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Ha Long Bay   (published in Vietnam)

September 1, 2014 by   Comments(0)

Wow, I can't even begin to describe what an amazing weekend I had. Some of my housemates (Simone, Aldo, Vivian, and Kim) and I took a trip out to Ha Long Bay and had the opportunity to see one of the seven natural wonders of the world. The pictures that I took can not even begin to do it justice! It was easily one of the most beautiful places (if not the most beautiful place) that I have ever been. Ha Long is about a 4 hour bus ride from Hanoi, so we headed out at about 9 am Saturday morning. the bus ride was definitely the least enjoyable part of the entire adventure, as the roads are VERY bumpy and I'm pretty sure our seats were on springs hahaha (there was one time I probably got two inches of air under me aftee hitting a bump). Once we arrived in Ha Long, however, it was literally (and physically) smooth sailing from there on out. We hopped on our Luxury Imperial Cruise where we set out onto the bay. We took a stop in the middle of the bay to head onto one of the islands that housed "surprising cave" and take a kayak tour around the surrounding area. The setting could not have been any more beautiful (there are more than 2,000 small islands in all of the bay), and the weather cooperated beautifully the entire trip! After kayaking we headed to a small beach that had been cleaned of the rubbish that unfortunately littered the rest of Ha Long Bay and swam in the water while we watched the sun begin to set. We then headed back onto our boat for the end of the sunrise and some fruit and wine before dinner. The meals served were amazing and gigantic, although they often served very strange combinations of things (like sweet potato soup, French fries, fried chicken, friend rice, tofu, steamed veggies, and fruit all for dinner). That night I was feeling extra adventurous ...

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Ha Long Bay
Ha Long Bay

..einfach toll!   (published in Ethiopia)

September 1, 2014 by   Comments(0)

Ihr Lieben, ich fange mal an einen ganz normaler Tag zu beschreiben..der Wecker klingelt um 7:30Uhr, ca 8Uhr Frühstück. Weißbrot mit Marmelade. Ach, ich freu mich auf ein Brot mit Käse ;). Dann geht's zur Minibus Station: Kazanchis! Von dort aus geht's bis zur Station Arat Kilo. Umsteigen um zur Station Kabena zu kommen. Von dort aus sind es wenige Meter zum Waisenhaus. Leider fast immer im Regen :(. Mein erster Gang ist zu allen Kindern um sie zu begrüßen. Das ist ganz niedlich, überall kleben Kinder und die 4-8 jährigen rufen: schoooooool?!?! Jawoll! Dann rennen die 4-8 jährigen los ins Klassenzimmer. 9Uhr geht's in etwa los. Zahlen und Buchstaben, einige können auch schon englische Worte schreiben. Es gibt eine kleine Pause. Dann wird manchmal gesungen, oder draußen ein Zahlenspiel gespielt. Nach der Mittagspause geht's zu den Babys. Wenn es nicht regnet, beschäftigen wir uns draußen mit den Kleinen. Parallel wird Fußball gespielt. Handball ist leider nicht mehr möglich, da der Ball verschwunden ist. Dafür gibt es auch verschiedene Gründe. Entweder wirklich verloren..das kann nur passieren, wenn der Ball das Gelände verlässt, denn die Kinder dürfen nicht außerhalb des Geländes sein. So kann es sein, dass der wirklich verloren gegangen ist und von jemandem vielleicht gefunden, der jetzt weiter mit dem Ball irgendwo anders spielt. Oder..irgendwo in einem der Zimmer, in das kaum jemand Zugang hat. Wie auch immer: doof! Auf jeden Fall wird neben der Lernerei viel gekuschelt und gealbert! Hier leben Mädchen und Jungs (Babys bis 18jährige), behinderte Kinder, alle zusammen in einem Haus. Es gibt die Mamas, die kochen, waschen und auf die Kinder ...

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..einfach toll!
..einfach toll!

