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Volunteering with Children Abroad: the Issues You Should Know

When looking for volunteering projects in foreign countries, one of the first things to catch people’s eye is working with children. There are so many orphaned and impoverished children around the world in need of love, care and affection, and those of us who want to help know that we have the ability to deliver […]

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A Fiesta of Fireworks at School Founder’s Day

It’s been two months since I started working at Collegio Miguel Merchan as a voluntary English teacher. In that timeframe, there a few things I’ve become certain of. Firstly, teaching is not as easy as I thought. Secondly, there are elements of the Ecuadorian school system that I can never hope to understand. And finally? […]

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The Spanish Challenge: Giving Up English for Lent

One of my major reasons for moving to Ecuador was to learn Spanish properly. I’ve tried learning languages before, and it’s never gone too well, despite my best efforts to the contrary. Years of primary school French resulted solely in a haphazardly memorised version of Frere Jaques; Italian GCSE threw me at the last hurdle […]

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Crisis at Christmas volunteering homeless

Helping the Homeless: Volunteering with Crisis at Christmas

My first volunteering shift with Crisis at Christmas was in December 2007. My first task was clearing the food trays in the canteen, after the guests had finished their breakfast. I was eighteen, slightly overwhelmed and completely unsure about how I was supposed to behave. The first instinct I had was to just keep my head […]

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Iceland Airwaves WWF volunteers party

Working for Free at Iceland Airwaves

Standing in a sweaty store cupboard, mere inches away from the main stage at Reykjavik’s Harpa concert hall, I held up a green tshirt against my bare chest with a certain amount of scepticism. I had been promised untold amounts of ‘female, size medium’ by the gruff bouncer out front. Clearly, these were all masquerading as […]

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Red, Yellow, Pink and Green: Teaching Songs at School

Mama is watching the hole for red ants, chewing on a lump of betel nut. She bends down to try a lift a log, buried upright, deep in the ground. She is 67, worn to the colour of mahogany, and the log, only 17 years her junior, used to be a buffalo’s yoke. She and […]

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Snakes, Scorpions, and Permaculture Farms

I arrived in Thailand at 7am after 12 hours in transit from India, via a brief stint in Colombo’s departure gate corridors, which offered me some very welcomed free wifi. As my taxi drove along the highway towards Bangkok, I marvelled at the cleanliness of everything. But something was a tad confusing. Where were the […]

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DJ Amely Ukraine music

‘The Greatest Live World Music Concert and After Party’

‘So you can fly to Ukraine for us, then. Great.’ The movie mogul sitting opposite me takes a long sip of his chilled Kingfisher and leans back in his wicker chair. I look at my plate, where four different varieties of meat sit happily amongst a spoonful of mint chutney and some papad fragments. So […]

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Nine Inch Heels Presents ‘The Bling’

Those who know me well are probably a bit confused by this title. In my normal London life, I am not known as a high heel wearer, and am certainly not a flaunter of anything considered remotely ‘bling’. I’m also not particularly enamoured of either object. But here’s the thing: I’m not in London right […]

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How to Wash Your Hair in Kathmandu

Have you ever tried to wash in Kathmandu? Rolling electrical blackouts and an erratic work schedule can only mean one thing when it comes to showering; no matter how hard you try, the water is always going to be cold.  Before I arrived in Nepal I used to think water had three temperatures – and […]

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