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Week 2 in Lome   (published in Togo)

July 28, 2015 by   Comments(0)

Week 2:  (13th – 19th July)

Days at the Orphelinat can be good or bad.  One morning was horrible.  No volunteers except me, and the ‘infants’ room is an absolute sweatbox.   Generally the kids are great, but not all of them, and not all the time. There are two that cry incessantly, and four of the eight are still in nappies (les couches).  To say that one morning was hard is a vast understatement.  They brush their teeth, then breakfast, and then have their lessons (the absolute basics, and then only the oldest three grasp the difference between 1 and 2, recognise the letter ‘a’, can tell blue from yellow etc).  After this they are supposed to nap, but sometimes they don’t.  One little boy just sits up and wails most of the time – he needs the nap more than most.  They got to lunch, somehow, and still didn’t sleep, but you can imagine how ‘ratty’ some of them were.   

I went and organised some reading for the older kids, most of whom are just so enthusiastic and willing!  Pretty soon however the youngsters were awake, and I had one kid on each knee, both with nappies that were sopping and pooey, with my shirt a lather of perspiration.  You go home from these days and all you want is a shower (la douche).

On Friday I had Helene, another volunteer from Projects Abroad with me – a young Danish girl who works on a farm (half her luck) but there wasn’t any work for her that day, so she came to the Orphelinat.  She was terrific with new activities for the kids (both young and old), and we split the younger one’s up so that we could concentrate on teaching those that are old enough to learn.  But pretty soon ...

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Week 2 in Lome
Week 2 in Lome

Lessons From The Legend   (published in Jamaica)

July 28, 2015 by   Comments(0)

Robert Nesta Marley, an International music icon and a son of the Jamaican soil. Bob Marley’s music was revolutionary and is still in the hearts of many today. In deed there is a lot we can learn from his lyrics, regardless of age, nationality or status. So we have decided to highlights just a few of the many messages observed in his music. Most of us know the words, but have we ever stopped to appreciate the true meanings and how they have, for the most part, influenced global love? If your answer is no well we have you covered.

Redemption Song

“Emancipate yourselves from mental slavery, none but ourselves can free our minds.”

While it was Marcus Garvey who was originally quoted with this lesson, Bob Marley kept it alive through the Redemption Song and of course was influenced by the national heroes’ philosophies. A lot of times it is our minds that keep us from achieving certain goals. We worry a lot, we get anxious about projects, and we think about all that could go wrong instead of the positives, while blaming other persons and situations for our inabilities. Both Marcus Garvey and Bob Marley are teaching  us that we not only have the power to make exceptional impact, but also that we cannot utilize that power if our minds are not in a free state, and the only persons that can do that is us.

Sun is Shining

“Sun is shining, weather is sweet, makes you want to move your dancing feet.”  

Be Happy! That is all that is to be learnt from this line, especially when the environment endorses it. So if you are having a bad day and it starts to rain…go ahead and dance in the rain, move your dancing feet. We guarantee that you will feel a lot better after that rain dance. In the same way, when the sun is shining and the ...

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Lessons From The Legend
Lessons From The Legend

Lost & Found 27 07 15   (published in Senegal)

July 28, 2015 by   Comments(5)

Thank you BA & Iberia for my return business class fare for £250 & millions of Avios. I had all 12 seats to myself & the attention of my own stewardess! I could choose when I had dinner & steal all the soap sachets from the toilet. It doesn’t take long to return to backpacker tendancies. I also stole two toilet rolls from the Business class lounge at Madrid 

Dakar airport is a big fat ‘Welcome to Africa’! The heat, the ebola checks, the humungous visa queues & also the fascination with the very few ‘tu bab’ (Wolof for foreigners – not derogatory just a descriptive word!)

