Ten years ago, travel guidebook writer Thomas Kohnstamm, co-author of a dozen Lonely Planet guides to Latin America and the Caribbean, admitted that he worked on a book for Colombia though he didn’t visit the country. Continue Reading →
After volunteering in a hospital in the Volta Region of Ghana, Montreal nurse Julia Garland decided to start fundraising with handmade cloth hats.
Julia has raised over $10,000 to date, enough to fund three separate yearlong scholarships for Ghanaian nurses.
As Sarah Giles wrote recently in The Canadian Press, brightly coloured cloth caps are used by some Canadian doctors and nurses before heading into the operating room.
Retired anesthetist Dr. Glenn Gibson believes he was an early trendsetter in slipping on brightly coloured cloth caps before heading into the operating room.
So he was a bit disappointed when some hospitals started to ban the cloth protective headwear, which allow doctors to show a little personality.
“I like cloth OR caps. I got tired of wearing the plain green ones, so about 25 years ago I started making my own … with ridiculous colours and designs that nobody would buy,” said Gibson, who estimates he had about four dozen at one point.
Our medical volunteers in Ghana can use any type of cap during their healthcare internships in Ghana. The more important aspects of the medical volunteering program include learning about medical care delivery in Africa and providing treatment to locals.
As a healthcare intern in Ghana, you can work at a large hospital or a semi-rural clinic. The two primary locations in Ghana for the programs are Cape Coast and Volta Region.
You are welcome to specialize in a particular department like maternity or emergency medicine. Medical and nursing students can receive academic credit through their internship with us in Ghana, typically as an elective with their school back home.
We at Cosmic Volunteers just received a heartfelt Greetings from Sri Ramana Matriculation School in Tamil Nadu, India.
The principal Mr. Karuna writes to us and our volunteers in India, “Wish you a Prosperous and Happy New Year Ahead!”
The children at the school staged the play of the Birth of Jesus Christ.
Santa Claus made an appearance as well !!
Check out the scene in Ho Chi Minh City, Vietnam as the city comes alive with decorations for Christmas and New Year’s.
As the CDC’s web page says, TravWell:
…helps you plan for safe and healthy international travel. Build a trip to get destination-specific vaccine recommendations, a checklist of what you need to do to prepare for travel, and a customizable healthy travel packing list.
The app also lets you store travel documents, keep a record of your medications and immunizations, and set reminders to get vaccine booster doses or take medicines while you’re traveling.
Key Features of TravWell
> Authoritative recommendations from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention
> During-travel features available offline (no data connection needed)
> Fully customizable to do list and packing list
>Emergency services phone numbers for every destination
Different countries around the world have unique foods, styles, and cultures, but they also have their own diseases.
That’s why it’s important you get vaccinated four to six weeks before you travel internationally.
If you’re getting ready to jet set around the world, the Centers for Disease Control’s TravWell app can help you prepare your immune system.
Available for iOS and Android, CDC TravWell gives you clear instruction about what you need based on where you’re going and when.
After downloading the app, you can build a trip that can include multiple destinations.
Then TravWell will give you vaccine requirements and recommendations for each location, as well as a checklist of other things you should do before you take off.
Catherine Gradel, from London, spent eight weeks teaching English at a children’s shelter in Ho Chi Minh City, Vietnam.
She and her fellow volunteers also helped paint and do light repairs on another children’s home where we send volunteers.
As the photos below show, volunteering in Vietnam is a wonderful experience not only for the volunteers but of course for the local children.
For sightseeing, Catherine visited Mui Ne Beach (about 200 km from HCMC). The beach is famous for its beauty, including huge sand dunes and dramatic views of the ocean and shoreline.
If you’re not into the ocean, you can rent a bike and take ride through the countryside. If you’re a golfer, there’s also the Nick Faldo-designed Ocean Dunes Golf Course for public play.
Here are some photos of Catherine teaching students in Vietnam:
Norman Kirby and Ankur Agrawal, both friends from New Jersey, volunteered at a children’s facility in Ho Chi Minh City, Vietnam with Cosmic Volunteers.
They taught computer and English classes. They also bought paint and supplies and led the children on a project to paint the facility.
Here are some photos:
Journalist Jeffrey Gettleman wrote an article in the New York Times about his 36 hour trip to Nairobi, Kenya.
The piece appeared last December, but I liked it so much that I wanted to share it again.
Nairobi can be a bit rough for sure. One day, as I was walking one of our volunteers through the city center, someone tried lifting her cell phone from her back pocket!
Still, our volunteers have always loved living and volunteering in Nairobi. The city is vibrant, fast-paced, and filled with delicious local food and modern cafes.
In the world of volunteering in Kenya, the most “sexy” spot is the Kibera Slums.
On one of my last walks through Kibera, I accompanied a local church minister and one of our volunteers on house visits to home-bound members of his congregation.
Here are some of the photos I took in Kibera that day:
Getting back to Gettleman’s Nairobi article, here is the video that accompanied his piece:
And Gettleman’s summary of Nairobi:
Nairobi, the capital of Kenya, calls itself the City in the Sun, and a visit can be as pleasant as that sounds. Most outsiders drop in for two reasons: business and animals.
A short flight from spectacular wildlife parks such as the Maasai Mara, Nairobi has also become a magnet for some of the world’s biggest corporations trying to gain a foothold in Africa.
The city is surprisingly beautiful with flowering trees and the perfect climate: 70s and 80s, sunny, low humidity — almost every day.
It’s a palpably multicultural place, encapsulating what is happening in Africa better than any other city on the continent. Picture new construction, a lot of people, intense traffic, and more and more Western businesses.
Yet you can still feed giraffes and baby elephants from within the city limits and see Maasai warriors ordering lattes in red-checkered blankets.
Kristina Cooke, a university student from Scarborough, Ontario, volunteered with children in Quito, Ecuador through Cosmic Volunteers. Here are some photos she shared with us: