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With The Leap in Kenya and Quest in South America

Lauren enjoying brickwork on her gap year.I've been to the most amazing places, seen the most amazing things, and met some of the most amazing people. From teaching Maths to eager eyes in classrooms in Kenya to reaching Machu Picchu after 4 days of trekking the fabulous Inca Trail in fancy dress, I have had some of the most memorable experiences and have had the best year of my life.


I originally wanted to have a gap year to gain confidence in myself and become more independent before heading off to University. I gained so much more. Living in other cultures is a completely different world. It's given me a bigger understanding and an exciting new insight into other peoples lives. I have built a mud hut for a family in Kenya, built class rooms for schools, built a fab new enclosure for a Puma called Sasha in Bolivia, walked and fallen in love with a wild Ocelot as well as Trekking and visiting exciting and surreal sights in New Zealand and Peru.


I travelled with The Leap to Kenya to start off my gap Lauren in Africa with The Leapyear as they are perfect to get you started. Their friendly staff dealt with everything and gave regular updates to anxious parents whilst you're off having the time of your life. I then went away to South America with Quest Overseas a few months later, after returning home and working to get a bit of money before my next adventure. Quest have the best of both worlds, starting you off slowly, helping you to settle into a completely different world, but then travelling around with helpful leaders giving you the understanding and independence to travel on your own.


I have had such an amazing year volunteering in other countries. Volunteering is so addictive and is so exciting working with such amazing people from other cultures and knowing you are making a difference to their lives. It also looks great on your CV, Universities love it and it gives you a real buzz!

Lauren in the AmazonLauren and fellow volunteers in Peru

I think about the people I have met and the places I've been every day and miss it all very much, but am very excited for my next big adventure: University!


Lauren Thomas's gap year program in Africa was arranged with The Leap.  Her gap year program in South America was arranged with Quest Overseas

Lauren and fellow volunteers on the Bolivian salt flats

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Joyce Shihundu

Asante sana for all this great work.
Comment made: Wednesday 27th February 2013

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