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Argentina - A Football-Loving Country   (published in Argentina)

July 2, 2010 by   Comments(0)

Football is a synonym for Argentinean. The passion awakened by this wonderful sport that reached the country back in 1840 on English ships can be breathed in the streets, bars and workplaces. Many of the immigrants who arrived on those boats settled down in these lands and founded colonies and colleges where the importance of physical education was encouraged. That is precisely the reason why Scottish professor, Alexander Watson Hutton, is considered the father of Argentinean football, because he fostered this sport so much.

In 1893, Hutton founded the Argentine Association Football League, which later incorporated the Amateur Association to give origin to the Argentine Football Amateur Association. During the same year, the local players started to become part of the teams that had only admitted English footballers so far. But this porteño sport was so popular that it was already being played in the streets and yards of the conventillos in the neighbourhoods of La Boca, Boedo and San Telmo.

It was not until 1899 that the first team of Argentinean footballers was created: Argentinos de Quilmes. This was officially the first Argentinean football club and ever since, football has become a national passion par excellence and it has been practiced by men and women of all ages in Argentina. Already in 1934, the organization called Asociación de Fútbol Argentino (AFA) - which stands for Argentinean Football Association in Spanish - was created. Some of the many best-known and most popular clubs are: River Plate, Boca Juniors, Independiente, Racing Club and San Lorenzo.

The participation of Argentina in the World Cup had practically gone unnoticed until one man beyond compare made the difference. Diego Armando Maradona, a milestone that generates love ...

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Argentina - A Football-Loving Country
Argentina - A Football-Loving Country

Nature and Wildlife   (published in Ethiopia)

July 2, 2010 by   Comments(0)

Nature and Wildlife

Ethiopia is a land of natural contrasts, from the tops of the rugged Simien Mountain to the depths of the Danakil Depression which, at 120 meters below sea level, is one of the lowest dry land points on earth.


The cornucopia of natural beauty that blesses Ethiopia offers an astonishing variety of landscapes: Afro – Alpine highlands soaring to around 4,300 meters, deserts sprinkled with salt flats and yellow sulphur, lake lands with rare and beautiful birds, moors and mountains, the splendour of the Great Rift Valley, white-water rivers, savannah teeming with game, giant waterfalls, dense and lush jungle….the list is endless.


The Bale Mountains National Park, which covers an area of 2,470 square kilometres, contains Ethiopia’s second highest peak, Mount Batu (4,307 meters). It is an area where one can either walk or drive, one of the best places to see the endemic Semien red fox, the mountain nyala and Menelik’s bushbuck. Amongst a profusion of birds, other animals to be seen include Anubis baboons, colobus monkeys, giant forest hog, lions and leopards. The creeks of the park, which become important rivers further down, offer some of Africa’s finest fishing for both rainbow and brown trout.

 The two southern most of the chain of Ethiopia’s Rift Valley lakes, Abaya and Chamo, are the lushest in vegetation and the richest in wildlife. The Nechisar National Park embraces the eastern shores of the lakes and was established as a sanctuary for the endemic Swayne’s hartebeest. The lakes support many species of fish, Including the Niel perch and the tiger fish, as well as hordes of hippos and crocodiles. The bluff between the lakes has numerous springs, after which the nearest town, Areba ...

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Nature and Wildlife
Nature and Wildlife

A FERENJI’S RESPONSE TO “HOW IS ETHIOPIA?”   (published in Ethiopia)

July 2, 2010 by   Comments(0)

By Mirjam Zhender – Journalism Volunteer

It’s been nearly three months since I came to Ethiopia.  Being a foreigner who has never set foot in Ethiopian, my experience in this country has generally been a pleasant one.  Now, as I prepare to go back in time here.

I arrived at Bole International Airport 12 weeks ago. I arrived in the middle of the night; I was jet-lagged and there wasn’t much to take in at that time. The next day I was able to look around and the city seemed huge for me. I grew up and live in a small village with 1,500 inhabitants and the biggest city in Switzerland, Zurich, has 400,000.

The first two weeks were tough. Constant power cuts, being pointed at and called ferenji on the streets and the sight of poor people all over the city were some of the things I was not used to.  Soon enough I got used to the way of life here and learned a few things from my mistakes on the way.  For instance, it was constantly raining for the first month of my stay.  I learned never to go outside without an umbrella after I got soaked through to the skin the first time.  The food here proved a little problematic for my stomach for the first three weeks.  I was new to injera and was not used to being careful about the type and amount of food I ate.  Since I was living with a host family here, I had most of my meals with them and got used to different kinds of Ethiopian food and developed my taste.  I especially developed a taste for Shiro.

My knowledge about the country and its culture developed through conversations with different people.  All my conversations had one thing in common: everyone said to me “How is Ethiopia?” and “how is Addis?”  I never really knew how ...

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My time in Ethiopia   (published in Ethiopia)

July 2, 2010 by   Comments(0)

By Eline  Verheul - Care and Community Volunteer        

My time in Ethiopia

At the end of January I decided to stop my studies. I started to search for some volunteering organisation. I found the website of Projects Abroad and everything looked beautiful. I made an appointment with Projects Abroad in Dordrecht (Holland) and after 2 minutes we agreed that Ethiopia was the best option for me.

After I made my decision and filled in all the forms the Projects Abroad staff in Ethiopia started to get in contact with me. The contact was very good and I could ask all the questions I had. They even called me a few times!

My host family

For those 9 weeks it really felt like my own family. I got my little sisters to play with; I had my older sisters to talk to, share clothes, go out with and meet new people. Especially in my first weeks! Then there was the lovely mother, who really takes good care of all the volunteers. You never ate too little, actually always too much. It is a big, busy family and almost everyday I saw new people coming to the house. During my first few weeks I spent a lot of time with the daughters of the family. My first Sunday I went to church with the oldest daughter of the family. It was a protestant church and I loved the worship there! 

My work

The work I was doing in Ethiopia was amazing. In the morning I started at Safe House, a day care centre where the children are given breakfast and sent to private school with lunch. They will return to eat dinner at Safe House. Every morning when I passed the gate of Safe House all the kids ran to me and gave me a kiss or a hug. I took my time over it because I really loved them. It is maybe the smallest thing you can do to make them happy.

I had really good ...

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My time in Ethiopia
My time in Ethiopia

Birth of the Bear Mobile!   (published in Sri Lanka)

July 2, 2010 by   Comments(0)

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Charley’s car was somewhat of an icon here in Sri Lanka. Charley cared for it with the tender lovingness of a young mother towards her newborn. He washed it regularly, cringed when people tested the handles while it was still locked and seemed innately happy while driving it – it had a super cool air-conditioner. It brought us great sadness when Charley sold his car this month but alas, he has bought another which we have fondly christened the “Bear mobile.” However, here are some photos of Charley’s last moments with his old Toyota.


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Birth of the Bear Mobile!
Birth of the Bear Mobile!

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