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What to see..   (published in Ethiopia)

August 13, 2010 by   Comments(0)


The hot springs resort of Sodere , situated at an altitude of 1,700m stretches for about 1km on the banks of the Awash River about 25km south of Adama. The large, 3m-deep swimming pool, usually dry during the week, is a popular draw for Addis weekenders. For most tourists, however, the Awash River and fringing riparian forest will probably be of greater interest. Vervet monkeys and crocodiles are often encountered in the grounds, and the odd hippo still makes an appearance. The reverie forest also offers excellent birding. The resort is riddled with footpaths and makes for a diverting day or overnight trip from Adama.

Koka Dam and Hippo Pool-

Damming the Awash River about 15km west o Adama as the crow flies, Koka was constructed in the late 1950s, with war reparation payments from Italy. Since opening in 1960, it has been one of Ethiopia’s most important sources of hydro-electric power. The lake formed behind the Dam-called Koka or Gelilas – is to the best of my acknowledge the most expensive artificial body of water in Ethiopia with a surface area of 180km situated cloth to the Dam wall is the plush Gelila place, which Hailesilasie donated to charity in the 1960. For several years after that, the Gelila Hotel had the reputation of being one of the plushest Hotels in Ethiopia , managed by the Ghion group with all profits diverted to charity Sadly it is no longer functional

Although it is an important sight for water birds Koka is of interest to tourists primarily for a hippo pool in the Awash River a short distance downstream from the dam at the confluence with the river that rises from the nearby Garagadi Hotel spring.  The pools here a reliable place to see hippos, various birds and – with increasing frequency ...

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What to see..
What to see..

The Flavor of Romania (written by Alexandra Sherwood, 2-week special Journalism volunteer)   (published in Romania)

August 13, 2010 by   Comments(0)

After spending 22 hours in the city of Brasov, I am only positive of one fact: Romanians love meat. My host, Elizabeth, made chicken and rice for my first Romanian meal. Lunch the next day was a taste testing of Romanian’s finest: beef wrapped in lettuce, chicken mixed with vegetables, schnitzel. Free chunks of fried pork fat come as a before meal appetizer, alongside with my much more familiar bread. For dinner, I grabbed chicken fat wrapped in pita bread on the go. Whatever the meat, Romanians have probably already sautéed, fried, or grilled it. And it has probably tasted fantastic. Though this is a seemingly basic observation, the food of a culture can provide a window into far more insightful knowledge. Each cabbage wrapped pork and chicken stew I’ve eaten has contributed, in some way, to my larger perception of this country. Romanians’ love of meat couples with my first impressions of the city, the people, and the language.

The Richness of the City

Both the meat and the city have an understated richness integrated in their flavor. The concrete sidewalks and hundred story buildings that have become commonplace in my home in New York City are temporarily gone. In Brasov, my world is filled with cobblestone roads and airy spaces. The stone terraced buildings flank the town square in a quaint elegance. Just as the sauce that topped my chicken at lunch added a light spice to my meal, the homes painted in light colors and topped by red roofs give a zest of color to the city streets. Decorative awnings that line a building’s windows and doors lend a romantic essence to the flavor of the city. Even the fountain matches the simply elegant aroma of the village. In size it is relatively small, yet it shines in the midst of crowds in the ...

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The Flavor of Romania (written by Alexandra Sherwood, 2-week special Journalism volunteer)
The Flavor of Romania (written by Alexandra Sherwood, 2-week special Journalism volunteer)

Time in Cambodia (By Piet Blom-Our Care Project)   (published in Cambodia)

August 13, 2010 by   Comments(0)

 Hallo Claartje,

Hierbij geef ik de indrukken van de afgelopen 3 maanden in Cambodja.

Voor ik op reis ging had ik wel het een en ander gelezen over wat mij te wachten stond waar ik naar toe zou gaan,daarom was ik een beetje voor bereid.

Het was mijn eerste reis naar Azie en heb Cambodja gekozen omdat men zei dat het een van de armste landen was van de wereld.

Bij mijn aankomst in Phnom Penh was ik verrast dat er niemand was om me op te halen dat kwam doordat ik een paar dagen later was gearriveerd door de toestand met de vulkaan. Maar met wat gebel ben ik in een tuk tuk gestapt en kwam aan op de plaats van bestemming.

