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wizard of OZ

In Australia at the moment, working for the next four/five months with Outward Bound...

Diary Entries

Saturday, 03 February 2007

Location: Tharwa, Australia

Hello dearests'. I realize this is very much overdue. My appologies but I'm not good at sitting in front of a computer...my attention span doesn't last that long. Here's a brief-ish anecdote of the past few weeks...actually not brief at all.

Let's briefly start at the start. I flew into Brisbane exactly...well, not exactly, but close to...36 hours after leaving Toronto. Long flight and was pretty happy not to be sitting any longer than that. My good friend and famous Australian tour guide, Kati Watkinson, picked Kris and I up at the airport. I hung out with Kati and Drew...and Becca and Emily and Family for the next week and a half or so. Seeing the gorgeous Brisbane sights. The Watkinson family is pretty great. Met up with some other Kandalore alumni living the Australian life, which was nice as I hadn't seen Donna or Mathias in a couple of years. Spent a night on the Sunshine Coast in Mooloolaba (I can't spell it and can barely pronounce it...but looks something like that I think) with Kati, Becca, their cousin Nicole, and Kris. Slightly overcast but was nice to be on a beach for little bit. At the end of my stay, Kati and I headed to Byron Bay for a night. Spent two days on the beach and walking around the folky, coastal town. Went for a beautiful walk down the highway leading to a cool lighthouse (the most easterly point in Australia) and came back along the beach. We didn't actually make it to the lighthouse but the walk was great. Spent the night in Kati's car next to a park after a night time sit at the beach and some guitar playing in the park. The next day I caught a bus to Sydney with a five hour layover in Coff's Harbour, which I spent at a little Thai restaurant. The bus left Byron just after noon and pulled into Sydney the following day at 7am.

After dropping my bags off at the hostel, I headed for a self-guided walking tour of Sydney. A 'two hour detour in the wrong direction' later, I found the Fish Market, the Darling Harbour, some breakfast, and a boat tour of the Sydney Harbour leaving at 11:30am. Was cool to see the city from the water. Once back on land, I kept walking and met up with Kris back at the hostel. We spent the afternoon checking out the Botanical Gardens and then back down to Darling Harbour for some dinner. We bussed it down to Canberra the next day at 8am arriving a little after noon.

The first week of work was pretty pointless for us. Kris and I did a lot of sitting around. I think we had more coffee breaks then actual time working. We did some training stuff but mainly just watched as people did things to get an idea of what's going on? I'm getting over my love/hate relationship that often occurs when I start somewhere new and starting to get a little more in the groove. Kids are just getting back to school now, I believe, after summer holidays so school courses haven't started yet. We helped out with a family course for their canoe portion. Pretty humerous as we paddled right through Canberra and stayed overnight in a Scout building next to a rowing club. The canoes look more like long, awkward, and very outdated kayaks with large cockpits that you could potentially put a big skirt on. Kris and I gave the intro to paddling speel, which was fun and then we all headed out. Our put-in was next to the Canberra Zoo! The paddle in total was about 10-12 kilometers. Found this all to be quite funny...even the astroturf that lined our take-out at the Scout building.

I had a few days off from the 25th to the 28th and headed down to Melbourne in a rental van with Kris, Leah, Whitney, Amber (a few girls I work with), and 20 bottles of wine...there was a sale on...6 bottles for $10...we couldn't refuse. The scenery on the way was gorgeous and wickedly diverse. From farm fields to rainforesty type landscapes. After making a few random stops, we drove till about 7pm or so and stopped at a little tex mex restaurant in the middle of nowhere for a bite to eat. We kept driving for another couple of hours and finally stopped at a harbour in Eden to sleep. We figured out that all the seats could recline and somewhat joined together forming a makeshift bed that slept four girls somewhat comfortably? I opted for the driver's seat and all our bags piled on the passenger side. The random honking as my foot would hit the horn gave us a good little jump on a couple of occassions...reminded me of Byron Bay when Kati and I slept in the car only I kept hitting the four-way flashers. And this time there was no police officer waking us up at 6am telling us we couldn't sleep there; however, a tour bus packed with eager whale watchers pulled in around that time. We arrived into Melbourne just after 3pm or so and went straight to Alex Sinclair's place (a long time and super Geneva Park friend). Did a little quick catch up, and headed out for dinner and a night on the town. Had a good couple of days hanging out with Alex and then missing my flight back to Canberra. So in Australia, friends can come beyond the security gate with you. We arrived at my departure gate and they said that the plane would be boarding in half an hour so we decided to sit at the bar just down the corridor and have a drink. Half an hour later we're back at the gate and everyone's gone...the lady there asked if I was who I was and then proceeded to tell me that I missed my flight. Karma. One of the guys we work with and was also in Melbourne hanging out with us missed his flight back earlier that day and we were razzing him about it. Alex and I couldn't help but laugh as we thought I would potentially miss my flight because we got to the airport late. So I caught a bus back...left at 9pm and arrived 7am.

