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The one comment that virtually everyone I worked with made was that they were disappointed with “how little” they achieved and they didn’t feel like they made a difference. I said the same thing myself early on.
This is what happens. Your expectations before leaving home of what you will achieve as a volunteer, and what you actually achieve in country, are usually quite different. That is, you can achieve the same amount of work you do at your project in half the time or less in a developed country where things work. Most volunteers expect to operate at that speed on the ground at their project. Unless you’re the World Bank—with air-con offices, back up generators, high speed internet, dedicated vehicles, and highly skilled staff—you just can’t.
You can’t change the world in two weeks, two months, or even two years—on your own. That’s impossible.
What you can and will do is…
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