De appartementen zijn eenvoudig maar schoon en het eten was ok hoewel na een paar weken rijst had ik het daar wel een beetje mee gehad.

De volgende dag zijn we de stad een beetje wezen verkennen en ook bij sfoda langs geweest wat wel indruk op mij maakte,53 kinderen van 8 maanden tot 23 jaar.

Het verkeer is een gekkenhuis maar na enige tijd went dat ook. Ongelooflijk wat er een grote luxe auto`s hier rondrijden en de duurste merken en vele brommers en tuk tuks.

Alles rijd kris kras door elkaar maar niemand maakt ruzie. De volgende dag begonnen bij sfoda wat eigenlijk meer leek op een commune iedereen ging met elkaar om als broer en zus en er was een manager en natuurlijk Mony die alles een beetje regelde omdat ze ook wat engels sprak.

Mijn familie had wat geld meegegeven en daar werden de volgende week wat eten en kleren en nog veel meer van gekocht.

Ik was met mijn leeftijd veruit de oudste en ik heb in die 3 maanden heel wat vrijwilligers voorbij zien gaan waarvan de meeste niet ouder dan 20 jaar en sommige hadden niet het besef waar ze mee bezig waren,gingen veel op stap en doen dingen die ze normaal nog nooit hebben gedaan en daarom waren ze ...

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Time in Cambodia (By Piet Blom-Our Care Project)
Time in Cambodia (By Piet Blom-Our Care Project)

Top of the Morning to you from Jamaica Written byTessa Eames (2 week special care volunteer from Ireland)   (published in Jamaica)

August 12, 2010 by   Comments(0)

Tessa at dance class (At front in white pants)   




After hearing about Projects Abroad and the 2-week special they offered for high school students, I know it was something I had always wanted to do, but choosing where to go was a different matter. I eventually chose Jamaica, as everything you hear about it is only good. Before I knew it I was on a ten hour flight from London, Gatwick to Montego Bay.


Coming from Ireland, it was a huge culture shock, but everyone was so welcoming that you could not help but feel at home and never want to leave. The children at Hanbury Home were no exception; they constantly wanted to braid your hair and constantly said, ‘Too much hair.’ They were always enthusiastic to take part in whatever activities you planned, and although my 7-9 age group were hard to control at times, once they started, it was hard to stop them. Our activities ranged from making masks and hand puppets in arts and crafts to teaching them to dance from Hannah Montana which even the boys enjoyed.


Like most people, I came to Jamaica with an image in my head of Usain Bolt, Bob Marley and sunny weather, although I did not see ...

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Top of the Morning to you from Jamaica Written byTessa Eames (2 week special care volunteer from Ireland)
Top of the Morning to you from Jamaica Written byTessa Eames (2 week special care volunteer from Ireland)

Final 2 week specials in the Hills   (published in Ghana)

August 12, 2010 by   Comments(0)

We have welcomed a total of seven groups to the Hills since the middle of June, and are about to bid farewell to the final group.  The group travelled down to Cape Coast this weekend to join the 2 weekers that are based there already, making a total of 38 for the weekend excursions.  After a visit to the castle and some relaxation time at Elmina beach on Saturday, the day was rounded off with a drumming and acrobatic display by some local musicians.  The following day we went to Kakum National park to do the canopy walkway.


Cape Coast Castle Relaxing by the pool at Elmina Beach

It’s been a very busy few months, but in the short amount of time they were here, each of the groups have made a valid contribution to the local communities in which they were staying.  A total of 5 school buildings have been plastered and painted, and 2 village mud houses also plastered and painted.  This is in addition to the work of our regular building volunteers, who after building and finishing the classrooms for the Mt Zion school in Tinkong, went on to build a classroom for the nursery class in Kokoom village, and have now moved to a new village to begin the construction of a school.  So thanks to all these volunteers, many of the buildings in this region have had a much-needed facelift.


Dani Moubayed (USA) getting stuck in! Lucie Longueville and Agathe Cardinaud (France)

Ryan McAleer and Antonia Hoxha (UK)


By Anne Buglass

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Final 2 week specials in the Hills
Final 2 week specials in the Hills

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