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On 12th June 2010, we made a Dirty Weekend at Meak Chheu orphanage. We had a happy time and really did a good job. Starting from 8:00am to 3:00pm we spent our time planting trees with children at the placement. There were 7 people from Projects Abroad (Rosamund, Piet, Ai, Clare, Matt, Jette, Seang) who joined this activity. Once we arrived, we had a walk around to see the fish, pig, cow and chicken farms which were established by the placement in order to support the daily meals for children there. And some of the crops and pigs will be sold to raise funds.
After walking around, we stopped by the volleyball court that also was established by Projects Abroad, we had planned to plant the trees and grass around that area. But as the sun shone and it got quite hot in the morning, so we decided to plant only the trees and leave the grass for the children to grow immediately after the rain fall. The trees we had were 5 mangos, 5 coconut trees and 1 kind of flower tree. It was so exciting; we started to dig the soil and then we watered the soil and added a fertilizer; then put in the coconut tree and covered it with the soil. One by one, we did it in teams and it was so much fun even though the weather so hot. After we did 5 trees, we relaxed and had a lunch for around 1 hour. Then, we started again to finish it.
Finally we planted all the trees successfully with a smile and hope that all those trees will grow up soon. Then, we took a picture all together. I would like to thank too all volunteers and one of our colleagues from Sri Lanka, Jette Romey, who visited us and spent time to get it done. They are all so strong and stand for this activity. Special thanks to you so much.
This past weekend, several volunteers hopped on a van to escape the Madurai heat and headed into the cool and breezy Western Ghats, the mountainous region between the southern states of Kerala and Tamil Nadu. We stayed in Kodaikanal, the most popular of the “hill stations”, where we spent 2 nights trekking and touring the natural scenery.
Saturday, volunteers trekked for either 3 or 5 hours across the hills, learning about the local fauna and witnessing the spectacular views over the mountain range from the Pillar Rocks. In the afternoon, a van was hired to bring everyone around to local sightseeing areas and lakes.
Sunday morning, volunteers walked Coaker’s Walk, a small trail with beautiful views of the mountain villages and mountains set up by British colonists. We spent the afternoon at the site’s biggest tourist attraction, the town’s lake and its adjacent gardens at Bryant’s Park. While some of us rode horses around the lake, others enjoyed the gardens or rented a paddleboat to explore the lake. Local traders and craftsmen provided great shopping; from the small stands and vendors surrounding the lake, one could buy chocolate, dried fruit, tea, or woodcrafts.
Overall, the weekend was a perfect respite from hustle, bustle, and heat of the city of Madurai – volunteers took in gorgeous views of the mountains, made tracks across one of the most picturesque areas of southern India, and learned about the nature of the area in the process.
Contributed by John Qua
More than half month already and we are ready for our first 'Get together' of June. Volunteers and staff were talking about an activity involving fun and sports and that can be done during the evening. So well, we chose bowling!
Friday night seemed perfect to do it so we met at the Projects Abroad office and from there we went all they way to the most popular bowling place in Guadalajara. We requested our funny shoes and we were ready to play!
Marco and I were the captains of the two teams we created to play. At the end, my team won both games! Everyone had a good time and staff and volunteers had the chance to show their bowling skills! Which are not too bad! not too bad indeed!
Looking forward for the next social event in Projects Abroad Mexico!
By Alex Marquaroll - who took part in the Nomad Project and also a Care placement earlier this year.
*The Mongolians are very proud of their Chingis Khan, because he united the several Mongolian tribes and he had the biggest empire ever.
*The market in UB (Ulaanbaatar) is the biggest in Asia.
*Mongolia, for me was more of an adventure and a challenge than a holiday.
*The hospitality of the Mongolians is great; you will never get hungry or thirsty.
*When you live with the nomads, you can feel alone, but sometimes it is good for you to be alone.
*Ulaanbaatar is the coldest capital in the world.
*Even after two and half months, i still have a problem trying to find the correct pronunciation for thank you in Mongolian.
*I thought the Mongolian women were the tallest and nicest in the world. At the end of my stay i realised that they like to wear high-heel shoes, but for me they are still the nicest.
*You should visit a Mongolian ensemble. The throat singers, traditional dance acts, acrobatics and the different instruments players are amazing.
*When you enter a ger, you should go head first and then with your feet this is more polite.
*Don’t whistle in an apartment or a ger, because it means bad luck for the owners.
*When you enter a ger, the left side is female part, and the right side is male part.
*Don’t cross the two vertical woods ticks in the middle of the ger, when you are not married.
*When you step on someone’s shoes, you have to shake the hands. This is polite.
*This is a Mongolian proverb: to see a wolf brings you luck, to touch a wolf brings you more luck, to shoot a wolf brings you luck until the end of your days.
*The Mongolians love to eat the head of a sheep.
So it was a hot. The sun pelted down onto our browed faces from the moment we congregated outside the metro station in the morning, making it very clear to us what its plans were for the rest of the day. From there we dashed between shaded areas to our taxis and drove off to the spot. The location was a big British school with hundreds and hundreds of boxes of clothes to be sorted within and it was those clothes that were to dictate how we would be spending the rest of the day. We were there to sort the donated goods from the city so that they could be sent off to the poor parts of the Chinese countryside.
I’m not sure on whether you can be fashionably late to a charity event, so I will just say that we were about 10 minutes late and this being so, were thrown straight into the work as soon as we arrived. With a thick resolve we went about getting the whole lot sorted, folded, bagged and thrown onto the truck ready to go off the poorer parts of China. It was all a bit of a blur from there really. The 24 odd of us who were in attendance broke off into various synergistic groups and went about getting things done.
The largest room of the operations contained the place where people were sorting the clothes into different categories. They would take them out of the boxes and place into piles for male, female, kids etc and then they would be folded ready for the next stage. Clothing transporters would then collect the piles and take them to the next station. The next station was a row of tables with people receiving the folded batches and putting them into big sacks according to their categorisation. From there the sacks went to be sealed by ‘stitchers’ and after that, it is the final and possibly the most rewarding task of loading up these large sacks ...