Luggage reclaim is just crazy mental & there are no trolleys to be found anywhere.. Hmm this could make my four bags difficult to maneovuer? It's not all my luggage – two bags are very generous & large doantions of stationery & football strips! I needn’t of worried, as fortunately they had lost one of the bags for me! After jumping in at the deep end with my French, I found a baggage supervisor who found me a trolley & led me round to the heart of the airport to complete my lost luggage form. After another queue & form completion, I returned to a now empty baggage reclaim to see my bag rotating around an entirely different carousel! Bugger, now I am going to have to carry them all I thought 

My volunteer coordinator ‘Habib’ met & accompanied me to the hostel in Dakar where I would wait for another volunteer (Daniel from Sardinia!) & then travel to St Louis in the morning. I joked with Habib that after helping with my bags, there was no need for a gym membership. He could easily come to England as work as local crew, he didn’t ...

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Lost & Found 27 07 15
Lost & Found 27 07 15

Day 1 and 2   (published in Bolivia)

July 27, 2015 by   Comments(1)

So far I got in to Cochabamba around 2:00 on sunday and the group was driven to our host families house. Me and 3 others are staying with a family that has two boys named Gabriel and Juan Pablo ages 10 and 14. They are very nice and funny and they love our american candy (especially the gummy bears). We played Uno and watched a movie with them until it was time to eat dinner and sleep after a very tiring two days of flying. We woke up the next day at 8:30, had breakfast and walked around downtown Cochabmaba. It was really cool seeing all the market places and the culture. We ate this weird rice with chicken at this cool restaurant downtown. We also had a soda that kind of tasted like grape rootbeer (I didnt like it). We spent the rest of the day learning medical vocabulary in Spanish. They told us that in the next 2 weeks we will be visiting the pediatric burn hospital, learning how to do stitches, taking vitals, giving injections, and we will be seeing a dental surgery! I will let everyone know more when I can!

-Isabel Skinner

PS: I cannot attatch pictures but I will show everyone them when I get home!

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Day 1 and 2
Day 1 and 2

Eerste week in Argentinië   (published in Argentina)

July 27, 2015 by   Comments(1)

Buenos dias!

Hier dan eindelijk mijn eerste echte post vanuit Córdoba!

Het echt bijhouden van dit 'blog' is nogal lastig,

aangezien we niet heel veel vrije tijd hebben.

Maar goed!

De reis begon op vrijdag op Schiphol, waar ik een ander Nederlands meisje ontmoette, waarmee ik samen zou reizen.

De eerste vlucht die op het programma stond ging naar Rome, goed verlopen.

Als volgende de 13(!) uur durende vlucht naar Buenos Aires, extreem drukke vlucht, slechte service en geen beenruimte (en dat zeg ik, met m'n korte beentjes..)

Toen we eindelijk aankwamen in Buenos Aires, meteen 3+ uur in de rij gestaan voor de immigratie, waar we veel van verwacht hadden maar dat viel heel erg mee.

Met de bus van vliegveld gewisseld, want van waar we geland waren vertrokken geen binnenlandse vluchten.

We hadden nog geen stap binnen gezet of we konden wel huilen van ellende.

Een grote chaos, niemand sprak Engels of kon ons op een andere manier duidelijk maken waar we heen moesten, het enige wat we zeker wisten is dat we in de rij moesten gaan staan die door het hele vliegveld liep.

Na bijna 4 uur in de rij gestaan te hebben, mochten we eindelijk onze koffers inleveren, waar ons heel leuk verteld werd dat ze niet zeker waren of onze vlucht nog wel zou vertekken.

Al snel werd duidelijk dat onze vlucht 4,5 uur vertraagd was.

Achja, dachten we, als ie nog maar vertrekt!

 Blokje om door de buurt dan maar.

Daarvan terug, door de douane en wachten bij de gate, gelukkig vertrokken we over 2 uur!

Ha-ha, guess not! nog 4 uur vertraagd! 

Aantal keren dus de organisatie moeten bellen om te melden dat we later aankwamen, want iemand kwam ons van het vliegveld ophalen om naar het gastgezin te gaan.

We waren er al helemaal op ingesteld dat we een hotel zouden boeken en de eerst ...

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Eerste week in Argentinië
Eerste week in Argentinië

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