Really, I’m not really much of a braggart, but in respect to all awesomeness that has been the last 19 months of my life I feel the need to tell you why should volunteering abroad if you haven’t yet.

Lets start at the beginning… its fresh, crazy, fascinating, jubilating, different. When you first arrive its nothing you expect, it’s a realization of what the word culture really means. How cultural differences aren’t just traditions, past-times, songs, etc, but social interactions and ideological thoughts. Cultural differences means communication barriers, different ways of thinking, it means a different perspective on life and how to live it.

Then follows the transitional stage… the transition from the new into the norm. This is often a long, arduous process of integration into cultural norms. This can be a difficult time. I know for me getting used to how long it takes to do anything in Cameroon was rough. How simply getting an official stamp can take days and then getting a form, months. More than anything though it’s the long term fish bowl effect that can really get you down. At first, it isn’t so bad, the eyes and gossip everywhere you go, the meeting people who already know your name. But over time it can weigh a heavy feeling of alienation. I’d have to say this is the greatest difficulty volunteer’s face. It’s the social difficulties that are the certainly hardest, not the corporeal ones, like no water/electricity.

After the struggle comes the growth. This is the best part for sure, it’s the point when you get appreciation and understanding. When you remember everything you are doing is awesome and the months you’ve spent here have made you socially adept with the locals. Truly, it is never clear that what you are doing is long term development, but you begin to understand, all we can do is be hopeful. This is when you get confidence to do whatever you want, and further you realize in this setting you can do whatever you want.

When it comes down it all,  it’s a life developing experience you cannot have in the western world.


My time here is at an end. At least for now… after two school years here, I feel as though I’ve personally hit a climax and now it’s time to go stateside and assess the next step in life. Please if you have any questions or interests in going abroad, hit me up ( I have connections with different NGOs and schools in Cameroon if you want to try a stint abroad doing more than studies/tourism.

PS: Please check the student projects page to see some of the projects done this year!