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Capilla del Buffo - a hidden chapel lost in the mountains of Unquillo   (published in Argentina)

August 23, 2010 by   Comments(0)

This is an incredible place in Cordoba province: a chapel constructed in the forest by an artist in memory of his wife and daughter that in essence is a deep love song in memory of the two people he loved most. Ariel, our desk officer, told me about this unique place a couple of weeks ago and I immediately thought of discovering it with all the volunteers.

On Sunday we all gathered at Unquillo Terminal to catch a bus to Don Bosco, a small village located just outside of town. After a 30 min trek we started to see the chapel in the midst of the forest, revealing itself in a fairytale picture - the chapel stands out in a pastoral scene, surrounded by the numerous trees and a very quiet stream.


Its creator, Guillermo Buffo, was an Italian immigrant, artist and scientist when he settled down in Unquillo, Cordoba. After the death of his wife and his 24-year old daughter, both of tuberculosis, completely desperate, he spent nine years of his life constructing this chapel in their memory (1941-1950) and another three years and a half painting the walls in a renascent style, until he himself finally died.

 After an interesting guided tour of the site, we headed for the river to eat lunch and enjoy the afternoon spring weather before heading back home at the end of the afternoon.


Here are a few pictures of yesterday’s Social!


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Capilla del Buffo - a hidden chapel lost in the mountains of Unquillo
Capilla del Buffo - a hidden chapel lost in the mountains of Unquillo

Tree-planting in the Kumasi Children’s Home   (published in Ghana)

August 23, 2010 by   Comments(0)


The staff members in Kumasi are always keen for all the volunteers to visit the Kumasi Children’s Home at least once during their stay here. Medical and teaching volunteers never have the opportunity to visit this Home so we try and organise something for all the volunteers. Most people say that there is nothing like the Kumasi Children’s Home, and perhaps this is why it is so famous not only here, but in other parts of Ghana as well.

              On Thursday morning all the volunteers in Kumasi went to the Children’s Home to plant trees for the children. They planted close to a hundred orange trees and even then we ran out of space to plant them so we will donate the remainders to another school.

              The idea is to eventually allocate one child to look after each tree so that it would be nurtured carefully and hopefully they would grow strong and bear oranges.

              Thanks everyone for helping!

By Minato Kobori

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Tree-planting in the Kumasi Children’s Home
Tree-planting in the Kumasi Children’s Home

Boabeng-Fiema Monkey Sanctuary   (published in Ghana)

August 23, 2010 by   Comments(0)

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The Ashanti region is close to the equally marvellous Brong-Ahafo region, full with rainforests and amazing landscape. It is also the home of the famous Boabeng-Fiema Monkey Sanctuary.

              The people in Boabeng and Fiema consider the monkeys to be sacred and in the 70s actually came together to pass a law prohibiting causing harm to the monkeys. The story goes that a hunter in Boabeng came across some monkeys guarding a piece of calico. He consulted his spirit Daworoh and was told that these monkeys would bring him good fortune. The hunter took the calico to his village and the monkeys followed him there, and since then the monkeys have lived in harmony with human beings.

              The sanctuary holds about 400 monkeys – Colobus and Mona monkeys. The Colobus monkeys are vegetarians and do not come down to the ground often, but the Mona monkeys come down all the time and eat bread, nuts and a lot of things humans have to offer. They come into the village all the time to steal things, but as the people are not allowed to hurt them, they simply get away with it!                                                           

              It was simply amazing to have the Mona monkeys come up to me and take food off my hands. They are not scared at all and fully ...

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Boabeng-Fiema Monkey Sanctuary
Boabeng-Fiema Monkey Sanctuary

Owabi Wildlife Sanctuary   (published in Ghana)

August 22, 2010 by   Comments(1)

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The closest rainforest you can go to from Kumasi is within the Owabi Wildlife Sanctuary. It is a half an hour journey from Kejetia to a village called Esaase. Then it is a straightforward ten minute walk to the gates where you will have to pay 5 cedis to enter. It would have been straightforward for me, except some lady called Sandra took me past the gate and to a nearby village into a house where they were holding some kind of celebration. So all these elaborately dressed ladies surrounded me and started hugging me! I somehow managed to escape by telling me I had an appointment with the directors of the Wildlife Sanctuary, which was of course a lie.

              I was expecting a quick 20 minute tour around the rainforest, but it turned out to be an hour and 45 minute hike! The tour starts with looking at the dam, where all the water to Kumasi used to be stored and treated. It is still very important and it was nice to see where the actual water to Kumasi came from. Then onto the hike...

              The hike just begins without warning and before you know it, you are in the thick of the rainforest just trying to keep up with the guide! I was holding onto branches to keep myself from slipping all the time so if you are planning on going, then take appropriate footwear! This forest understandably needs a guide, otherwise I would not have been able to get out of there.

              So after walking through the thickest part of the rainforest, we came upon where the pipes leading to Kumasi were. It was a nice feeling to walk along the very lifelines of Kumasi in such ...

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Owabi Wildlife Sanctuary
Owabi Wildlife Sanctuary

Treasure Hunt at Summer School   (published in Ghana)

August 22, 2010 by   Comments(0)

One of our teaching volunteers, Matthieu Lamalle took on the challenge of arranging a treasure hunt for the older classes at Summer School in the Hills.  After his hours of preparation it was great to see it all come together.  Each team was given a treasure map, along with one starting question.  Once they located where the correct answer was on the map, they ran to the corresponding place in the school grounds to uncover the next question....and so on  It was a great way to get their competitive spirit going as they knew that only the winning team would receive the treasure.  

After an hour or so of somewhat organised chaos, the winning team was announced and they were not shy in jumping around in celebration.  They got even more excited when it was revealed that the treasure was in fact a bucket full of sweets and candy!  The prize was presented to them by the Headmaster of Apostolic School where our Summer School is being held this year, and each child received a treat as a prize for taking part so nobody went home empty handed.

Great day, and thanks Matthieu for organising it!


By Anne Buglass

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Treasure Hunt at Summer School
Treasure Hunt at Summer School

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