7 ways to be a terrible volunteer abroad

You’re going to volunteer abroad, and you want to make sure you do a terrible job. Here’s how.

1. Be a Super Hero

In another country, you are a Super Hero.  Your simple deeds will fix the world, probably in two weeks or less.  Make sure everyone knows that you, and you alone can save them in their hour of need. You are not there to be of service,  you are there to be the saviour, and of course should be treated as such.  Expect local people to worship you and bring you offerings.

2. Don’t accept the unknown

Make sure that you are not open to any kind of new experience.  Demand that everything be exactly the way it is back home, otherwise you will leave.  Do not be flexible and adaptable, and definitely don’t try anything new.

3. Be the smartest person in town

You know best, and make sure every else knows it.  You know how to do everything better, so make sure you tell everybody that what they are doing is wrong. Don’t learn why they are doing things the way they are, just tell them what they should do.  You are foreign, so of course you must know better than the local community, right?

4. Go with the most expensive and famous volunteer operator

Find the operator with the most expensive price, and go with them.  It doesn’t matter if you don’t know what they are doing with your money, who cares! They are expensive so they must be the best.  Don’t bother to check them out on Google, those bad reviews and warnings are just internet spam.

5. Do whatever you want

Do what you want. You paid to be there so you deserve it.  If you want to play with orphans, juggle turtle eggs and hunt rhinoceros babies you should do it.  Imagine the stories! The customer is always right.  When else are you going to get the chance to buy a gorilla foot? And anyway, what difference could it make?

6. Don’t plan

Don’t spend any time planning or researching your experience.  Some one else will tell you all you need to know when you get there. Don’t read up about the history, culture or recent news about the location – that would be boring!

7. Think short-term

Think about what you can get from this now.  Don’t worry about the community, or the next people coming. Just make sure you get what you want.  Want to wear shorts in that temple?  Want to date the chief’s daughter?  Just do it!

After all, this experience is all about you, isn’t it?

Photo Credit: JDHancock

4 thoughts on “7 ways to be a terrible volunteer abroad

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