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After 24hrs...   (published in Peru)

October 30, 2014 by   Comments(0)

...and a complete listen to Harry Potter and the Prisoner of Azkaban read by Stephen Fry, I have arrived in Cusco, Peru. It was a straight forward hassle free journey but ever so long! I was thrown straight in at the deep end and dropped off at my host families house. I say I was thrown in the deep end because it turns out my family don't speak much English and I don't speak much Spanish! I've got some Spanish classes sorted though so I should be relatively fluent by the end of this trip! I've been given a schedule and apparently tomorrow is my induction day! I'm looking forward to finding out what my project work will entail and also getting to know the area I will be living in. The guy who dropped me off tried to explain to me the road I am staying on but I was just like "yes yes" (smiling sweetly) but didn't have a clue what he was staying. Ah yeah, good news, I've got wifi here! It's a bit of a relief to be honest! I was somewhat worried about getting homesick as I've never been away completely on my own for so long. But no need for worries as I can regularly update this blog and keep in contact with my nearest and dearest! 

My host family seem nice and the flat is a lot more modern than I was expecting! I can't wait to get a good nights sleep tonight :) gotta get back to watching cartoons. What?! I'm learning Spanish :D

Peace out xxx

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After 24hrs...
After 24hrs...

Faces of Feldioara Part II: Mrs. Roman   (published in Romania)

October 30, 2014 by   Comments(0)

Roman Violeta Karmen is an artisan living and working in Feldioara. She is renowned for her lace artwork, made by a special Saxon technique that is known only to very few people in its authentic way. She is the best in this technique and very few artisans really master ‘tatting’ – making lace with a shuttle. I had the pleasure of meeting her and had a good look at some of her artwork.

Old plates and lacework encased in glass frames hang on the walls. Various diplomas and posters of art events adorn the room, and a large sofa stands in the center. The tools of the trade are on the sofa, a wooden basket and a tatting shuttle made of plastic. This is where the magic happens.

We move outside into the courtyard and enter a room on the opposite end. Inside we find a treasure trove of wonders. On the shelves there are dolls of stray, figures of farmers and their animals, assorted woodwork and eggs made from pearls from other artisans with whom she traded products. In the center stands a beautiful white dress with ‘guipure’ or lace embroideries, alongside a black blouse and colorful earrings, all made from lace. We had stepped into the workshop of Roman Violeta Karmen, an artisan from Feldioara who makes all sorts of breathtaking works of art all by herself.

Mrs. Roman started making lace when she was 9 years old under the tutelage of a Saxon woman named Agnita, who was prolific in short lace. In her own words, Mrs. Roman learned her own personal style of knitting lace by “stealing” Agnita’s technique, developing it later on into a unique direction of making lace, which only she knows of – she is the only artisan in the whole of Romania who knits this particular lace in this particular way.

Roman Violeta ...

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Faces of Feldioara Part II: Mrs. Roman
Faces of Feldioara Part II: Mrs. Roman

Social Outreach Painting   (published in Sri Lanka)

October 30, 2014 by   Comments(0)

Two days after the medical camp we had our monthly social outreach which was held at the Moratuwa Home for Differently Abled Girls. By that time Shanna was gone and a new volunteer from the Netherlands called Lars had arrived at our host family. Due to the unreliable public transport as well as because we got lost in Moratuwa unfortunately Lars, Ari and I were over an hour late. But when we arrived there was still a lot of work to do. We were 20 volunteers in total who painted a dormitory where the residents of the Moratuwa Home stay. The dorm was in pale colours without having a colour-wash for a long time. It was a great moment for everyone to get together and work as a team. We also celebrated Charlie's birthday again although it was still not her birthday yet. Again it was a surprise and she got another delicious chocolate cake.
It was a fun day but in the end we were all so tired especially us 3 from Galle who had the longest journey to get there and back.

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Social Outreach Painting
Social Outreach Painting

Questions   (published in Nepal)

October 30, 2014 by   Comments(0)

Hi there everyone, i will be going to Nepal in june next year as a high school abroad program. It is still very early to ask questions now but curiosity is killing me. To people who have been there or is in Nepal now, please share some advice on food, language,  hygiene, people and weather over there and it would be very much appreciated, gracias!!

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Noortje and Nacho   (published in Argentina)

October 29, 2014 by   Comments(0)

This story began in September, when Noortje started her volunteering in the dog shelter “Refugio Revivir”. Noortje is a 19 year old animal lover from the Netherlands, currently studying to become a veterinary assistant. She came to Argentina aiming at getting an abroad experience for her professional career, and, why not, to take a dog back home. During her volunteering at the shelter, she carried out several tasks including cleaning the dogs cages and helping in the placement maintenance. The shelter holds more than 200 dogs in total, which are kept in kennels and are provided with their necessary daily food. Some dogs stay there for years, waiting for a family that may or may never come. Some of them, like Nacho, are luckier and stay just for a little while. Noortje saw in Nacho the “perfect dog”. He is a 1 year old puppy, with a shy and quiet personality, which has to get really confident to let someone get near. Because of this, Noortje bonded with him in a very special way. She decided to take him home with her once she finished her volunteering. This wasn’t easy at all. There were lots of requirements that Noortje had to accomplish to be able to take Nacho to Holland: a microchip, a kennel, vaccinations, a health certificate, and a special authorization from CENASA authorities. Although getting everything done was hard and stressful for Noortje, she finally could get everything ready to take Nacho home and make him part of her family for the rest of his life.

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Noortje and Nacho
Noortje and Nacho

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