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Khurta Shopping in Kathmandu   (published in Nepal)

June 17, 2010 by   Comments(0)

We had a rather long retail therapy session with two of the volunteers who are here at the moment, Leah and Gen, when myself and Sajani took them shopping for Khurtas. Well, the shop was very neat and tidy when we arrived, and looked (in the words my mother would use to describe the state of my bedroom) like a bomb had hit it. Even a quick glance at one of the Khurtas on the shelves resulted in it being pulled out and unfolded to show us the full thing. By the end, we were sat among huge piles of fabric that filled the shop... I felt quite sorry for the person who had to fold them all back up! But we all got a couple of nice Khurtas, and the girls impressed the children at Snowlands the next day with their new outfits, who thought they looked “beautiful miss!”.

Quote of the trip: “I give you good price!”

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Khurta Shopping in Kathmandu
Khurta Shopping in Kathmandu

Twi in the Ashanti region   (published in Ghana)

June 15, 2010 by   Comments(0)

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            It is often misleading when it says in the guidebooks that the official language in Ghana is English. This is not the same as saying the official language in the UK or the US is English, but this in Ghana means that all official documents are written in English. It does not mean that it is their mother tongue. I have come across plenty of Ghanaians who cannot speak English, but only speak their local language. This in the Ashanti region is Twi. The local language in for example, Cape Coast, is different. Do not be put off though! The majority of Ghanaians can at least understand English to a basic level and you are likely to come across those who can speak it very well. You can get around just fine with English. It is common though, to have road side sellers and taxi drivers to only speak a few words or cannot understand what you are saying.


            So before departing, it is quite a good idea to learn a few phrases of the local language. In Kumasi the locals will hardly ever speak English to each other. The advantage of knowing Twi is that it is great for bargaining a price. Once the seller or taxi driver knows that you can speak a little bit of Twi, it makes things a lot easier. A lot of the time when they see a white person, they tend to quote a high price to try and get more money of f you.


            So on one Wednesday meeting, Gabby, the regional coordinator in Kumasi, set out to teach the volunteers Twi. It was amazing to see that the volunteers had already picked out a lot of phrases and were using them regularly. It was also great to see that they had ...

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Twi in the Ashanti region
Twi in the Ashanti region

Taricaya Lodge puts on first inter-school Environmental Awareness Competition   (published in Peru)

June 15, 2010 by   Comments(0)

 By Stuart Timson of Peru Conservation

There have been many new highs at Taricaya and the most noticeable of these was a competition we organised amongst all the schools in Puerto Maldonado. May was the month in which the world celebrated its “Biodiversity Day” and to honour this we inaugurated the first inter-school “Environmental Awareness” competition in the Madre de Dios region of Peru. Each school had held its own internal competition and the winners passed to a grand final that was held in the main square of Puerto Maldonado on May 22nd. The fantastic displays were accompanied by the four pupils who had designed them and their teachers. Our volunteers were assigned groups to supervise as the four judges went around each display and having listened to each group they chose their top three. The judges came from the Tambopata National Park, the INC (National Culture Institute), the Ecological Police and the Ministry of Education. The winning displays are currently being displayed in the local museum and the top three schools won a variety of prizes from visits to Taricaya, a camping trip in the national park and free pizza! The event was covered by local newspapers, radio and television and it was incredibly satisfying to see how the young Peruvians see the threats to their land and heritage. A great time was had by everyone concerned, and I must thank the volunteers for giving up their Saturday morning to help out. I am confident that this will now become an annual event, and I am very proud to see our work filtering through to the next generation of Peruvians. These youngsters hold the key to the future of the rain forest, and whether there will be any left for their children to enjoy.

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Taricaya Lodge puts on first inter-school Environmental Awareness Competition
Taricaya Lodge puts on first inter-school Environmental Awareness Competition

Wha G'wan From Jamaica!   (published in Jamaica)

June 13, 2010 by   Comments(0)

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Wha g'wan, mon!? Bless.

