Any adult can join a folklore expedition! (15-17? Bring a parent or guardian.) We welcome volunteers from around the world. You don’t need to have any special skills or training — you’ll learn on-site.
However, rural life is not for everybody. It can be strenuous, with lots of walking on dirt roads and bumping along in crowded cars. Electricity can be unreliable. Pit toilets are common. You might end up carrying water from a well or firewood to the stove. Sanitation may not be up to Western urban norms.
You need to be in good physical, mental and emotional health. Each volunteer must have the approval of a primary care provider in the form of a signed AFRF health statement. The statement addresses physical, mental and emotional health.
Life and travel in rural areas can be physically strenuous. Volunteers must be able to:
- Walk a level mile (1.6 k) in 30 minutes
- Carry all their own luggage up and down stairs
- Use pit toilets with no seats
- Adapt to local cuisine
- Deal with dust, mold, pollen and animal dander
Mental Health Requirements
Rural areas are typically far from mental health professionals and medications. Volunteers must exhibit:
- Mental stability while immersed in unfamiliar culture, language, environment, activities and society
Working with a team of strangers can be emotionally strenuous. Volunteers must exhibit:
- Flexibility and patience necessary for teamwork
- Emotional stability, with no extreme highs or lows
- Tolerance for lack of privacy and lack of certainty
- Tolerance and respect for unfamiliar customs