About the Author
The intent is for this book to be more than just a listing of organizations who will be delighted to have your help and get you out into the disadvantaged and more primitive areas of the world. As he reviews his experiences over the past years, he realizes there was much he took for granted, things that he knows now because of sometimes painful trial-and-error and hard knocks.
Knowing these things beforehand would have made my life as a volunteer infinitely easier. Othniel hopes to impart this knowledge, learned through my trial-and-error, to you in hopes of making your adventures more enjoyable and the volunteer experience more efficient, effective and rewarding.
There are hundreds of organizations sending selfless volunteers out to do good work for those who are less fortunate. Most of those organizations have neither the personnel nor the funds to adequately prepare their volunteers to properly cope with the strange environs they will encounter when leaving the culture they have been used to. It s truly a different world out there, and the better you prepare for it the better off you and those you re trying to help will be.
Don t let the fact that Othniel's work in the field of health care fool you into thinking volunteerism or this manual is only for physicians, dentists and nurses. The underprivileged areas of the world need educators, agriculturist, technicians of all types, administrators, builders, plumbers, craftsmen, skilled and knowledgeable people in every walk of life.
This book should be helpful to you in whatever field your expertise and talents lie. Most of the problems encountered in primitive parts of the world or in disaster areas will effect anyone from our culture in much the same way. Preventing culture shock is the same problem for all of us, whether we are physician, merchant or chief thief. Prevention or reduction of culture shock, enabling us to perform most efficiently, is the real purpose and crux of this guide.
In addition to volunteer missions, more and more American corporations are sending personnel into the Third World to open offices, factories and to represent them in new markets. These employees will face many of the same problems that volunteers face, though their living conditions often, but not always, may be somewhat better. Thus, this manual and what it teaches will be just as important and useful to those paid individuals as they face their foreign cultures.