would as simply a tourist. Meeting people, you normally wouldn't meet, and getting to know them on a personal and intimate level. Being surrounded with like minded individuals, really enhances any trip. Sadly, this year I've chosen to take a hiatus from Volunteering to focus on my studies. However, next year. I plan to travel again as a volunteer, and without a doubt. I will be choosing IVHQ, to do so. Being a proud Kiwi, it's amazing to see, how a company from little old New Zealand, is making a difference in the world, and connecting people from around the world, that normally would never cross paths. I have made some unforgettable memories from my trips abroad, and more so, unbreakable bonds. I have met people that how not only changed my life, but opened doors to new possibilities and outcomes, that would have not occurred, if I had not met them. These people are now family, and have changed my life in many glorious ways.
Volunteering will change your whole outlook on life. It will open your eyes, to a world you never knew existed. It will challenge you in ways, you had never been challenged before. Some days, you will struggle. You may miss home. You may miss your friends and family. But once, all is said and done. You will not regret a single moment. You will grow and mature at a rate, you can only achieve through something like volunteering. Being thrown into the deep end. In a crazy new environment; you adapt.