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week 11   (published in Ghana)

November 17, 2017 by   Comments(2)

Friday: Instead of going to work, Tine and I traveled to Achimota to visit Street Girls Aid, an organization that aims to get girls off the streets. We met one of their social workers, Issa, when he came to the shelter to trace a family for one of the kids. He graciously invited us to visit, and we finally got to take him up on the offer. I was so incredibly impressed with the org. Every single person who works there is kind, welcoming, and actually looks like they love thier job. Since SGA is an NGO, it has private donors which allows them to provide a lot for the girls, including hospital visits for pregnant teens. However, their main job is sending outreach workers into the neighborhood to make contact with homeless girls. Once they build a relationship, they offer their services, and hopefully the girls accept. Once they do, they are given food, housing, vocational training, childcare, and even business and english lessons. Additionally, the org has a traveling library to teach street kids how to read. This day in particular, five young women were graduating from the hairdressing program, and we got to attend the celebration. Everyone was so proud of them, including themselves, which was beautiful to see. I'm attaching a link to thier website because it does a much better job explaining everything than I can, and there is a donate button if you have some spare cash lying around and want to support a truly impactful organization!

That evening, Claire was not feeling well so we took a little field trip to a not so nearby hospital! It was actually very interesting to see, a lot clearer than most hospitals back home, and besides the fact Claire was miserable I had quite a pleasant time. I know I made my mom proud because I got to show off my self-advocacy ...

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week 11
week 11

General teaching project Myanmar   (published in Myanmar)

November 15, 2017 by   Comments(0)

My husband and I decided to have a go at volunteering (even though we are quite old, both 52) and settled on the general teaching project in Myanmar. We decided to join after having bought tickets to fly to Yangon only 3 weeks before arriving. Ordinarily I think it takes a while to get everything in place to join one of the projects, but the project organiser was amazing and managed to fast track us through the paperwork phase.

So here we are, in Yangon, teaching teenagers in a monastery  school in a very poor neighbourhood.

when we arrived here we were met be the local representatives of the project and taken to a hostel, our home for the next few weeks they let us load of our suitcases then immediately whisked us of to visit the famous  Shwedagon Pagoda in Yangon, (an absolute must when visiting Yangon) and afterwards  we had dinner and a short introduction to the project handbook.

Next day we were picked up from the hostel and taken to the monastery and was introduced to the English teacher and the principal munk at the monastery.

We also got to meet some of the kids we are going to be teaching. The level of English is quite basic so when we got back to the hostel we spent a few hours getting some lesson plans together, crossing our fingers we had gauged the level right.

Today we were on our own trying to find our way to the monastery it entails getting a taxi to the ferry terminal then catching the very heavily used ferry to Dala, on the other side we have an agreement with a rickshaw that wait for us and takes us to the monastery every day.

We were teaching a class of varied aged children from 11 to 16 some local children and others the young monks from the monastery so it is quite a big age gap.

All the kids are really eager to learn and want to ...

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General teaching project Myanmar
General teaching project Myanmar

First few days of work   (published in Ecuador)

November 11, 2017 by   Comments(1)

What a fabulous first few days of work.  We've been doing a variety of tasks from clearing vegetation  for reforestation, preparing soil, removing non endemic invasive species, cleaning a beach and my favourite so far feeding and cleaning the pond for the giant tortoises. 

Yesterday it was an early start to record sea lion numbers on the beach with frigate birds overhead.  Then off to cut food for the tortoises and feed them.  Followed by a walk to a beautiful beach. Then we swam in the sea with tortoises, seals, a ray and a pelican all coming to join us. It is such a special place and the wildlife is so abundant.  Sea lions, marine iguanas, frigate birds, Darwin's finches are all so common. The animals are not frightened of you and come close,  but you are requested to keep 2 metres away from them so that you don't impact on their behaviour.

After a physically hard few days at work I'm looking forward to exploring the area and taking photographs of the wildlife over the weekend.

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First few days of work
First few days of work

week 10   (published in Ghana)

November 9, 2017 by   Comments(0)

Friday: Yet another right to play. I got a sunburn and bitten multiple times by a really cute four year old, but I beat my co-worker in a shoot-off so it was all worth it. Back at the office, I got to talk to one of the PA employees and hear about her life in Ghana. She met her husband at school in London, and moved to Ghana seven years ago. She now has a son who is attending preschool and noted that it was unfair how money could buy such superior education even at that young age. Her story just made me think about how wild it would be to pack up and move your life somewhere else. She's created a whole new life here and seems very happy, but has had to adjust so much. I admire her bravery and the way she's leaped into Ghana with open arms. Speaking of (overly) open arms, this evening we went to a new bar to meet one of our volunteer's coworkers. He was a man in his 30s, and my first impression of him was him grabbing a waitress by the breast and saying "see I can do this, only for me". I thought hmmmm where have I heard this before..cough cough Trump. I was horrified, and looked at the woman to see if she needed help. She didn't say anything, but was smiling as if all was well and they knew each other. As uncomfortable as myself and my fellow volunteers were, we decided not to say anything because perhaps it was a cultural thing and not a big deal. Unfortunately the next thing this man did was look at my two friends and I, inspect our breasts closely, then decree that none of ours were big enough for him, and he preferred the waitress' because they were large enough to "eat up". 1. I've never had anyone in my life tell me my boobs were small, so that was jarring to begin with. 2. WHO THE HELL DOES THIS MAN THINK HE IS. I racked my brain thinking am I being judgemental, ...

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week 10
week 10

Accommodation   (published in Ecuador)

November 8, 2017 by   Comments(0)

The accommodation is better than I expected a new building in El Progresso for conservation volunteers.  Rooms generally two or three beds and currently got one to myself.

Several shower rooms and meals cooked for you after a hard day at work.  

Wifi and Hammocks.

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