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My vision on Brasov by Melissa Melvin   (published in Romania)

October 17, 2013 by   Comments(0)

Brasov is a picturesque city rich both in culture and hospitality. Most people are friendly. It is  very easy to find someone willing to give you directions or other needed information.

Whether you are a seasoned traveler or this is your first time abroad Romania is a great place to be. Romania is said to be one of the friendliest countries in Eastern Europe the people of Brasov certainly live up to that maxim

Serving as a Projects Abroad volunteer gives you the chance to explore, to see and experience what life is like for the Romanian people, to make a lasting impression and a difference in the lives of those you meet along the way.

Working in a care project is a very rewarding experience. Though the days can be exhausting, you will come away looking forward to the next day. Chances are you will come to the end of your placement feeling like you have gained more than you have given and wishing you had more time.

The children at the foster home in Budila where I have had the opportunity to server are relatively well behaved and well cared for. Every day they are overjoyed to see us and are eager to begin the activities we have planned for the day.  They are content with simple things like play dough, balloons coloring, singing songs in English, and just sitting on your lap.

They are excited to learn and happy to teach you what they know. It can be a win win situation as you teach basic English and the kids teach you Romanian. There will be some laughter along the way which makes it fun for everyone.

The overtaxed care givers are grateful for the help in supervising the kids. Your investment in the lives of these abandoned children brings excitement, joy and a welcome change in routine to these children It also helps them learn and grow and gives them a ...

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My vision on Brasov by Melissa Melvin
My vision on Brasov by Melissa Melvin

To uger gået   (published in Tanzania)

October 17, 2013 by   Comments(0)

Nu har jeg været afrikaner i godt to uger, og tiden er fløjet afsted! Men nu her jeg et roligt øjeblik, og der er tid til mit første rigtige blogindlæg (bedre sent end aldrig!). 

Jeg bor i en lejlighed med 10 andre frivillige - jeg bor på værelse med tre skide søde danske piger: Ane, Camilla og Sara, og derudover bor her en canadier, en amerikaner og to australiere. Her er dejligt at være, og der er sådan lidt kollektiv over det, men det fungerer helt fint! Hver formiddag arbejder jeg på et baby-hjem for 0-3 årige børn og om eftermiddagen laver jeg lektier, læser og leger med børnene på et andet børnehjem, hvor de er fra 4-15 år ca. Jeg er rigtig glad for at være begge steder, og det er en rigtig god kombination, synes jeg. Fælles for alle børnene er at de kommer fra meget trænge kår, dårlige eller ressourcesvage hjem og ellers er mange af dem forældreløse, fordi de har mistet deres forældre til HIV og AIDS. Det er virkelig barskt, men især på børnehjemmet for de store børn har de det virkelig godt, og har en lys fremtid med uddannelse foran sig. Særligt på baby-hjemmet er det meget tydeligt at mærke, at børnene har gennemgået nogle voldsomme svigt i løbet af deres første leveår - de har alle meget brug for opmærksomhed og bliver fuldstændig ulykkelige, når man sætter dem fra sig igen - de er helt sikkert bange for at blive efterladt. Det er dejligt at være en del af begge projekter, men jeg føler mig stadig meget ny begge steder, så jeg glæder mig til at få det mere ...

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To uger gået
To uger gået

Little Lime-Looking Lovies   (published in Jamaica)

October 17, 2013 by   Comments(0)

We are almost the end of the guinep season, here in Jamaica. Yet whenever you look in any market you will still find these addictive fruits tied in bundles, ready to be purchased and eaten.

Green…round…juicy, or not… sometimes sweet…at times sour, they all grow on bunches! They bear in various shapes, sizes and tastes. They are sometimes fleshy, or not! But one this is for sure, one simply cannot get enough of these delicious Jamaican fruits.

The trees can be found in every parish on the island. Usually bearing in Spring, the fruits develop from the flowers which ultimately produce drupes of up to 6 inches. If you are a first time visitor to Jamaica, you may be tempted to wonder if green grapes grow on trees.