The following few days I spent doing some reccie work. Headed out to some climbing, abseiling, camp, and hike spots that OB uses to check for risk management jazz, as well as to some new areas to see if they're useable. The courses here are pretty much all hiking...there's not too much water around. The whole 7 year drought thing in Canberra means that water is slightly scarce...and kinda scary if you ask me. Anyway, the hiking is all navigation based. No trails. Just map and compass. Because of the lack of water, groups have to hike in areas where we can drop water jugs off so food also gets dropped off. We only ever carry 2-3 days of food at a time before a drop off. The terrain in this area is still pretty burnt from the 2003 forest fires combined with lots boulders. The weather is ridiculously hot, averaging about 32 degrees most days. I've been warned by other instructors about early morning starts to avoid the heat of the day...sometimes starting as early as 3:30-4am. The nights cool off pretty nicely though.

I think the wildlife has been one of my favourite parts so far. I love walking outside in the morning and seeing kangaroos and wallabys bouncing across the field. Their legs and tails are amazingly strong. See them all the time while hiking too. Seen a few wombats and almost stepped in a few wombat holes. Seen two of Australia's finest and deadliest snake specimens...the Tiger Snake and the Yellow Bellied Black Snake...very comforting to see them while hiking. Kati and I ran into a possum one night in Brisbane. I still have yet to see a Koala; although, there are signs all over the roads telling people to slow down because of them...I think it's a tourist ploy honestly. The birds are by far my absolute favourite...the colours, the sounds...very cool. I keep saying this but I do need to do more research on them. The kukaburras sit and laugh at you like they know something you don't...they're definitely keeping secrets! There are white cockatoos and red-y/blue parrots that circle around quite often. I'm surprised my neck isn't sore as my head is always cranked upwards.

Wednesday I head out to the Snowies in Victoria to help set up the mobile base camp there and then work the first course. I'll be there till around the 24th and then back to the ACT base here in Tharwa. FYI...little communication access.

There's my update. Hope everyone is happy and enjoying the snow. Sending out some long distance love and good thoughts...

Thursday, 01 June 2006

Location: Salavas, France

Hey dudes and dudettes - I'm a little on the absolutely horrible side of keeping this thing updated so if should I be so bold as to refer you to another website...I will. Marcus has been keeping a good tabs of 'what's going on' with some good pics. Will update soon though. In the meantime, check out...http://stuffhappenseveryday.blogspot.com. Like I said, will give you my thoughts, opinions, etc. soon! Later.

Saturday, 20 May 2006

Location: Salavas, France

Day 20 and first entry from Salavas. The first few weeks were on the meh! side of things. The leaving one place and starting fresh somewhere else syndrome definitely kicked in and is petering off now. The Ardeche is absolutely beautiful! Very gorgeous and by that I mean gorges...and lots of them. Rocks and caves galore - great spots to explore. Staff and kids all sleep in vinyl-walk-in-tents...not together though. Behind my tent sits a rather large rock face wonderfully decorated with leafy trees and creeping vines. Life is pretty basic and everything is done outside...which I really like...even eating. The weather is just starting to pick up and is getting brighter by the day. T'was pretty chilly for a while and mornings are still rather brisk. For most people, the walk into town takes about 45 minutes to an hour and the scenery is most spectacular. However, for Marcus et moi - walks go on for a good couple hours it seems...we get very much distracted by the many vineyards and old stone houses and taking pictures.

