NORWICH – Learning how to chop off a chicken’s head and balance a bucket of water on his own weren’t exactly the skills Norwich High School Junior Daniel Carson signed up for when he chose to volunteer in Africa this summer, but the experiences have made for colorful stories.
Carson, son of Tim and Mary Carson of Norwich, gathered family and friends recently for a video presentation of the two weeks he spent in Kumoso, Ghana as a volunteer with Projects Abroad. The organization, which began operating in 1992, is among the leading international volunteer placement organizations in the world, offering opportunities at orphanages, newspapers, schools, sports clubs, veterinary clinics, and radio stations in 27 destinations.
The chance to mentor young children, as well as live with a host family, were elements of Projects Abroad that grabbed the youth’s attention. The self-proclaimed “Peace Corps wannabe” said he began looking at service opportunities in underdeveloped countries as “something important” to do before the rigors of college and, later, career, set in.
“I really wanted to experience a different culture and I have a lot of fun playing games and sports with children,” he said, adding that most of his time with children was spent in a daycare, which provided supervision for underprivileged children aged 2 through 6.
Friends and family members pitched in sports balls and bats, bubbles, stuffed animals, jump ropes and more - filling a large suitcase that Carson carried to his home away from home. He thanked his supporters via the smiling faces on children of all ages that appeared in the video playing enthusiastically with their gifts.