In this episode of Retired Excited, Henry interviews Stan Brown.
Stan tells how his wife Jenny wanted to volunteer overseas to help others. He didn’t care about volunteering in Mongolia so he didn’t go….at first.
He missed his wife so finally after a few months he followed her to the orphanage where she was the health officer. That’s when his adventures began.
Now Stan has some very sound advice for people considering volunteering in Mongolia.
- Go with a reputable and recognized agency.
- Obtain as much information as you can about the agency and it’s programs before you go. Talk to people who have volunteered through that agency. Get the fact of how it really plays out, not what the brochure promises.
- Be sure you understand the details. This includes your accommodation, pay, food, insurance and so on.
- Also be sure to understand the procedure of what happens in case of an emergency.
- Be sure to understand your obligations to the agency and your host country, as well as their relationship to you. Stan mentioned that some volunteers could not hack the simple living conditions on site, and were eager to go home.
- Perhaps the most important advice Stan and Jenny give prospective volunteers concerns your attitude. Do NOT go overseas believing that you are going to “save the world”, and expect to be honored by a grateful community.
Go to provide what help you can. Try to fit in with the local customs, laws and reality of the situation. You are going to eat what the locals eat, drink what the locals drink, and dance when the locals dance. The drink in Mongolia included a mildly alcoholic brew of fermented milk boiled up in a big pot. You are going to have the local standard of washing facilities and accommodation.
If that doesn’t sound good… don’t go.
On the other hand Stan and Jenny absolutely loved their time in Mongolia, loved the people, loved the country and would go back in a heartbeat. They have volunteered in other places since that trip, and enjoyed every experience.
Special Thanks to:
- Angie Strehlow who helps us get great guests that help us with our retirement lifestyle while keeping everything on track
- Les Briney who edits the show and makes my guests and me sound terrific
- Lesinda Tubalado who helps keep the website up to date
- Henry Shapiro, host of Retired Excited that airs on Fridays
- YOU the listener for sharing on social media, and telling your friends about it