Gnep or Guinep, as they are called in Jamaica, the Cayman Islands, the United States Virgin Isladns and Antigua and Barbuda, also have a plethora of names across the world. In Cuba, Columbia, El Salvador, Nicaragua, Panama and Venezuela, it is called Mamoncillo or Mamon. The fruit is known as chenette in Trinidad and Tobago, Guaya, quenepa in Mexico, skinnip in St. Kitts and in Grenada, "skinup" (which I thought was a bit hilarious).  In Dominica the locals call it kenip , while in the Dominican Republic and Guyana, Haiti, Belize, Bahamas  Anguilla and some parts of Central America, it is referred to as   canepa, genip, guinep, ginepa, ginnip, kenèp, limoncillo. There are other places that have varied names for this green-shelled fruit. In some parts of Guatemala it is known as talpa jocote, genepa, xenepa, kenepa in Curaco and Aruba, knippa in Suriname and Spanish ...

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Little Lime-Looking Lovies
Little Lime-Looking Lovies

Life around the Meenakshi Temple.   (published in India)

October 17, 2013 by   Comments(0)

Salesmen, saleswomen, fortunetellers and  tour guides. These are just one of the few people you'll find around the Meenakshi Temple.


The Meenakshi Temple is the most important temple and tourist attraction in Madurai.  The Hindi temple was build over 2000 years ago. It is centered in the middle of Madurai. In the temple you'll find a floating Lotus flower. This Lotus is the inner hart of Madurai. The temple is devoted to the Godess: Parvati. Inside, you won't only find her statue. The whole place is  filled with beautiful images and statues of different gods and goddesses. Everything is hand painted including the 14 towers of the temple. Around this huge temple people created their own community, we call them the Meenakshi people.

We came out of the bus, covered in sweat, on yet another hot day in Madurai. Luckily the look of the beautiful temple and the kind residents who live around the temple, made us soon feel better. All around the temple you will see pedestrian and, very rare in Madurai, no traffic! This made us smile even more!

 “ Four years ago, the cars could drive along this area'' explains mister Ashid, a seller situated in front of the temple. ''I think it is better for the tourists. They can stop everywhere to take pictures. Though less people come to my shop nowadays, the people who do visit have more time to look around in a peaceful environment.” Says Ashid.

There are a lot of shops all around the temple, but you can also find prier hall and tourist accommodations. When a foreigner walks in the streets near the temple he will find everything he needs, and more. On every corner. There will be people waiting for you. They will invite you to their shops and stands, or they will try to sell you something they are ...

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Life around the Meenakshi Temple.
Life around the Meenakshi Temple.

The Tough Stonemen   (published in India)

October 17, 2013 by   Comments(0)

When I travel by Ricksha and enjoy my ride on the Pasumalai main road, the stone cutters of Madurai always catch my eye. The statues of Hindi gods and goddesses will immediately grab your attention. You can see the beautiful well made sculptures standing in, and before the stone boutiques on the side way of the road. Just by looking at it, you are able to tell that the work is done by real craftsmen.

I got lucky. I met two of the hardworking men who own a stone cutting business.


"My grandfather was a stone cutter, my father was a stone cutter and now the business is mine. I have never dreamed of doing something different than stone cutting. How could I! Stone cutting is in my blood and it always will be."


These are the words of Mr. T. Sasikumar (38). Mr. T. Sasikumar has been in the Stone cutting industry for 25 years now. The shop he is running has been in the family for over 70 years. In the Boutique they make only Hindi gods an goddesses. They are made out of a special stone called black stone. This stone is perfect for sculpting. But don't let the name of the stone full you. Black stone is closer to being white than black! To get the black stone they have to travel to... If it is not available there they travel to another town called... When this option turns out as a failure as well then the last option is ..... . After they finish a statue, it will be sold to different temples all over India. The time it takes to complete a statue depends on the size of the stone sculpture. The proses of producing a 1.5 feet statue will take 3 days. The smallest statue will be done in 1 day.


For 7 months  T. Sasikumar and his two co-workers will be very busy. This is do to the big amount of festivals which take place in the temples. The remaining ...

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The Tough Stonemen
The Tough Stonemen

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