Apr 082010
 
The Magical Forests and Gardens of Sintra, Portugal

An unexpected joy of touring Portugal: the forests and parks are stunning! Just how stunning are they? They are so magical that the official informational plaque outside Sintra’s Quinta da Regaleira gardens reads like something out of a torrid romance novel.

So slip on your velvet smoking jacket, light a toasty fire and your favorite old fashioned pipe, and let’s take a nice, long read of the actual text [...Read More!]

Apr 072010
 
Rescued from the Edge of Sanity at the Edge of Europe

Gaze down. There is nothing but a hundred-foot drop and waves crashing against rocks.

Gaze out. There is nothing but weeks and weeks at sea until you finally reach the outstretched arm of America. You are at the brink, baby.

Cabo da Roca, Portugal is the Western-most tip of Europe. It is the teetering edge of land before endless miles of ocean.

As I stood there in the whipping wind [...Read More!]

Apr 062010
 
Thanks from Youth Creating Change of Ghana!

Today I swallowed my seventh and last post-exposure anti-Malaria Malarone pill. This means that it has been a full week since I flew out of West Africa and into Europe, tearfully leaving behind the wonderful Youth Creating Change of Ghana family.

But wait: nothing is ever left behind in this Internet age!

And thus I can give you the news, seven days after my Accra departure, that the donations we have collected through [...Read More!]

Apr 052010
 
Why RTW Travel Doesn't Need to be a Rich, White Thing

The wildly popular website, Stuff White People Like, has an article entitled: “Taking a Year Off.” It details the trend among rich Caucasians to flee the daily grind and jaunt around the world for a year, always thinking that they are the first to concoct such a brilliant idea.

“Give them a FAKE email address before they leave!” warns the site, or you will get nonstop annoying emails bragging about [...Read More!]

Apr 042010
 
In Praise of Airing Your Laundry, in Portugal and in Life

Word on the street is that an increasing number of cities are banning the practice of air-drying laundry outside houses.

“It looks like something country peasants would do,” city governors have sneered. “We are a developed, modern metropolis. Our people’s laundry should be dried by machines, not by the breeze. And it should certainly NOT be seen.”

But with such a law, legislators are erasing rainbows from the streets! [...Read More!]

Apr 032010
 
Shulammite's Article: Extreme Poverty and My Classmate

Article #29 in the YCC Kids Club Ghana Student Life Stories Project The Extreme Poverty I Have Witnessed By Shulammite McCarthy

In Cross-Culture Class, we are studying the Millennium Development Goals for ending extreme poverty. But what does “Extreme Poverty” really look like?

I once was in a class with a twelve year old girl named Agbenorxevi who was intelligent as a squirrel. She was beautiful and so brilliant that everybody in [...Read More!]

Apr 022010
 
The Importance of Setting Objectives, as Seen in Porto, Portugal

First things first: Porto, Portugal is beautiful! Gaze at these photos and let’s all heave a collective sigh of “Oooh! Preeeety.”

Now let’s talk about goals.

Today, my wonderful brother, David, was mid-way through a bite of cheese and onion omelet when I popped my favorite type of question: “So what are your objectives for this week in Portugal?”

Objective-setting is key in a classroom (answering the whine: “what’s the POINT of [...Read More!]

Mar 312010
 
A Travel Packing List Secret: Multi-Use Items

When trying to pack light for your long or short term trip, your overarching mantra should be: “Things that are also other things.” Here are some examples of this motto in action to consider for your bag, graciously modeled by Sena Comfort of YCC, Ghana!

1. A sarong or large, lightweight cloth. Uses: Towel, light sheet on cold bus rides or nights, sleep sack in nasty dorm beds, screen for changing in [...Read More!]

Mar 302010
 
Ghana-Germany-Spain-Portugal in 24 Hours... and a Great Dress!

As you read this pre-programmed post, I am jetting from Ghana to Germany to Spain to Portugal over the course of twenty-four hours. Woo hoo!

Thus we launch the Iberian Adventure chapter of this Around the World journey. This will be my last phase of travel before I fly home to Boston in May… to scheme how to fly out again in August!

Though I will be writing extensively about Spain [...Read More!]

Mar 292010
 
Why International Volunteering is a Glorious Way to Travel

“Ooo, you were CRYING last night, ooo!” laughed Sena Comfort this morning, pulling me into a hug.

How true her words were! Yesterday, Youth Creating Change threw me a “Thanks for the Past Three Months” Bon Voyage party with all my students in the afternoon, followed by a powerful ceremony with beloved co-workers in the evening. The day was unbelievable… and I cried a ton!

During the student party, kids belted out [...Read More!]