Archive for the ‘You’ Category

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Where would you go?

January 22, 2007

Over the weekend, I received a gorgeous mailer from Cross-Cultural Solutions about theirbaby.gif upcoming summer volunteer opportunities. I haven’t even left for India, and it had me wanting to apply for another program. Ghana? Guatemala? One of their new programs in South Africa or Morocco? I could do them all.

lima_hugging.gifWhen I first started thinking about taking one of these journeys, I found it impossible to narrow it down. Someone on staff wisely counseled me to try this:

1) Look at the list of countries where CCS supports volunteers and if you are unfamiliar with one or more of them, do some really basic poking around online to just get a feel for each place.

2) Make a list of the few countries that truly intrigue you — even if you don’t have much tovolunteer_children_computer.gif back up that feeling up.

3) Review the types of service that CCS volunteers often do and ask yourself if you can see yourself doing any of this type of work. Which match your strengths? Where do you feel a tug? Click through, and read about this work. At the bottom of the page, you’ll see which countries seek volunteers for this type of service.

The simple formula led me to India. Where might it lead you? If you’re seriously considering taking a journey such as this, or even if you’re just curious. Give it a try. Where would you go? What would you do?

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So full

January 15, 2007

… of gratitude. And Indian bread pudding. Damn.

largesse.JPGIt’s hard to describe the feeling I had yesterday afternoon as friends and family streamed through the door of Passage to India to fill up on spicy curry and contribute to my upcoming journey. Friends from work and friends from childhood. Favorite family members and mourning Eagles fans. Neighbors and people I haven’t seen for years. People who live around the corner, people from other states, and one dear girl who came by plane from Houston. Curry enthusiasts, curry virgins, and those who loathe curry. My contractor-turned-friend and his awesome wife. Moms of friends, and wait for it… people I’ve never met before.

It’s like being the bride or being at your own surprise party; feeling like you barely had thekara_who.JPG time to catch up with everyone properly before it’s over, and the whole thing is a blur. Can’t believe we forgot to take pictures, but what fun to see all those different people in the same room, filling their plates, (or gingerly picking at some naan) and knowing that they ventured out on that icky, rainy day because I asked for their help and support. It makes me feel like I’m not headed to India solo, to follow a solitary dream, but more like I’m a part of this really large team chasing a goal, and I just happen to be the one out in front with the baton this month. Awesome.

currybowl.JPGCan’t say enough about Amit at Passage to India, and all the guys there– they made this possible, and did so joyfully with kind words and enthusiasm. (Not to mention, treating Damon & I to lunch. Thank you!) And speaking of Damon — I would never have had the courage to even think about taking this trip after last year, much less have at it so soon without his support and encouragement. He was such a champ yesterday, saving me from feeling awkward by taking over the accounting that I felt so shy about, and designing the fun stickers for our guests that you see here. All him. Lucky girl.

Lastly, it’s hard to say how thankful I am for the wild generosity of everyone who attended yesterday. (And those who couldn’t make it, but sent along a donation in their place!) Humbled by the turnout, and still reeling from the results; you guys went above and beyond. Still working on the math and such, but it looks like I’ll be taking down the “Make a Donation” page of this site within days. Amazing. Thank you, friends. Thank you.