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Touching Hearts Far Away


We get caught up in our everyday and carve out time here and there as we can for our hobbies and time away. For those who love to travel, like me, we make sure that any significant time away from work is spent somewhere far from home. But how and where we spend that time is entirely personal. 

For many, many years I backpacked my way from country to country, often on my own, making new friends along the way. Many of my fondest memories have been spent in very distant lands doing things I will likely never do again.

Through it all, there are places that will always hold a very special place in my heart for many different reasons. A good example of one of these places is Egypt, but I have written about this here already and won’t bore you with the finer nuances.

So now people have asked what’s next.

Growing up and seeing children my age around the world who were completely impoverished and/or orphaned left a lasting mark. Not only did those images make me appreciative of the opportunities I have had, but they also made me commit to sharing my time and my skill with those people in an environment and situation completely outside my comfort zone. And finally that time is nearing.

After months of research I have learned that there is certainly no shortage of non-profits facilitating this show of good will, among them: Projects Abroad, Volunteers for Peace, Global Crossroad, Travel Abroad, Cross Cultural Solutions, CUSO, United PlanetHabitat for Humanity, Me to We, and so many more. 

Knowing the type of work I would like to do and where, I have shortlisted two organizations and two countries in Africa. But regardless of my choice of organization, one thing is certain...My goal is to work with orphaned children, with the hope of teaching them basic skills and showing them that people really do care, despite that their hardship may make it challenging to believe.

I am planning this for *October and will spend the upcoming months preparing my application and gathering references. I will be sure to share the finer details of this dream when they are known. In the mean time, if you have volunteered abroad, I would love to hear about it. Please share your experience!

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*Update as of October 7, 2013: This adventure has been deferred to 2014. Stay tuned for more here.

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