Arusha, St. Elisabeth hospital   (published in Tanzania)

September 1, 2014 by   Comments(0)

Time flies! Ik ben inmiddels al ruim een maand weg en begonnen aan mijn derde week in het ziekenhuis. Het werk is schokkend, heftig, intens en ontzettend leerzaam. St. Elisabeth hospital is een regulier ziekenhuis en niet zo heel groot, waardoor bedden vaak gedeeld moeten worden. Patiënten moeten vaak hun eigen behandeling betalen, waardoor veel patiënten uiteindelijk zonder behandeling weer vertrekken. Er is een groot tekort aan materialen en verpleegkundigen. De hulp van vrijwilligers is dan ook van harte welkom. Ik ben al op veel verschillende afdelingen geweest, vooral daar waar ze de meeste hulp nodig hadden. Ik heb tot nu toe het meest geholpen op de surgical ward, met de wondverzorging, op de kinderafdeling en geassisteerd bij bevallingen. Verder ben ik veel op het lab geweest om te helpen met het afnemen van bloedmonsters. Veel patiënten zijn hiv-positief dus af en toe is dat zeker spannend. Hygiene is overal ver te zoeken. In de OK met openstaande ramen worden weliswaar "steriele" handschoenen gebruikt, maar met deze handschoenen raken ze gerust alles aan. De behandeltafel van de surgicalward zit vol met gaten en wordt de helft van de tijd niet eens schoongemaakt tussen de patiënten door. En ja, ook de hivpatienten met bloedende wonden worden hierop behandeld. Verder draagt het personeel gerust een hele week dezelfde kleding en wordt alles met de hand gewassen.Bijna alles wordt gedaan zonder enige vorm van pijnstillers, zo ook de wondverzorging. Er zijn ontzettend veel kinderen met brandwonden die elke dag verzorgd moeten worden. Hartverscheurend om ze zoveel pijn te moeten doen.. Diagnoses worden meestal op de gok gesteld. Zelden weten ze zeker wat het probleem is en het meeste wordt dan ook behandeld met een (breedspectrum)antibiotica en ...

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Arusha, St. Elisabeth hospital
Arusha, St. Elisabeth hospital

"I feel very grateful to be a part of raising awareness in sea turtles conservation."   (published in Thailand)

September 1, 2014 by   Comments(0)

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"I feel very grateful to be a part of raising awareness in sea turtles conservation."
"I feel very grateful to be a part of raising awareness in sea turtles conservation."

Olivia's experience in Chengdu as a law and business volunteer   (published in China)

September 1, 2014 by   Comments(0)

My trip with Projects Abroad has been the best experience of my life. The first night in China had me a little worried, as I compared my flat in Chengdu to the luxurious hotel I had previously stayed at in Shanghai, but I soon realized that this trip would be much better. I think that the most important part of Projects Abroad is that I feel less like a tourist and more like a part of Chengdu. Whether I am eating baozi for breakfast, taking the Chinese metro, or conversing with the taxi driver using my skills from the Mandarin Club, I feel immersed in the culture. The places I have visited and sights I have seen have all contributed to my new understanding of Chengdu, both modern and ancient. On my first day, I was taken to the beautiful Wenshu Monastery where I appreciated the temple’s beauty and learned the principles of Daoism. On the weekend, we woke up early to see the adorable pandas at the conservation center. We then went shopping on Chunxi Road, where I got to see Chinese fashion and learned to bargain with local vendors. On the next day, we climbed a mountain to see the world’s largest Buddha, then finished of the weekend with a movie night. I am having so much fun that I hardly realize how much I am learning. The Sichuan Museum was very fun, with exhibits from ancient weapons to traditional wear of ethnic minority groups. I even learned how to make my own dumplings one night! As for Sichuan cuisine, I could write a whole book on how much fun the meals have been. I have had the opportunity to try new things every day, and all of them delicious. We have eaten the famous hotpot, mooncakes, sweet corn, and so much more. One day, my group was feeling so adventurous that we asked for scorpions on a stick!

As for the purpose of my trip, law and ...

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Olivia's experience in Chengdu as a law and business volunteer
Olivia's experience in Chengdu as a law and business volunteer

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