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April 28, 2013 by Alyssa
Blog 1! This is a test to see if I have successfully figured out how this works.
I am going to Africa! Wow. It has, I think, officially sunk in. What stands in the way of me and my trip? 2 lab practicals, 5 final exams, and a frantic week of preparation if I do, in fact, survive finals. Preparation for the trip so far has been relatively calm. I have my visa, my malaria medication, and the only shot I needed after traveling to Haiti was a yellow fever vaccine. My mom, who plans to single handedly combat the entire mosquito population of Ghana, has made sure that I have an entire arsenal of protection against mosquitos: nets, spray, and even treated shirts.
My first flight is 12 hours long and will bring me to London where I will catch a connecting flight to Accra, Ghana. Overall, I will be spending about 18 hours in flight. Once I arrive I will be headed to Kumasi, where I will be spending the next 6 weeks with a local family in the city. I chose to work on a more hands on project designed for premed interns. Once a week I will be working in a hospital, then for the remainder of the week I will be applying what I learned in outreach projects around Kumasi.
When someone finds out that I am going to Africa they usually ask one of two questions. The first is typically some variation of 'what made you decide you want to go to Ghana?' and the second is 'are you ready?'. I had not planned on traveling this summer. In fact, my plans included working a medical internship locally and then spending a minimum of 3 hours a day on MCAT prep. I wonder sometimes how often God looks down at me, smirks, and shakes His head when he sees the plans I have created for myself.
So, when someone asks why I chose Ghana, I reply that the purpose of an internship is to learn more about the ...
It has been nearly 2 months since I started the fundraising process for my trip to Kathmandu and so far, God has been faithful to provide. Thank you to so many of my friends and family who have already donated and have helped to make this possible for me.
Next month starts the innoculation process- hooray! At this point, to the best of my knowledge, I am expecting to need at least 6 shots if not more. Wouldn't want to get japanese encephalitus or dengue fever while I'm there.
The next few months will involved planning for the move, storing my stuff, learning the basics of the language and purchasing plane tickets! So far I can say "How are you?" and "train bug" so I think I'm off to a good start. This is all moving so fast and will be here before I know it!
Thank you again for your support. In case you are in need of the information again, here is the link to my online donation site: www.gofundme.com/250780 and as always, feel free to contact me with any questions!
I have just realised that it is two months to the day that I left Australia. The time has gone so quickly and these last two weeks even more quickly. I am now in the stage of "the sad goodbyes" - on Thursday to the students, Thursday night to Jamie who is returning to France, last night to some of the staff at my supervisor's home, tonight another farewell from some of the students and tomorrow my Mexican family. I have found the people here to be very open and welcoming and I am going to miss them all.
Last weekend Alfrun, Jamie and I caught the bus to Guadalajara and then on to the city of Guanajuato. It was six hours on the bus (no hardship at all on very comfortable buses) and worth every minute. Guanajuato was in ined for silver as far back as Aztec times and of course when the Spanish arrived they were right into it. A church near where we stayed had a date of 1542 on it. At one time Guanajuato produced the bulk of the silver for the world. Probably the silver in the Spanish dollars used in early settlement in Australia came from there.
The city sits in a ravine and many of the streets are so narrow they are pedestrian only. Some of them are stairways. Streets that are suitable for cars are all one-way. Over the time the city has been there it has almost been wiped out a couple of times when heavy rains brought flooding so being miners they constructed tunnels to deal with the run off. In the 1960s a dam was built to mitigate the flooding so they turned the tunnels into roads which make getting from one area to another a breeze.
We visited a mine which had some interesting photos and tools. From there we went to what is probably the most famous of Guanajuato's sites - the Mummy Museum. Many people who died were interred above ground but there was a law that after ...
So I've been in Cambodia now for a week now. I feel very settled here and am loving my time at the moment. Two more volunteers have arrived and are now which takes are total number up to 5 in the apartment. However one of the volunteers is going home tomorrow, so i'll be the only boy. The two new volunteers are both very nice, one's a girl from Oxford and is doing the teaching programme with me and the other is a French girl who is working in a hospital.
I have now done a full week at the school and am finding it rather difficult, I have been thrown into the deep end and have control of 4 classes through out the day, unfortunately they all seem to speak little to no English and because I do not speak Khmer communicating my lessons to the children is increasingly difficult, it is not helped by the fact that there is no electricity at the school meaning none of the fans work and the classrooms are in fact hotter than the sun itself. Having said this though the kids are all very lovely and are trying to understand what i'm trying to teach them.
I was able to meet up with some friends from church who are also out here and we had a wonderful evening. First we went swimming at a local sports club and then went out for a meal, it was really good to see some familiar faces. After my evening with them I returned home where Colin (French guy) was throwing a leaving party on the roof. I had my first experience of some crazy Cambodian food where I ate a number of fried crickets, have to say they weren't that bad, just tasted like chips! Tomorrow I'm hopefully going to go to the Royal Palace and the National Museum.
Missing all my friends and family and hope everyone is surviving without me :)
River of Heartsis a charity program run by the Community Centre Shanghai, where foreigners and locals living and working in the city graciously donate their second hand clothing and items at various drop-off locations in and aroundShanghai. River of Hearts throw sorting parties every year at International Schools in Shanghai where volunteers from different companies and organisations get together to help sort through the donated clothing and items to distribute to the needy in different locations across China.
Projects Abroad is proud to have regularly lent a hand at Riverof Heartssorting parties since 2010. On Saturday 2nd March 2013, a team of Projects Abroad volunteers took part in the firstRiver of Hearts Sorting Party of 2013 held at the SCIS International School in Puxi. Despite the bitter cold weather, about 180 volunteers showed up to help making this sorting party a successful event. Everyone kept busy sorting through and bagging clothes, toys, shoes and sending various items to be sold in the infamous “Buy a Mile Bazaar”, proceeds of which help towards shipping costs.
This kept everyone busy until lunch arrived, which included pizzas donated by Melrose Pizza company, cakes from Shanghai Young Bakers, Waffles from the Hiking Group and coffee and pastries from the SCIS school. Delicious!
After lunch, it was time for us to work our muscles helping carry boxes onto the loading truck. Thanks to the help of our volunteers and all those who took part in this event,River of Heart swere able to send 260 bags and 193 boxes to Yili in theShan dong Province. An amazing effort!
The 10-wheeler truck has now arrived in Linyi,Shan dong province (which is about 584 km from Shanghai) and will take a full year to distribute the clothes to the ...