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South East Asia to San Francisco

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The last stop on our journey was San Francisco, California. Returning to North America was quite a big shock for both me and my mom. One of the things we loved the most about some of the places we visited was the chaos  of things that seemed to work ; like the way the traffic motion was constantly zig-zag-ing but we rarely saw anyone crash, or the unevenness of the dirt roads that people somehow…

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In Search Of Sanuk

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As  I explored and learned more about the struggles of refugees in Chiang Mai with Lisa of Thai Freedom House, I was curious to learn more.  I was told about another project that deals with the issue of refugees and asylum seekers in Bangkok called ‘In Search Of Sanuk’ founded by Dwight Turner in 2008. In Search Of Sanuk gives shelter, food and education to  people who have endured many forms of trauma. The organization’s…

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Thai Freedom House

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Closely linked to the issue of trafficking is the issue of refugees. In Thailand there are many Burmese refugees struggling and dealing with great hardships. In Chiang Mai, I visited an incredible project called ’Thai Freedom House’- a community centre that runs language and art programs for Burmese refugees and other minority groups in the city. The organization was founded by Lisa Nesser, who is originally from the US. She moved to Thailand 9 years ago when…

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Responsible Tourism in Thailand

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The way we travel can have a long-lasting impact on the places we visit; good or bad. I’d found that the tourism industry in Thailand isn’t all that focused on being responsible and could probably be doing a lot more.  Many of the tours are to see caged tigers or elephants trained to paint pictures. I refused to go on any of these but I did see a company called Elephant Nature Park which rescue…

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Bangkok to Baan Yu Suk

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Is the saying there’s no place like home true? I thought about this a lot while travelling and had my moments of homesickness but it wasn’t long before i started to call the places we were staying ‘home’. Staying somewhere for longer periods of time has helped me do this. Getting to know the people and getting comfortable with my surroundings was important and I realized I really didn’t need much. So long as there…

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Getting an Education in Tanzania

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People ask us about the projects we have been visiting and how we find them. Usually a few weeks before we’re scheduled to move on, my mom and I will research where we’re heading and send out a bunch of emails to hostels and local organizations to let them know the approximate dates we’ll be in town to see if they’d be interested in meeting. This time we found a volunteer hostel named Ujamaa Hostel…

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The Southern Sun Shines Some Light on Sustainability

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  Everyone can have an impact on the world whether it’s through big or small actions –  from small hostels, to big hotels. We stayed at the Southern Sun Hotel (part of the Tsogo Sun Group) in both Maputo, Mozambique and Dar Es Salaam, Tanzania. We wanted to stay there because we read that they have a large environmental sustainability program. The company says that  “the Tsogo Sun Group recognizes its responsibility for the impacts it has on its surrounding communities…

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Zanzibar:

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Since we only had four days in Dar Es Salaam, my mom and i thought we would check out the famous Zanzibar; a large island approximately an hour to an hour and a half away from Dar by ferry boat. Sunday we took the very first ferry at 7 am to Zanzibar so we could spend a whole day there. We met up with our guide in Zanzibar who took us to a local spice farm….

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The Canadian High Commission and AISM

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It’s nice to have hospitality abroad. Mom and I were looking for stories to cover in Maputo and were recommended to the Canadian High Commission in  Maputo. We made a connection there with one of the lead analysts in development – a woman named Gail. She was so kind and offered to set us up with projects to visit and an interview with the High Commissioner himself. We were able to interview the High Commissioner, Shawn…

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