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First Impressions of Fiji!   (published in Fiji)

July 7, 2010 by   Comments(1)

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Bula from Fiji!!!!!

I'm the new Country Assistant Manager for the Fiji Projects Abroad office and thought I'd start off Fiji's tripblog with some of my own first impressions!

First and foremost - Everything here so far is GREAT.  I don't even know what to say about it.  For one thing, everything is extremely chilled to the max... :) life happens in 'Fiji Time' ie, slow.  People are so friendly.  I can't walk anywhere without every other person on the street greeting me with Bula!  (hello in Fijian!)

My work is really enjoyable - not the rush and deadlines and constant emailing back and forth and urgency as with my corporate job in London, but it is not without its challenges. I really have to take every day as it comes.  Any event can restucture my entire day!  A large part of what I do is running around town to visit volunteers at their placements or their host families.  I love spending time with the volunteers and hearing their stories and experiences - each and every person who arrives here has a unique trip and sees Fiji through different eyes.

I'm also loving the host family I'm living with, the Khans!  They are Indo-Fijians and fabulous.  They have two children, a shy and awkward 14 year boy and a precious 6 year old girl, Sanaa - who is probably my 'best friend forever' in Fiji.  She is also my constant entertainment!  She is always smiling like crazy, wanting to sing to me, telling me ghost stories about the strangest creatures (such as ''a big bear that releases smoke from it's tail and if you smell it, it stink and you die''!!).  Maureen, the mom spends all day cooking delicious curries and cakes and believe it or not there is actually a coconut tree in their ...

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First Impressions of Fiji!https://www.mytripblog.org/pg/blog/fiji-social-manager/read/7513/first-impressions-of-fiji
First Impressions of Fiji!
 

The first few weeks   (published in Peru)

July 7, 2010 by   Comments(0)

In only two weeks Peru has already made me feel right at home - even though this is a completely different world than the one I am used to in New Zealand!  Every day I am amazed by new sights and the generosity, ingenuity and strength of the people who live here.

I am so glad to be living with the lovely host family Ramirez and their three gorgeous children who are always full of energy, willing to teach me the ways of living in Urubamba and eager to learn more about me and where I come from.

 

I love the simplicity of the life here – you learn about what really matters.  I feel very lucky to wake up each morning surrounded by mountains and walk along the dusty streets to the office, passing by people in their traditional dress lugging their colourful shawls filled with fruit and vegetables, rice, plants and other goods to sell.  My usual scene of motorways and traffic lights has been replaced by cows, carts and mototaxis. I am always amazed at how the children manage to speed down the rocky dirt hill on their bicycles in one piece – sometimes loaded with up 3 people! 

I have met many of the host families who are so generous and immediately invite me in to have a drink of coca tea or meal with them – even though they are already preparing for large families and usually two volunteers as well!  It is true that the people who have less are always more happy to share.  Yesterday I dropped off a new volunteer in Calca and the beaming host grandmother was delighted to have “a beautiful new son” in the family.  The three children came running with their soccer ball and hugs to welcome him too.  You can’t feel homesick for long!Each day of work is a new cultural experience for me....

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The first few weekshttps://www.mytripblog.org/pg/blog/peru-social-manager/read/7487/the-first-few-weeks
The first few weeks
 

Kokrobite   (published in Ghana)

July 7, 2010 by   Comments(0)

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              Before even coming to Ghana a lot of volunteers want to go to Cape Coast, on the most part purely because it is close to the beach. Cape Coast is very nice, but I’m going to stand up and say that all the regions are great and you will come to love your place during your stay! I did not know an awful lot about Kumasi before I started working here, but now I have come to love it.

              So if you do end up in the other regions and still want to go to the beach, be assured that you can do this every weekend if you wish! I have already been to the beach many times in my short stay here.

The beach in Kokrobite is written about in all the travel guides and is talked about by all the white people. Rightly so, as even though it is touristy, the beach is beautiful and the famous Big Milly’s Backyard is very nice as well. It is only an hour away from Accra using the tro tro so it is easy to get to and it’s relatively cheap.

