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GAP YEAR | VOLUNTEER ABROAD | WORK EXPERIENCE OVERSEAS

 

CASE STUDY: DEANNE PETERSON IN SOUTH AFRICA

Deanne Michelle Peterson talks about her experiences on the Multi Marine Conservation Project in Cape Town, Street Kids Project in Knysna, plus the 7-Day Safari Tour

I embarked on this journey in revolt to my recently turning 40. As a business owner, wife and mother of two teenage boys, a month long journey to Africa seemed like something far reaching and beyond my reality. My vacation experiences prior to this were always family oriented and/or resort style, including room service, umbrella drinks, amusement parks, cruise ships, and guided tours. I wanted to see and do as much as I could and experience as much of South Africa as possible but with family and work obligations, time was an issue.

My journey with Travellers Worldwide gave me the opportunity to see and do all of the things a vacationing tourist would do, while the volunteering gave me the chance to meet many local people, and get to know so more about the culture and the people of SA. I was able to see and do more than I ever imagined possible in one month.

From my very first inquiring email to Travellers, all my questions and concerns were answered with the efficiency and accuracy of a world-class travel agency. I was put in touch with people who worked on the projects I was interested in and other volunteers as well.

My accommodations and work experiences were exactly as described and better than I'd expected. The project managers went above and beyond to ensure the volunteers had everything needed and wanted. Many of my traveling companions were recent high school graduates and, as a mother, I couldn't have imagined sending my 18 year old son on a trip like this before seeing it for myself. Now without a doubt I will be planning a volunteer experience with Travellers for both of my sons after their graduations.

All in all this was the most wonderful, fulfilling, and incredible, month of my life! Before this journey, like many people my age, I was stuck in my regular every day rut of work and routine. But after a month of diving with Great White sharks, working with orphans and street kids, animal safaris, zip-lining through jungles, and sky-diving(!!), I have returned fully invigorated and with a new lease on life! I also made friends from all over the world that Iím sure I will stay in touch with for years to come. Travellers is an amazing organization that offers life changing experiences to people of all ages, I will highly recommend it to everyone, and I will be planning another volunteer experience for myself as well as for my sons. Thank you so so much for the experience of a life time!

Other comments:
Even though I had never left the U.S. before, I felt I had all the information I needed once I was there. I was EXTREMELY nervous that I didnít have enough information about my placement, but everything worked out perfect!!! and I had everything I needed.

My trip was perfect!!! the people I worked with online prior to leaving answered ALL my questions quickly and correctly, (and I had LOTS of questions). Once I arrived in SA, everything went exactly as planned, my rides were arranged, my accommodations were arranged and ready, the people were amazing! Overall, everything Travellers did was PERFECT!!!

All the Travellers staff were EXCELLENT!!! I couldnít have gotten better care and support from all of them.

All 3 of my projects were INCREDIBLE!!!

I live in the U.S.A. I searched several organizations before I chose to go with an organization from abroad, but most agencies from the U.S. were religiously based. I feel you could get many many more U.S. travelers if you wanted. This was the most amazing experience of my life! I would be honored to help others be able to share in similar experiences.

Children from the Sinethemba creche on the Care Project in Knysna in South Africa

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