Our first group, an international school from Germany, just left today. I had a lot of fun this week and was great to see the place up and running in full form after two weeks of training. I have gotten in some good paddling on the river and my solo boating is improving. Definitely having a blast with that. The water level is pretty low right now so much of the river is class one and easy twos. On our first staff 'grande descente' down the river, our breakfast was eaten by wild boars...that's right folks, you do not have to worry about bears in these parts because pigs are the only problem you will encounter. They also make for a good prank...planting bananas by peoples' sleeping bags not only makes the pigs go nuts but also the people trying to catch a little shut eye!

The way things work. Schools are typically here for 5-7 days and the kids have various activity periods. Half days are spent rock climbing, caving, canoeing, and going on a 'mini descente' of the river. One full day is spent gorge walking on a dried river bed - map reading, exploring nature, abseiling down small rock ledges, walking along rock ledges clipped in with rope and carabiners, and jumping into and swimming across water pools. There's a section on the walk where the group has the option of going through what is called 'the birthing hole'. Basically, you lie on top of a rock, angled down, face first, arms outstretched, and wiggle your way through a small hole to awaiting group members ready to receive you at the base of the rock. Slighty scary the first time but becoming a bit of pro star after my second time...although, I still need to figure out a way of keeping my pants on as I go thru...seems to be a reoccuring theme for me...I do have my bathing suit on underneath for all those inquiring minds. Addtionally, two days on spent on the 'grande descente' of the river...about 30 kms in total. Staff are split up - some leading the kids through the rapids and some acting as river team positioned throughout the rapids for safety. The entire school, including teachers and VC staff, go on these trips...a slight change to the way things are run at home...30-40 boats instead of 6...but it just seems to work here. The kids paddle these boats called 'Ardechois' - big plastic floating logs with grooved seats - heavy and awkward to carry but easy to flip over when kids dump.

The next group arrives tomorrow. I will be spending a good portion of the week familiarizing myself with the rock climbing sites and getting to know how they run the climbing here, as Neil (director) wants more people trained in specific areas. I was also asked to be the 'Healthcare Practitioner' for July - they do not have nurses here but someone with advanced level first aid to dole out medications and such...so that will be me. I will also be heavily involved in all the activities and act as support when needed. A different role for me and I think by that time the role will be a welcome change.

So there it is. I'm pretty tired and looking forward to spending the rest of the day relaxing, and taking a hot shower!

PS- address for the next three months: my name, c/o Village Camps, La Base du Cros, 07150 SALAVAS, France

Sunday, 30 April 2006

Location: Geneva, Switzerland

Bonjour de Geneve!

I know. I got a lot to make up for. London was grand - saw the sites...did the tap dance around the city from the art galleries to the royal family dwellings. I think I needed more time to explore and maybe a bigger cash allowance. London definitely loves fashion and famousness...glamourama. Spent a few days with Charlotte and her wonderful family in Swindon, finishing off with the Tour de Londres...ie, the London Marathon...completing our own marathon that day just trying to keep up with Charlotte`s mother at various check points.

Met up with Jenn and Dave again and spent the last few days relaxing at their flat and meandering the streets of London. Spent a day with Leo, Mike, Raph, and a few other famous folks at the National Gallery - hugely huge and most spectacular collection of art. I would not mind having a few of those in my personal collection. Yoga-d with Jenn one night and discovered my lack of balance and gracefulness...giggling my way through...but a nice way to wind down the night.

The last few weeks in Tanzania were amazing. Got a ridiculously amazing tour of the country. The final few days of our trip finished in Arusha and Moshi. Arusha is beautiful - quite enjoyed my stay there. Charlotte and I visited the UN building and sat in on a criminal tribunal for the Rwanda genocide...a little late as the case started four years ago...but with a little help from our neighbours and the guards that worked there we were able to piece together a little more of what was going on.

