Apr 112010
 
Thanks, Portugal! Europe is Cheaper Than We Feared!

My brother and I are shocked: It appears that beautiful Portugal can be rocked out for less than $50 U.S. Dollars a day, everything included!

When entering Europe after seven and a half months in Southeast Asia and West Africa, I had visions of a European ATM spouting tentacles and strangling me as it reached into the depths of my bank account to suck it dry.

But it hasn’t been quite so bad! [...Read More!]

Apr 102010
 
The Disastrous Pastry Episode of Lisbon, Portugal

My brother hurled the paper bag to the floor with a thud.

“What the heck is that?” I asked, fearful.

My brother put his head in his hands and wailed: “I had such high hopes!”

I reached into the bag and pulled out: a bright orange, seven-inch long stalagmite of sugar, egg… and what felt a lot like lead. (Visual representation to the upper right of the lead photo.)

At the entity’s [...Read More!]

Apr 092010
 
Really, What ARE The Best Hostels in the World?

“We stayed in the number one and number three hostels in the ENTIRE WORLD!” I sang out.

Whenever my brother and I declared this (and we declared it approximately seventy-eight times in one week), it was necessary to use the most dramatic booming deity voice possible. Why? Because that’s a really big deal to say something is number one in the entire world!

And it begs the question: How true are these hostel [...Read More!]

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!]