After a wonderful week in Mandeville with Projects Abroad's friendly and committed staff there I am now in perhaps the most laid back place on Earth: Treasure Beach.

Located on the west coast of Jamaica - about an hour by over-loaded taxi from Mandeville - Treasure Beach is a sleepy paradise. Everyone is extremely welcoming and, even though it is offseason and I could count the other foreigners here on one of Mickey Mouse's hands, they do not hassle you like is the norm in the tourist enclaves of developing countries. Instead they just come up and chat with you like they have known you for years. With perfect weather, emerald water, and a comfortable breeze, it is the perfect place to forget everything and bury yourself in a book (which, if you are me, you started a year ago but have not had the time to finish. Literally. One year).

I am also here for the beginning of the World Cup. What a contrast: the insanity of the festivities in South Africa seems so foreign. Equally as awkward was USA pulling off a 1-1 tie against England, the progenitors of both the US and of the sport. I would have thrown tea in the bay if water was not so pristine, and if the Tea Partyers back in the states did not do their best to make that synonymous with being a total crackpot.

Let me return to Mandeville, though, as my time there deserve some ink. After seeing all the worthwhile work Projects Abroad volunteers are doing there, I think my most memorable experience was meeting Mr. Stanley Williams. Mr. Williams is an old man who lives by himself in the bush with just an empty one-room shed of a house to live in. Before our Building projects, he did not even have that. Nor a toilet. He was just living in a tattered and exposed wood shack after a hurricane ...

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Wha G'wan From Jamaica!
Wha G'wan From Jamaica!

Reiki, heilen mit Haenden…   (published in Nepal)

June 11, 2010 by   Comments(0)


Ich bin Lea und bin jetzt seit 5 Wochen in Nepal. Ich habe das Glueck, hier bei einer sehr spirituellen Familie zu leben. Fuer mich ist das was ganz besonderes, denn Meditation und Alternativ-Medizin haben mich schon immer interessiert. Meine Gastmutter Kesari hat mich mit ihren Erfahrungen und Geschichten ueber taegliche Meditation in ihrem liebevoll gestalteten Meditationsraum auf meinen spirituellen Weg gebracht. Sie erzaehlte mir von ihrem Reiki Lehrer und zeigte mir das Reiki-Centrum, in dem sie selbst gelernt hat. Als ich selbst dort war, den Guru und die anderen Reiki-Heiler kennengelernt hatte, fuehlte ich mich so wohl, dass ich entschloss, selbst Reiki-Heilerin zu werden.

Am ersten Tag des Kurses bekam ich eine Einfuehrung, was mich am eigentlichen Kurstag erwarten wird. Ausserdem bekam ich ein Informationsheft ueber die Geschichte und Entwicklung von Reiki, sowie die Einzelnen Schritte der Meditation, der Selbstheilung und der Heilung von anderen.

Der Kurstag war fuer mich eine ganz besondere Erfahrung. Nach langer Meditation und einem spirituellen Ritual, in dem ich von dem Guru die universale Energie empfangen habe, uebten wir den Ablauf der Reiki-Meditation.

Hier eine kurze Beschreibung:

In den ersten 21 Tagen ist es wichtig, eine Selbstheilung durchzufuehren.

Diese wird von einer speziellen Diaet unterstuetzt.

Ich meditiere jetzt seit einer Woche, jeden Morgen vor dem Fruehstueck, etwa eine Stunde und ich geniesse die Zeit, die ich mir taeglich nur fuer mich selbst nehme.

Mit der Zeit geht man sorgsamer mit sich selbst und seiner Umwelt um, man lernt, sich geziehlt auf Dinge zu konzentrieren.


Ausserdem ist es sehr interessant sich mit anderen Reiki-Heilern auszutauschen und ueber die unterschiedlichen Erfahrungen zu diskutieren.

Ich stehe ...

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Reiki, heilen mit Haenden…
Reiki, heilen mit Haenden…

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