From Arusha we headed to Moshi...typically the home base for tourists/hikers/climbers looking to venture to up Mt. Kilimanjaro. Charlotte and I spent the days walking around through the town and enjoying some good local coffee at our own private coffee shop just outside our hostel. We ran into a couple other Baal Foundation volunteers and hung out with them for our first night in Moshi. They were staying at the Moshi house that Kari owns - not so much a house as a mansion. We spent three nights in Moshi and on the third day Charlotte and I caught a dalladalla to Marangue (a town on the lower slopes of Kili and the Marangue trailhead for the easier Kili climb) to check out the Ndoro waterfall. When we arrived in Marangue we were welcomed by a plethora of shouting men all trying to escort us to the waterfall. With a little help from a few children on the bus and Frankie (our new friend) we were advised to stay on the bus a little while longer. Frankie guided us to the waterfall thru lush looking banana trees, forests, farmland, cattle-grazing fields, stream, etc. T`was quite a magnificient walk. We arrive at the `cultural centre`, received walking sticks, and made our way down the slippery mud/stone steps to the waterfall. Quite the trek down and even moreso on the way up - especially after months of no physical exercise. Picnicked lunched, sat in the freezing cold water, picture took, and then headed back. Needless to say, the theighs were a little sore the next day.

We caught a bus back to Dar es Salaam the next day and spent the weekend in Bagamoyo with Kristin, Douglas, Barnabus, and Desire. Hanging out by the beach, pool, internet, and at Baga Point (the little local establishment near to where we live). There were no more volunteers left in Bagamoyo when we arrived. Charlotte and I stayed with Mama Mlekwa and Mlekwa (one of Douglas` children`s home families) next door to Kristin and Douglas` house. Kristin gave us an update of GVN`s visit to Bagamoyo. Colin was wonderful and GVN proved to be extremely appologetic, understanding, and definitely wanting to make some changes. Kristin has written a proposal to GVN to have volunteers come through her instead of Baal...a most wonderful plan. Everything is still being sorted out; however, it appears as though everything the volunteers hoped for is coming true.

Currently, I`m in Switzerland. Met up with Marcus at the airport the day before yesterday. Had the most amazing lunch of delicious cheese and fresh bread yesterday. Figuring out what to do today and heading to France tomorrow to start work.

There`s my update. Hope spring is sprunging at home. Salut!


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Recent Messages

From Marcus
ahhaha I just read your blurb about the old guy on the yellow scooter. Man - gooood times. Promise me one day Ann I will drive another motorcycle with you on the back of it.
Response: I promise Marcus. I promise. I miss our lime green kawasaki motor bike...and you too!
From Megan
Ann! The video was almost finished then it got accidently erased!!!!!!! It was a real test of 'letting go'. But the ideas are there, so re-creating it shouldn't take too long, then I'll send you a copy in Oz :)
megan misses you xoxo
Response: thanks meg. looking forward to it. hope all is well at home. miss you more than lots.
From
You know what Ann? I'm happy now - because you updated. Don't know if you noticed but your last entry pointed people to my blog so I could explain everything that was going on in the Ardeche - for you. That was like a friggin' year ago!
-Marcus
Response: I know. But I really don't like sitting in front of a computer screen and you are just so good at explaining my experiences for me. Saw a 70 year old dude on a yellow scooter today...made me think of times past and chuckle a little. I will do my best to be a better updater. Miss you Maracusa.
From Janelle
Hey Ann
Great pics....hope you are wonderful! Been trying to call ya however don't know if the ext. is right. Love you and miss ya. xoxo
Response: Hi Jnel!!! The ext. is 235 but if I'm not home there is no answering machine. I have a cell number now too. I will send that to you but I don't remember the number right now. I hope you are doing very well. I will be in touch soon. Miss you. Love you.
From Alex Sinclair
hiya gorgeous!!! just talked to your bro today and he mentioned that you had this email site setup after your trip to africa. those are some wicked phots - a friend of mine from lakehead and i went for a bit of a tour and taught in malawi for awhile. traveled thru the t-zone for only a few weeks - but absolutely loved. daar is an awesome place too. never had so much coconut juice in my life! anyway, whereabouts are you in france now? funny, we did our trip in reverse - jody and i were thumbing it thru france before we headed out. anyway, just thought i'd say a huge cndn hello - uhhh, here from australia...
but yeah, hope you're all fine and dandy and i've got news about jen marion too!!!
keep in touch babe - alex x
Response: Sa-weet! I really wanted to check out Malawi but time did not permit. Next time, which I hope will be sooner than later. I'm in the Ardeche region (southern-ish) - working for Village Camps like Bry did a few many years ago. Life is good. Trying to figure out the next move. Who knows really!?! Hope all is well in Oz - what are you doing there? Flying???
From Laurie
Hey Sister,

