American Couple Enjoy a Volunteer Abroad Project and Wildlife Safari in Africa
A Young American Couple, Brittney and Benjamin Dorenkamp, who are Registered Nurses in the US, Went for a Two-Week Couple’s Volunteer Abroad Program in Africa and Combined it with a Wildlife Safari.
Volunteer abroad programs provide families and couples with a life-changing experience and the opportunity to truly bond in an adventurous cultural setting. A young American couple Brittney and Benjamin Dorenkamp wanted to volunteer internationally and sought new cultural experiences and lifelong friendships. Some may call it a family adventure, others a couple’s getaway. Whatever one calls it, the pair decided to participate in a 2-week volunteer abroad program in Africa combined with a weekend wildlife safari.
Brittney said that she had always wanted to volunteer abroad in Africa ever since she started nursing school. She researched volunteer abroad programs online and found Cross-Continental Solutions. She and her husband Benjamin thought CrossContinental was a good fit for them, and applied for a 2-week volunteer abroad program. When asked why he applied, Benjamin said “I want to experience different cultures and help in any way possible”.
In this 2 week couple’s volunteer abroad program with CrossContinental, they got to experience many things. Not only did the CrossContinental team arrange medical work at a local hospital and a home-stay to experience the village lifestyle, but they also brought them to the village school to meet some children and planed a weekend wildlife safari trip to the famous Masai Mara Reserve. In their own words, they called it “an all around amazing and life changing experience”.
In the attached video (https://youtu.be/NHsY-ybvtq0), the volunteers showcase some of their medical volunteer abroad experience at the hospital.
- Medical Project Abroad
Since they are both registered nurses, Benjamin and Brittney feel that medical work is where they could best use their skills, although they were honestly up for anything. Considering their skill sets and preferences, CrossContinental customized a couple’s volunteer abroad program for them at a local hospital in Kenya. Given limited time and considering their needs to see wildlife and experience the culture of Africa, the work project was flexible with their working hours. They worked part time from 9am to 2pm for 4 days each week.
Brittney reported the experience working at a local hospital in Kenya as definitely eye-opening, as it is vastly different than healthcare in the USA. She further explained that the employees at the hospital were all very welcoming. Their typical duties included starting IVs, giving injections, filling out paperwork, helping with deliveries, assessing pregnancies and fetal presentations, to name just a few. About the hands-on experience, she said, “You really get to participate in patient care there.”
Benjamin commented, “At first, the work project was a little difficult because everything is so different from what we are used to in the US. After a couple of days of learning the system here we caught up and had an amazing experience.”
- Host Family and Village Lifestyle
The couple was accommodated in a private bedroom at a local host family. They were very happy with the home-stay experience. Although it was the first time they had traveled out of the US, the caring host family helped the couple adapt to the vastly different lifestyle and culture of Africa. Benjamin reported, “This was my wife and I’s first time traveling out of the United States and they really helped us to feel comfortable with the new culture. We could not have asked for a better host family.”
He continues, “To me, the most rewarding part of this adventure was living with a host family in their village instead of staying in a hotel. If we would have stayed in a hotel, we would not have gotten the same experience.” According to Benjamin, staying with a host family makes the whole experience worth it.
- Weekend Wildlife Safari in Masai Mara
Many volunteers would not want to travel thousands of miles to Africa without taking in a wildlife safari experience. Together with the volunteer abroad program, Brittney and Benjamin also requested that CrossContinental to arrange a weekend wildlife safari for them in the famous Masai Mara reserve.
Speaking about the safari, the couple reported, “On Saturday we went to Masia Mara for our Safari. It was very nice. We saw, giraffes, elephants, a rhino, baboons, hippos, and much more.”
- The Overall Experience with CrossContinental.org
Speaking of the organization CrossContinental and their international coordinator Jenn Leslie, both the wife and husband were very pleased to recommend this experience to others.
Benjamin said, “I would recommend this experience to anyone. If you want to get to understand an entirely different and unique culture, go spend some time living with a host family in a place like Kenya.” He continued, “We volunteered as nurses in the local district hospital and lived in the village with a host family. It was an all around amazing and life changing experience.”
Brittney added, “We would recommend CrossContinental to anyone who wants to travel abroad. Jenn placed us with an amazing host family who has been very flexible and supportive throughout our stay. They always have our best interests in mind, and help to keep us safe.”
Access valuable resources or plan a life-changing trip at https://www.CrossContinental.org. See more programs and information in the attached video (https://youtu.be/4YgkrLF3FZE).
Cross-Continental Solutions provides affordable yet flexible international learning programs, including volunteer abroad, intern abroad, cultural immersion, language study, and gap year programs. A large variety of work placement options are available such as: Teaching, Healthcare, Community Development, Business Coaching, HIV work, Care-giving, Orphanage Work, Journalism, Photography, Wildlife, Agriculture, Environmental Protection, Microfinance, Tourism, Marketing, and more. Programs are available at many locations around the world, including Africa, Asia, and Latin America. By living and working side by side with locals, participants gain an exceptional cross-cultural experience and the opportunity to truly make a difference. For more details, visit CrossContinental.org.