 The volunteers and I were able to rent out a whole house just for ourselves in Big Milly’s as we were a big group. The beach was nice and unpolluted unlike some of the other beaches in Ghana and the waves were perfect to have fun in. If you don’t want to spend a lot of money on food, you can actually just walk out of Big Milly’s and go to a chop bar to buy some rice.

Going to Kokrobite is a classic beach weekend trip and I don’t think many will be disappointed.

By Minato Kobori

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Kokrobitehttps://www.mytripblog.org/pg/blog/ghana-social-manager/read/7467/kokrobite
Kokrobite
 

Tren de las Sierras! A wonderful day trip through the mountains of Cordoba.   (published in Argentina)

July 6, 2010 by   Comments(0)

Last Saturday Ariel, our Desk Officer, and I took the volunteers into the mountains for the day. We took a special train that goes all the way up to the city of Cosquin. With more than six year of absence, this train was open again in a section than links the Rodríguez del Busto station in the City of Córdoba (Center) with the La Calera, 16 kilometers away. The official project is to finish the itinerary to Santa Cruz del Eje, 150 kilometers away. This train has three cars built in Portugal with capacity for 120 passengers in every one. The train goes through the picturesque mountains of Córdoba towards Valle de Punilla. Part of this excursion extends up to the hillsides of Suquia River. Then, the train goes through long and smooth slopes of the Punilla landscape.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

After a two hour trip through the Sierras Chicas of Cordoba, we discovered the small city of Cosquin. It is at 720 meters above sea level bordering on the north with Casa Grande, on the east with Sierras Chicas Range, on the west with San José and La Pampa de Olaen and on the south with Santa María de Punilla.

Famous due to the "Festival Nacional de Folklore" (Folklore National Festival) that calls together thousands of people from everywhere in its main square during nine moons for the identification of native music and dances inside and outside the country, Cosquín is the place where nature and man's culture join together in order to offer one the typical features of Argentina.

We decided to have lunch in a local restaurant before walking along the river to enjoy the afternoon sun. Thank you to all of those who participated in the Social!!

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Tren de las Sierras! A wonderful day trip through the mountains of Cordoba.https://www.mytripblog.org/pg/blog/argentina-social-manager/read/7464/tren-de-las-sierras-a-wonderful-day-trip-through-the-mountains-of-cordoba
Tren de las Sierras! A wonderful day trip through the mountains of Cordoba.
 

A nice experience...   (published in South Africa)

July 6, 2010 by   Comments(0)

Wednesday June 30, 2010

Reminiscent of the weather back in Ireland, we have awoken these past couple of days to a cloudy and overcast sky.  It’s saving grace however, is that it is nowhere near as cold as it has been this last month when temperatures plummeted to 3 degrees Celsius in the mornings. 

After breakfast yesterday we went on a research drive in our trusty Land Cruiser, Bertha. She has returned to us fresh from the mechanic and no longer needs to be push-started in the mornings now, much to the relief of the volunteers!

As we pulled away from the camp, we were greeted by a small heard of Impalas as well as the 2 elephants that seem to be hanging around the same spot a couple of hundred meters away from the camp.  We followed the Limpopo River that borders Botswana with South Africa and now and again we would pull into a shaded spot to get out and see what we could see.  It turned out that we could see a few hefty looking crocodiles lazily sunning themselves on the river banks over to our left and a couple of hippos grunting and roaring to our right.  Wagers were made on who would be man enough to swim across to the other side and back again. It turns out no one was...

Back at the camp, our conservation director, Gerrit, gave us a fascinating workshop on snakes: how to spot them, what to do if we do spot one and even advice on how to act if unfortunate enough to be bitten by one.  He is more than qualified on the subject as he has been breeding snakes all his life and has been bitten by some of the most poisonous snakes in Africa.  The fact that he was still standing there telling us the stories was a great testament to the advice he gave!  He even introduced us to one of his own snakes, a venomous puff adder ...

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A nice experience...https://www.mytripblog.org/pg/blog/southafrica-social-manager/read/7458/a-nice-experience
A nice experience...
 

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