Child Family Health International
August 3, 2012
When I had initially embarked on this trip I had low expectations of the future while in South Africa. By this I mean I knew that life would have been different from the United States but how different was something I could paint in my mind. I was also a bit perplexed at the idea of living with perfect strangers as my home stay family. However this trip ended up being a learning experience as well as a sense of connection with others whom I had previously never encountered in life. During my stay I was able to appreciate the community life and family life that is shared among each South African citizens. Everyone is different but very alike as they tied with the past, present and promising future. Although life was very different to a great extent to life in the United States we are somehow very alike. We share the same stress and common goals in life. There was no difference in the heart of a person unless one chose to look at the color of their skins. I had very friendly neighbors that made my trip worth while. My daily activities after the hospital were varied and always fun. At times it always felt as if there was so much to do and so little time to do it. I was very please with how amicable the atmosphere was in the hospital among professionals. Although there was a great amount of stress applied to the work and seriousness there was also a sense of ease that helped to make the work easy. I learned a lot about the Zulu culture as well as the Zulu language. I admire their prairies and vast landscape that are almost never ending. The tourism in the country was something that we were all driven to achieve. I learned about strength and courage as I watched people around me deal with daily struggle of life with great optimism. The struggle of a family for clean water and electricity was something I was familiar with through the stories of my country of birth the Democratic Republic of Congo. I was able to share with the people of South Africa my life experience as well as give hope by showing them that their struggles although significant are somewhat better in certain areas than the struggles of other African nations.. In the Cape, I was able to see the both the similarity and difference the socio-economic lifestyle of its citizens. For instance, there were parts of the cities in which you will find only a certain culture which was mainly influence by the race that lives in that community. I remember going out one night in the sea point neighborhood and it was beyond belief the lifestyle that I saw there. I must say there was absolutely no difference between the city of Los Angeles and some part of the cape. One strange thing that did strike me the most was the lack of crime. I was almost always expecting the worst because we hear stories but truthfully I got to realize that all stories are a bit exaggerated. In short, this trip gave me a mirror image to myself. I was able to enter another world and see how intricate and similar it is from the one I know, but it also allow me to look into myself and appreciate as well as compare certain things I have in my world.
I've personally experienced the results of this organization in...
I've not yet to experience the results of this organization in my community or place of work but I am confident that sometime soon I will see these results.
Ways to make it better...
If I had to make changes to this organization, I would...
I would perhaps increase the time and different field students are exposed to.
Would you volunteer for this group again?
For the time you spent, how much of an impact did you feel your work or activity had?
Did the organization use your time wisely?
Would you recommend this group to a friend?
When was your last experience with this nonprofit?
What one change could this group make that would improve your volunteer experience?
Time spent at the hospital and various places
Did your volunteer experience have an effect on you? (teaching you a new skill, or introducing new friends, etc.)
Absolutely, profound effect.
How did this volunteer experience make you feel?
My volunteer experience made me feel rewarded because I felt as if I made an impact in people lives every second of the time I spent volunteering.
Volunteer & I worked as a Volunteer in two hospitals.