Hi girl.....sounds like you are on quite the world adventure!!! I am heading off to New Zealand for some skiing. Any chance you can mak eit that part of the world before oct?

miss ya and lok forward to the next entry!!!!

luv laurie
Response: Yo yo! Not sure yet. I have no plans...so I could very well be there. How long are you there for? You heading back to Fernie afterwards? Speaking of the Canadian west - I'm working with a fellow named Dave McCarthy (?)... I think you know him. Keep me posted with your happenings...maybe we can meet up for some long overdo travelling!
From Bryan
Who is responsible for this webpage? Who are you? And why are you pretending to be my sister?
Response: Who is responsible for this message? Who are you? And why are you pretending not to be my brother?
From Lauren Pessin
I am heading to Tanzania to volunteer in July, coudl I ask you some questions about your expierence. If you could email me back that would be great! Thanks
-Lauren-
Response: Hey Lauren - my email address is acgrimwood@hotmail.com. Feel free to email me any questions you have.
From Jack
Hi AC. I'm staying at your brother's place these days living in your old room. I'm glad to hear your safe and having a wicked time. Miss you. By the way, I accidently peed on your bedroom floor. Sorry.
Response: Thanks Jack. Glad you are enjoying the new space. Give my brother some lovin' and Kristen too when she gets back!
From Alli
Hi Ann,
Fantastic journal! I'm thinking of doing voluntary work in Sept through GVN. Would u recommend it? Have you heard of other volunteer agencies? I can't find your email address but would really like to contact you for some more information so if you could email me that'd be great. Thanks. Alli
Response: Hey Alli - feel free to email me any questions. I just sent a reply to Lauren with my email address.
From English Dave
Hey Ann,
Sounds like you are having an amazing time. Just wanted to leave a message and say Hi. Your travels make my school life feel even more boring. I wont be back to camp this summer but hopefully will be back for most of next year. Stay safe.
Response: Hey duder - neither will I; however, I will be in London from the 18th-27th of April....just to throw that out at ya...you can throw it right back if you like.
From Ta Mama
Hi Honey,
Thanks for the birthday greetings and the info on the Zeller"s points; but did you have to the world I'm sixty!! Just kidding ! The little grade sixers in Jamaica did not believe I was going to be 60, they thought 50. Oh well! It was a very good experience in Jamaica as I mentioned in my email. The messages that you are receiving are also very interesting reading and for any future volunteers and their parents, I have had many of your same feelings about Ann-Christine going to Africa, but I am also so very proud of her. I love you sweetie and miss you lots. Mom
Response: Thanks Mom - but did you have to be so gushy? Ha!
From Scooter Mama I
Hey Scooter Mama II:
I think we have a road trip in order on your return to Canada......along with some drumming!!!! I am sure I could sing like Cheryl Crow for you as well. LOL!
Enjoy your last couple of weeks. Love ya Mamma Cheza a.k.a Scooter Mama I
Response: thanks sm2, i will. hmm...sheryl crow and drumming has a nice ring to it...funny girl you. sm1
From Tracy
Hi Ann,
Really enjoyed your writing. I am planning to move permanently to Dar within the next 8 months. I used to live in Moshi - so am familiar with life in TZ. You mentioned issues with your NGO. Could you send info (and any advice) on direct contacts in Dar? I hope to volunteer initially to get an idea of how best to plan my long term assistance. Of course I'll have to arrange a work visa some way. I have music K-12 certification and a Masters in Reading and Literacy. So, teaching and orphan / AIDS awareness activities and support are my focus. Any thoughts on your part would be greatly appreciated. Thanks a bunch!
Tracy
Response: Hi Tracy -
I will email you some contacts here. They are mainly NGO contacts in Bagamoyo but they might have some suggestions for Dar.
From NIcole Lucier
