I love Salvador, the city is great, but this program sucks! I am beyond tired of this sh*t. I have been sick for the past few days and basically I have been stuck inside, so I can’t even go to the beach or anything. This program was a rip off. I contributed my own money to this trip, do you know this trip costs $3,000.00. My brother paid less than that to stay a week in an air-conditioned hotel in Salvador.
I paid thousands of dollars to sleep in bunk beds, use a dirty bathroom and eat rice and beans every night for dinner. I hate this program.
They advertised it in such a way that it made it seem like we were going to be having all these services and we were going to be experiening the culture, well that was false advertising because all we’ve done it spend time around other Americans and go out occasionally and attempt to spend time with some kids.
We live in our little homebase or hostel, the common area has bugs crawling on the couch, there is NO hot water, so you can’t even make yourself a cup of tea or take a hot shower if you’re sick, such as I am.
We spend all of our time around the same damn people and I’m sick of it.
I feel like I haven’t even truly gotten to experience the culture of Salvador, I’m just around the same obnoxious Caucasian Americans everyday, most of whom haven’t even spent any time around Black people.
We had a samba instructor come to our home base and instruct us, no one could do the steps, except for a couple people, myself and the other Black girl. I don’t consider taking samba lesson in a dirty, old home base with a bunch of people who don’t know what they’re doing to be cultural immersion.
I would much rather go to a real samba class on my own and dance with other Bahians. We aren’t learning the language the way we should at all, and frankly none of the other volunteers seem to have an interest in learning the language either.
We are cooped up with each other in our own little bubble, speaking English and not truly learning anything about the culture. Even our volunteer placements are nonsense because half of the volunteers have referred to the children in obscene terms behind their backs, one volunteer in particular has stated that one of the children is a piece of shit and then there is colorism/racism going on here all the time.
This program has ruined my experience in Salvador and I feel that my enjoyment has been tainted. I will NEVER again participate in this type of program, next time I go to a country I will be going alone because I don’t like this. I would like to come back to Salvador another time and truly experience the country without all the extra nonsense.
I can’t even use the bathroom in peace because someone is always trying to use it, sick of this rip off program. Also, one woman is still making her snide racist remarks, she thinks just because she has fake blonde hair she is the goddess of the group, this whole trip, including MOST of these people with a few exceptions, are on my last nerve.
I am ready to go back to the United States.