Tag Archives: travel

SnapShots: Krakow, Poland

Having flew through Vienna the next stop on my Inter-railing adventure was Krakow. I love Poland and this city didn’t disappoint.

It is a beautiful place and somewhere I would love to go back to 🙂 Hope you enjoy my snaps!

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Humanity: Weekly Photo Challenge

This weekly photo challenge is an interesting one. Humanity, the collective entity that is us. The human race.

I love these photo’s from my recent travels.

My first photo was taken in a school. Education; the sharing of knowledge, culture, language, traditions. The list is endless and it importance unequivocal.

My second photo is of the simplicity of one married couple who have spent decades by this very road making mile after mile of rope. A never ending joint partnership with some beautiful smiles to accompany it.

My last photo is of a pair of market sellers. When I approached and asked for a photo the gentlemen fooled about posing for the camera much to the embarrassment of his friend. It was a lovely moment although she did come close to give him a good whack with that pan.

For more of my Indian Adventures visit this previous post: SnapShots: Indian Adventures

Working with national volunteers in schools
Working with national volunteers in schools
Rope making
Rope making

Camera shy? This pair had a fit of giggles when we turned up

SnapShots: Vienna, Austria

I only had 16 hours to explore Vienna which didn’t give me long to explore! I arrived at around 6am on an over night train and had to leave in the evening to make another over night train to Krakow. This also helped me discover that not an awful lot goes on at 6am, no matter what city your in!

I spent a lot of the day walking around and exploring the parks and museums. In the evening I took the chance to attend a opera performance which was great! Would love to have had more time to look around but still a great day 🙂

To see the previous stop on my trip click here.

 

SnapShots: Venice, Italy

The next stop on my Inter-railing adventure was Venice. This was the second time I’ve been to Venice and I think it’s just as exciting the second time around.

It is such a beautiful, unique city so it’s easy to understand why it fills with tourists. I like nothing better than getting lost in the streets. One night, not knowing where a bar was, we followed a group of tourists who we thought looked like they knew where they were going. I had hoped they would lead us to a really awesome bar but we ended up wondering around for ages and eventually ditched them and went our own way!

To see the first stop of my Inter-railing trip click here.

 

SnapShots: Gdansk, Poland

Poland was never somewhere high on my list of places to visit but after me and my best friend booked a cheap flight to celebrate our dissertation hand in I fell in love with it.

Gdansk has a beautiful old town and a huge amount of history to discover. I could easily have spent longer than a weekend there. We also had some hilarious nights out in the town, the locals are incredible friendly if not slightly puzzled as to why two English girls where out there in winter!

 

Snapshots: Lake District, UK

The Lake District has long been a family favourite. It is truly stunning, one of the most picturesque places in the UK.

Even if your not a fan of fell walking, the valleys and lake side paths mean everyone can enjoy its beauty. My favourite time to go walking is winter. Walking along the tops trudging through knee deep snow with frozen eyebrows is fantastic.

Here are some of my favourite pictures taken from one Christmas we spent there.

A day in the life of a volunteer

One of the biggest things I wanted to know before going abroad to volunteer was what exactly would I be doing.

What would I eat? Who would I live with? What should I wear? How much teaching would I do? Would I do it all by myself? Would I get to explore the area?

Those questions can never be fully answered before departure. Everyone’s experience will be different. But here is an honest account of what I experienced on a typical day volunteering.

(To give a little background before I jump straight in I was placed in a rural community with three other English volunteers for 3 months. We worked in pairs to form two teams; the health team and the livelihood team. We were also joined by two national volunteers who knew the area, the language and the general set up.)

So………..

Generally we would wake up around 9am. Morning showers were a distant dream…a bucket of cold water sufficed. On a good day this came straight through the taps but more often than not we had to take a trip to the well and haul some out. Many a bucket was lost down there before we got the hang of it/bought stronger rope!

Our national volunteers would arrive at our flat at around 10am (bus dependant). We would then go over our plan for the day (if it was a Monday, spend time time planning the weeks activities). Typically we would spend the morning planning lessons or events and visiting local leaders/teachers/health professionals etc to ask permission to carry out workshops, invite students to events and maintain our presence to build up a good working relationship. Mornings were also spent carrying out questionnaires in local villages.

After lunch we would teach in schools. We developed workshops which lasted around 3 hours. Split into our two teams we would rotate students so each class had a health and livelihood session. We would then head back to our resource centre to hold informal lessons and games with any people that turned up.

We would head home around 6pm. The evening was then spent writing up the days events, walking into the village to buy dinner, playing on the roof with the neighbours children and watching netflix (if the power was on!).

This is just at typical day, we did many one of things such as maintaining kitchen gardens, holding events, meeting with various local social groups as well as a lot of exciting things like traditional weddings and weekend trips around the region.

As someone who can’t even handle a jalapeno on a slice of pizza I was seriously worried about the food. Spice is not my thing. It hurts. But, the food was ok, even sometimes quite enjoyable! We had little/no variety day to day. For breakfast we usually fried of some eggs and toast or dosa. Lunch was my favourite meal of the day; parotas with sambar was my go to dish. Alternatively chicken biriyani was available. Evening meal tended to be veg fried rice or chapati’s. Idli is traditionally served with most meals to absorb the sauce. Only your right hand is used to eat food.

Clothing is also something to consider. Women and men have to be covered up. It seemed odd to us that women had sari’s that showed off their stomachs yet it would be rude and shameful to have your shoulders or knees exposed. All women wear saris, as a westerner, and not a girly girl, my preferred choice was shorts and a t-shirt.  This did attract some looks, I suppose it looked to them like I was wearing a young boys clothes! But you can’t go wrong with some maxi skirts and loose fitting tops if you don’t want to invest in a sari. (I still can’t figure out how to put a one on).