Hi Ann! You are still there...how long have you extended your visa for? I will be leaving in 10 days and arriving on the 31st so I hope that you are still there then??? Sounds like the school you are working at is where I'm being placed as well. I have alot of resources for the school and the teachers given to me by a great school here in Kelowna. Is there anything in particular that you can think of for me to bring as well, i.e. what's the one thing you wish you had for the kids and can't buy there? Can I bring you a treat??? Hope to see you soon. How's the rain? Best, Nicole
Response: Hi Nicole - Just had to extend my visa till my flight leaves on the 18th of April (or else I would have had to leave today) but I'm leaving Dar on the 31st to Mwanza. Chances are there will be lots of kids that you are working with at one time - it's nice to have sports equipment and the only thing I've been able to find here are soccer balls. I wish we had huge brown rolls of crate paper...but that's expensive to bring. We have run out of construction paper, need lots of scissors and glue, paints, paint brushes. Again, lost of kids using these supplies at once so I would suggest concentrating on one or two things and bringing lots. I'm ok as far as treats go but thanks for the offer. Hopefully I will see you.
From Jess
Hi Ann! Well I made it home and am back to 70 hour work weeks, but not before a wicked 5 days in London!:) What is going on in Bagamoya?? What happened to Kristin??!! I am dying to know whats happening. I am sure you heard that Kari announced March volunteer money coming in while I was there and then went out shopping and came home with a generator, big screen TV, and 4 computers(supposedly for an internet cafe in his house!) He must really think we are idiots! Hope all is well and would love to hear from you. Take care-Jess
Response: hey jess - so gooood to hear from you. we were actually wondering the other day how you were doing and everyone was asking each other if anyone has heard from you. how's the restaurant going? besides the 70 hour work week...ouch! kristin is no longer working for kari which is good. she is good though. i still see her lots. elias (teacher guy) has taken over but he's never around. liz, charlotte, and i have been running the house. and murat and melissa just got back from kili. three new volunteers arrived friday. charlotte and i gave them a tour. i spent the other night at the bahari house and saw all the new additions...plus two kittens and an african grey parrot. ha! i'll keep you posted with events and happenings. hope you are well.
From JD
I finally figured out that I can send you messages... Sorry to take so long in getting in touch. I miss our walks together. The house seems empty without you. I hope your happy and safe. Can't wait to see you and have you rub my belly and scratch my ears. Dad says hi.
Response: very funny. nerd. but still very funny. miss you too!
From Lucy
Hey Ann, really good to read ur entries. I'm hoping to go to Tanzania with GVN in June but I really wanna be able to chat to some volunteers that have already done it cause I'm only 18 and this will be my first time in Africa (so my parents are going crazy with worry!). Anyway... I'm from the UK, so if you've got any e-mails of people who have done the project and wouldn't mind having a little chat over email would be greatly appreciated! Hope you're well,
lucyx
Response: hi lucy - i will send you an email with some contacts in a few days.
From NIcole Lucier
Hi again Ann! I've been very interested in your responses to Mika and would love if if you would forward your email to her to me, mainly so I can grasp what I'll be dealing with in terms of Baal. I have made the commitment so I'm I am arriving in Dar on the Mar 31st and am really hoping to get to meet you before you heard to your other destinations (will you be coming back to Bagamoyo?). Hope this finds you well and not too soggy! Best, Nicole
Response: Hi Nicole - I will send you the email as well. I am still trying to locate what I am looking for, I will will send it. We have received word from GVN, specifically Colin, that they will be coming here at the beginning of April to deal with the issues that we are having. I am taking a train to Mwanza on the 31st so I am not sure if our paths will cross. I will hopefully be coming back to Bagamoyo for a few days; however, I am having troubles changing my flight so I will keep you posted.
From Mika
Hi Ann,

