Visiting the Gumbalimba Preserve and Animal Sanctuary in Beautiful Roatan Honduras

Untitled (1 of 1)-59Today I returned from a seven day cruise on Norwegian Cruise lines.  The ship I was on board is named the "Star".  Over the course of the seven days we stopped in four places.  Our first stop was on Roatan which is an island in the Caribbean about 40 miles off the coast of Honduras.  I decided to choose a shore excursion for each of the stops on this cruise.  I chose to visit Gumbalimba Park in Roatan at this port. 

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Asha Mshana's Vocational School Making a Difference in Tanzania

 

Tan16"Besides love, independence of thought is the greatest gift an adult can give a child.”

~ Bryce Courtenay, The Power of One

While in Tanzania when I was traveling with "The Giving Lens", our group visited a vocational school in Moshi that was established by a former Home Economics teacher named Asha Mshana. After retiring from teaching Home Economics for 30 years in Tanzania, this lady wanted to make a difference for the girls who were getting married and having babies at age 12 or 13.  While in Tanzania we met many young mothers in their teens.  Tan18She wanted to provide them with a marketable trade such as improving there English, sewing, or using computers.  She created and found the funding for the Mkombozi vocational school. back in the 1999 all on her own which has grown a lot. Boys are allowed to attend as well. The students do have to pay to attend which is quite a hardship for many of them. Hundreds of students have graduated from one of her programs and found good paying jobs.

In my opinion Asha Mshana shows how much of a difference one person can make!  They need volunteers to help the students learn to use computers, sew, and improve their English skills.  Here is the website for the school she founded: 

http://www.mkombozivtc.org/about.html

Asha Mshana shown below:  Tan2Working hard on the computer and happy to be learning:

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Tan17Tan18The sewing skills of many students were quite impressive and they were very proud of their creations:
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Tan17The students all worked dilligently and seemed to be happy to be learning:

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Here is a sign at the school warning about the danger of HIV/AIDS which is quite prevalent in Tanzania:
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Here is the outside of the vocational school that was being expanded at the time of my visit:

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Thank you so much for stopping by.  Have you ever met someone who succeeded in empowering and or helping so many others?  Have a great week my friends!

~Michelle


“Knowing it and seeing it are two different things.” ― Suzanne Collins, Mockingjay

If there is one quote that I have found to be true while traveling around the world over the past several years to be true, this is it!  

“Knowing it and seeing it are two different things.”

~Suzanne Collins, Mockingjay

I have stayed in many 5 star resorts in countries with thriving economies and I have stayed in hostiles and guest houses in developing countries.  Much of what I have seen has been good and reinforced and or enhanced my knowledge of history as my trips to Paris.  I wanted to be an Anthropology major while in college, but my parents weren't thrilled with that idea so I majored in Biochemistry and graduated with a minor in Anthropology.

 I desperately wanted to see the world - and not just the beautiful touristy parts, but I really wanted to learn about the culture of the many countries I've visited and see what is "below the surface".  I'm very glad and know I'm very fortunate to have visited all seven continents and seen as much of the world as I have.  At this point, however, I still want to travel as much as possible, but will be staying in the first world during my immediate future travels.  The overpopulation and poverty I witnessed in Indonesia , Tanzania, and Vietnam have stymied my curiousity for the time being.

 How long will this last?  My lack of interest in seeing EVERYWHERE and not just the "pretty places" will probably not last long!  I have already been researching some very out of the way places that are NOT considered tourist destinations.  I guess my point is really very simple.  Traveling teaches you so much as well as opens your eyes!  

 I suspect this will not be one of my more popular posts given that these types of images are not popular on my Panoramio and Pixabay sites.

Visiting AIDS families in Tanzania:      

I used my small camera not my DSLR to take these photos.  The group I was traveling with had permission to take their photos.  I could have used my bigger camera, it was just a personal choice of mine to use my point and shoot...and to only take one quick photo.

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 Trying to help a stray very young pregnant cat in Bali, Indonesia.  I called a vet paid $40 and fed it sugar water all day.  I left her that night with my night gown and AirAisa blanket because I was scheduled to return to the US that day :(

 

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 Vietnam - looking out my hotel window

 

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 I'm sure it won't be long before I'm saying this again:

"I want to stand as close to the edge as I can without going over. Out on the edge you see all the kinds of things you can't see from the center."

 Kurt Vonnegut

 Thank you so much for stopping by.  I promise my next post will be a happy one!  I love to read your comments or questions and and reading other people's blogs as well.  Your e-mail address will never be published.  Until next time, take care my friends!

~Michelle


Group Travel: Is it Right For You?

“Travel is the only thing you buy that makes you richer” -Anonymous

Many of you who read this post already know if traveling with a group is right for you.  I had always been hesitant since I like my space and don't like waiting for others when there is something I want to do.  Over the past year I have traveled with two groups.  One of the trips would be considered luxury travel:  (click on the underlined words following to see a post on this trip)

Luxury travel trip

                 The other would be considered be considered an adventure/humanitarian travel trip:

Adventure/Humanitarian travel

 It would be unfair for me to compare these two trips because that would be like comparing apples and oranges!  Tanzania is a developing country and New Zealand has a thriving economy.  I definitely did learn what I want and can handle in a trip especially with other people.

On one trip, which would be considered adventure and humanitarian travel, to Tanzania with I had to share a room with 3-4 people and sleep on bunk beds.  For two nights of the nine I was there I had to share a bed with another woman.   I also had to share a bathroom with no less than four people.  We only had access to cold or bucket showers which made it impossible for me to wash my waist length hair :(  There was also one night that we were supposed to sleep in a boma in Massai Land.  I didn't go because they were sacrificing a goat and everyone had to drink a little blood or the Massai might be insulted.  I am a strict vegetarian and am very involved in animal rescue.  There was no wifi in the guest houses we stayed at the entire trip.   

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It may sound like I'm bashing this group and I really don't mean to - that is NOT my intent.  My intent is to share  some questions that I will always ask when traveling with others.  I feel that I should have known better and asked more questions!  Here are some:

1.  Will I be sharing a room (or a bed) and with how many people?

2.  Will I be sharing a bathroom and with how many people?

3.  Ask for a COMPLETE itinerary so you will know if there are any activities that conflict with your beliefs.

4.    Will any of the places you stay have wifi or any type of internet access?

5.    How often will you be moving from place to place?

6.    If traveling to a developing country, what type of bathroom facilities will be available?  In many developing countries, there is no running water so you might only have a squat type toilet.  

7.    What will your daily schedule be like?  If each day is 12-16 hours, do you have the stamina for it?

8.    What is the food and or meals like?

9.    How much spending money and or cash will I need?

 ***I may add to this list if you want to leave me a comment with other important questions.

 Now that I have told you so many negatives about my trip to Africa, it's only fair that I tell you the positives.  First and foremost, they made sure we were safe and felt safe.  They told us what we needed to know about the culture so we wouldn't offend anyone AND stay safe.  The leaders made sure that I had vegetarian food even though I was the only one on the trip.  They also respected my decision to not spend the night in Masailand for the goat sacrifice. I learned how to use my DSLR camera.  By staying at the guest houses we were financially helping the local people.  I got to see the culture and a side of the country that I would not have if I hadn't been on this trip.  I also got some great photos!  Please see my other post on this trip here:  

Adventure/Humanitarian travel

 http://www.wanderingsearching.com/2014/03/my-humanitarian-journey-and-safari-to-tanzania-africa..html              

Thank you so much for stopping by.  I love to read your comments or questions and and reading other people's blogs as well.  Your e-mail address will never be published.  Until next time, take care my friends!

  ~Michelle