In May of 2016, I spent 4 weeks in Ghana with Projects Abroad. My project was being a veterinary intern at La Veterinary Hospital in Accra, Ghana. Overall, my experience was a fantastic one and I wish I could’ve stayed longer.
All of the people I had the pleasure of meeting from my host family to the other volunteers to the people I worked with through Projects Abroad and the hospital were extraordinary. The people really do make all the difference in a good trip and a great one. Be sure to make the most out of the time you have with them because it goes by so quickly and before you know your time abroad will be over. The projects abroad team members are very invested in what they do and I was surprised to find how often that they check in with you and make sure everything is going okay. Not only do they help with any issues that could come up with your project or your accommodation, but they organize fun activities such as language lessons, dance lessons or even just getting the group to have a nice meal together. So not only do you get to volunteer in an incredible place and gain experience like no other but you leave having new lifelong friends and endless stories to tell. Not to mention these friends that you make are from all over the world and learning about their culture as well as the culture of the country that you are in, is a learning experience that you would never be able to have in a classroom.
My project, like I said, was a veterinary intern at La Veterinary Hospital. The veterinary technicians and veterinarians were amazing. It was definitely an eye-opening experience coming from America where we are a bit spoiled when it comes to the resources that we have available to us. Innovation is extremely vital to success in places such as Ghana whose resources are not as abundant as other wealthier places. The only thing about my particular project that was a little misleading was what animals I would be working with while there. From the website and My Project webpage, I was under the impression that I would be working with domestic pets, livestock, and visiting zoos and wildlife sanctuaries. However, while I was there it was predominately dogs, a few cats, and a few small farm animals like goats and chickens. We did make one short visit to a resort that had some wildlife and exotic animals which was extremely cool! I basically just thought we would be doing more of things like that, so it was slightly disappointing. But besides that I have no complaints! The people were great and I learned a lot about the veterinary profession from the cases I assisted with while there.
You just can’t put into words how this kind of experience impacts your life and your future. And you also can’t put a price on this kind of adventure. If you are looking to volunteer and make a difference while meeting extraordinary people along the way, I highly recommend traveling with Projects Abroad.