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Voluntourism

This category contains 49 posts

An interview on blogtalk radio

I was recently interviewed by Kim Orlando of Traveling Mom for her blogtalk radio show. Have a listen! (Tip: If you don’t have the patience to listen straight through, my part begins at around 20:00 into the show–just slide the cursor forward.) http://www.blogtalkradio.com/travelingmom/2010/06/08/traveling-mom

On war, struggle, and saying goodbye

My last official day at the orphanage was Friday, but I couldn’t stay away. After meeting with a new friend on Saturday, I introduced her to the kids who have stolen my heart. Today, I returned to the orphanage alone to say my goodbyes. When it was finally time for me to leave, it tugged … Continue reading

A birthday in Vietnam

Yesterday was my birthday. The day started by taking the bus to the Ky Quang temple/orphanage, which is more Vegas than Vietnam in its appearance. The temple was built to appear as though it was carved into a mountain of rocks, with huge fake boulders surrounding the perimeter and a towering pagoda in the center. … Continue reading

War remnants

As I mentioned before, the orphanage where I am volunteering is privately run by a Buddhist organization in a fully functional Buddhist temple (Ky Quang). Government orphanages are available here, but they are very crowded; as a result, children in those facilities may not get the care or stimulation that they can receive at privately … Continue reading

On the Mekong, motorcycles, and volunteering

After a few days of relaxation in Sihanoukville (a sleepy Cambodian beach town), it was off to Vietnam. The first stop was Chau Doc, which is a small city in the Mekong Delta. It was while in Chau Doc that I had the pleasure of experiencing a motorcycle ride to the top of Muay Sam … Continue reading

Bidding India namaste

Today is my last day in India. After three weeks, I feel I’ve seen and done enough to fill twice that amount of time, yet I find myself no closer to answering the perplexing and inevitable question, “What is India like?”. I cannot presume to know how to answer this question adequately in three weeks’ … Continue reading

My last day at the center

After several days of volunteering in a cramped room in 100+ degree heat, we finally had a morning with a breeze, making the temperatures tolerable enough to take the boys to the park. As we walked through the busy Nizamuddin Railway Station, it pained me to see that most of the boys walked through the … Continue reading

Hangin’ with street kids

Life in Delhi has been going smoothly. I’ve already fallen into a routine: I go to the center in the morning and work with the boys on their English, then we do physical education in the afternoon. After I leave the center, I take a tuk tuk to some Delhi sight to make sure I … Continue reading

On Agra and volunteering

After Jaipur, we headed to Agra. Agra, of course, is home to the spectacular Taj Mahal, which took an astounding 22,000 workers 12 years to build. It was built in 1631 by Shah Jahan (a Muslim ruler) as a memorial to his third wife, Mumtaz Mahal, who died in childbirth. Pictures of the monument cannot … Continue reading

Food, wonderful food

Indian cuisine proves that there are hundreds of different uses for lentils, and most of them don’t involve soup. I haven’t tried all the options yet, but I am slowly making my way through them. I particularly like a well-made dal (a lentil puree), scooped up with roti or naan, both of which are flatbreads. … Continue reading

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