BAGAMOYO, Tanzania — “I’m thinking of volunteering abroad,” I told my daughter. My granddaughter, whom I thought was plugged into her iPod in the next room, piped up: “Can I come?” Days later, three of us: Leah, 15, her sister, Kate, 17, and I were committed. But where to?
After many false starts I settled on a two-week program in Bagamoyo. An organization based there accepted minors and had a slot that fit the girls’ schedule. It satisfied my needs for safety and basic comfort, housing and feeding volunteers in a dormitory with bunk beds, hot running water, and flush toilets. Additionally, the organization set curfews, rules on sex and drugs, and suggestions on dress.