Thank you very much for your response. Your input really helps. If you have more things to say about Baal Foundation, I would like to know. That would be great if I can get in touch with previous volunteers. My friend and I feel like we should also look for another African country for volunteer work. Why did you choose Tanzania? I have worked in the Dept. of Afircan and African American Studies at Harvard University and met so many wonderful Africans. They were from Tanzania, Nigeria, Mali, Kenya, etc. I want to see their cultures and lifestyle through volunteering. Of course, Africa is huge so I only can see a small part of it.

I appreciate your time to respond my message.

Take care.

Mika Okada
Response: Hi Mika - I didn't know too much about Africa before I came here but I knew that Tanzania was a safe country based on what I have heard from friends and from what I have read. I would really like to go to Malawi, Uganda, and Rwanda at some point as well. At the beginning of April, I am heading to northern Tanzania and Mobassa, Kenya for a little bit so I will definitely keep the website updated. I would suggest that if you are travelling here you stay for a while to immerse yourself in the culture and get to know where you are living/working. There are many people here that are operating small NGO's and definitely need help - I will get their contact information for you and email it to you. They are looking for teachers and caregivers mainly (no professional certification required but definitely an asset) and would like a longer term committment...that is, greater than 1-2 months. I would suggest talking to them before signing on with Baal as all of your money goes to Baal and none to any of the smaller NGO's that you would actually be working with. The Baal Foundation is sort of like the middle, middle man. Check your email though...I'll send you a 'part two' to my previous response.
From AUNT CHARLENE
HI SWEETIE, just a note to let you know that we're reading your journal with great interest.I call it armchair travel.We are praying for your safety and that of your friends.May our Lord be with you and keep you in His loving care.
Response: Hi Aunt Charlene & Uncle Bob - Good to hear you are finding the entries interesting...I hav fun writing them. Say hello to all the Windsor folks for me. Take care and enjoy the rest of the winter. I miss cold weather.
From Kim
Hi Ann, You have done a great job with the journal-very entertaining. I was hoping you could instill some comfort and confidence with me. My daughter is planning to Tanzania and work with the Baal Found in May. She will be arriving with 2 other female classmates. They were originally planning this trip with their coll. prof. who has recently flaked out on them. She was a sense of comfort for me because of her 20+ yrs of experience traveling to Africa. How dangerous do you feel the climate is there? How worried should I be? You mentioned difficulties with the NGO/Baal? I'll continue following you in your travels. Best of luck.
Response: Hi Kim - No worries about the climate. The sun is definitely hot but nothing a little sunscreen won't cure. The locusts are more annoying then the mosquitoes as they flutter around in your face quite often during the rainy season, which is just starting. As for illnesses of any sort...between our house and our friends, we have experienced everything you can imagine from head colds to diarrhea to rashes to malaria. The only thing you can really do is take precautions...i.e., malaria medication (e.g. malarone, doxycycline, larium), be hygienic (wash your hands...bring hand sanitizer!), wear long light weight clothing at night to avoid mosquito bites and wear bug spray. Tanzania is a very peaceful country; however, some do like to make fun and take advantage of the tourists...you just need to be watchful and stay together in groups when walking around certain parts. I can understand that you are worried for your daughter's safety...that's what good moms' do...but I have yet to have a 'real' problem that I couldn't handle myself. I think she will have a great time in Tanzania. Hope I have been helpful.
From ¿Quién es?
Hola Señorita!!
Lo siento que estoy tan tarde para escribirte ... pero he olvidado todo mi inglés! Es muy tarde esta noche, casi medianoche, y estoy trabajando en la escuela NCIVS cuatro días esta semana. Entonces, voy a acostarme pronto! Vamos a visitar a tu hermano Jonathan y su perro JD este fin de semana. Hay una historia muy, muy interesante de este perro inteligente lo que quiero decirte la proxima vez! Voy a escribirte otra vez muy pronto. Te amo mucho!!¡Cuidatate! (¿Anyone there speak Spanish?) Buenas noches Muff!
Su numero uno admirador!!
Response: I think I got most of that...thanks my number one admirer...
From Carolyn
Hey you! Your journals are great and I try to keep 'in-the-know' as much as possible. Thanks for such wonderful descriptions of your experience! I will send you an email but am wondering what you're up to for September??? Drop me a line when you have a chance and a reliable connection.
Cheers, Carolyn
Response: Hey duder - Good question...I have many thoughts circulating through my head but they are between travelling and moving back to Calgary. What are you thinking?
From Nathan
Hi, my name is Nathan and I'm sure it's here somewhere, but I can't find your email address and I wanted to contact you directly, to rap with you about the experience in Bagamoyo. Hopefully we'll corespond soon.

peace & balance

Nathan
Response: I'll send you an email...