30 June 2010

media mention: traveldudes.org

Looky here! I was quoted today on TravelDudes.org with a nifty travel tip. Check it out here.

26 June 2010

recipes needed for travelers’ night in e-cookbook for charity, Tasty TwEats

It’s no secret how much I love Travelers’ Night In (#TNI on Twitter), the 90-minute, fast-paced, weekly travel Tweet-up. I’ve been lucky to be a semi-regular host of the cyber soiree and now, this avid home chef is a recipe contributor to the first and only cookbook created by travelers and conceived from #TNI, Tasty TwEats. It will take readers on a round-the-world culinary adventure and 100% of all sponsorship or donation dollars to Tasty TwEats goes directly to Planeterra, a global grassroots organization donating to the people and communities around the world.

Do you have a can’t-live-without ingredient from afar? A local dish that instantly reminds you of a favorite destination? Don’t keep all the deliciousness to yourself. The deadline to submit recipes is this Thursday, July 1, 2010. The cookbook will be available Aug.1 for a minimum $10 donation.

Tune in to Travelers’ Night In this Thursday at 3:30 EST. Your truly is co-hostess with the mostest and the topic is Nature vs. Human Impact (like what happens when swine flu, volcanoes and oil spills affect your travel plans). Be sure to follow the #TNI hashtag and if you can’t make the spirited festivities, keep your eyes peeled for Adventurous Kate’s always awesome post play report.

project | building a future and hogares crea in honduras

I'm back in action after three weeks in Honduras for the first project of The Global Citizen Project. My apologies for delayed posts – technical logistics in Tegucigalpa were unpredictable and it’s taken me a full week to step away from the volunteer project and process the experience. On many levels, it was a very difficult trip for me. My time was divided between working with first and second graders in Colonia Ramón Amaya Amador, an underserved barrio on the outskirts of the capitol city, through Building a Future, and with abandoned and street children, many victims of violence, addiction and abuse via various Hogares Crea homes.

I had seen painful glimpses of the face of poverty, homelessness and hunger in Latin America on previous trips, but never experienced its myriad of effects so intimately. Despite this often seen reality, I also traveled throughout Honduras in late 2007 and had been floored by the beauty of the country. On this trip though, beauty was limited to a few quick countryside road trips and the gracious hospitality of the Honduran people; if it existed in Tegucigalpa, it was lost on me. The city (and country) face a plethora of problems ranging from its 40% unemployment rate, $1.30-1.50 average hourly wage and pervasive lack of education (the average Honduran completes 6.5 years of school) to widely divided social classes and a population where more than 50% of its people are ages 18-years-old and younger. Factor in Honduras’ recent Presidential coup and its current political polarization, and well, you don’t exactly have a recipe for (easy) success.

I’m eager to share specific experiences and stories with everyone and plan to do so over the coming weeks before I take off for project two of The Global Citizen Project with Karikuy in Lima, Peru in mid-July. In the meantime, here are my photos on Flickr of the people and places in Honduras that have given me pause and huge gratitude for the opportunity, education and friends and family in my life.

25 June 2010

mail enhancement

Be a tree’s BFF when you say bye bye to snail mail and start using Seattle-based start-up Earth Class Mail’s cyber mail services. Here’s how it works: Sign up for an online P.O. box and total control of your mail at the click of a mouse. Every unopened piece of mail is scanned both front and back, bar-coded, and tracked at the stadium-sized Beaverton, OR sorting facility before it arrives digitally in the customer’s online mailbox. Recipients are directed towards a secure website, where they can decide to have their mail opened and scanned, or forwarded, recycled, or archived without ever touching a hard copy. Skeptical of your confidentiality? Employees are screened via a patent-pending security system that called upon the safety smarts of the FBI Cybercrimes Division, among other leading experts. The mail handling facility bans all recording devices like mobile phones, computers or any device that could record or send information. Perfect for jet-setters, business travelers and expatriates who want a consistent mailing address, or those who wish they called a specific zip code home, like Seattle.

Wanna Try?
Earth Class Mail, 93 S Jackson St., Seattle; (206-905-2400). Plans start at $9.95 month plus a $25 set-up fee, with options for singles, couples and small business. Available in 19 major U.S. cities, including Seattle.

preview: july project | karikuy | lima, peru

Where is Lima, Peru? Lima is the capital and largest city of Peru (the 5th largest city in Latin America). It is located in the valleys of the Chillón, Rímac and Lurín rivers, on a coast overlooking the Pacific Ocean. Lima has only 1284 hours of sunshine a year; 28.6 hours in July.

About Karikuy: Founded by Julio C. Tello on September 4th 2007, the Karikuy Organization was created with the vision of bringing people from all walks of life together to experience Peru like few have. From remote ceremonies to hidden metropolitan hot spots, Karikuy guides you in exploring Peru in ways that few agencies do. Karikuy drops you in the center of one of the most colorful cultures on earth, aiming to widen your view of the world through social and traditional tourism. An old Inca saying defines the organization and its goals, Karikuy; "to live life with an open heart". Karikuy applies this motto in the way business is conducted, always thoughtful of our customers who in turn become friends and collaborators. More then just a business Karikuy is phase one of a broader project of social development.

How I will help: I will help build the largest informational database on all things Peru on the Internet. The project began in late January 2009. The Perupedia project will begin with wikipedia style homepages for all the major Provinces of Peru and gradually expand outwards providing travel, weather, entertainment and news information respectively.

24 June 2010

more photos | the global citizen project goes to honduras

Hola! I'm back from my first project for The Global Citizen Project, working with Building a Future and Hogares Crea in Tegucigalpa, Honduras and trying to process so many things - my volunteer experience, several deadlines, catching up on sleep and sifting through hundreds of photos and videos. Since I'm guessing that not everyone has the time to sit through 500+ images, here is round two of my favorite photos (with captions this time, too). Please click here to my Flickr page if you'd like to take a quick visual trip to Honduras. Grab your Kleenex - some of these photos are heartbreaking.

11 June 2010

photos: tegucigalpa, honduras | building a future

Hola from Tegucigalpa, Honduras. I'm about half-way through my first project and all is going well with Building a Future. It's been a very eye-opening and humbling experience to work with one month old babies through 20-year old girls who are the product of the streets, drugs, gangs or abandonment. I cannot thank the Mahomar family and every individual I've crossed paths with enough for the kind hospitality they've extended throughout my stay. Thank you.

Technology access has been non-existent until now, so I've held off on blogging about my experiences. Rest assured, I've been journaling daily -- there's no way I'd otherwise be able to keep track of all the stories and rich moments that fill my days. In the meantime, I'll share some of the photos I've taken here. (P.S. A Facebook account is required to log in.)  I had trouble uploading photos, so there are a few duplicates and images are not captioned (yet). After five tries, this is the best I can do at the moment. Enjoy!

01 June 2010

a broad volunteers: let the global citizen project begin

Alright, y’all. Tomorrow night, I catch a red-eye from Seattle to Miami to Tegucigalpa, Honduras where I’ll jump into volunteering for Building a Future (BAF). I cannot tell you how impressed I’ve been with this organization and the pre-volunteering preparations. BAF Directors, Robert Furr and José Mahomar have checked in weekly with updates on what I’d be doing and whom I’d be working with. You can read more about what I'll be doing in Tegucigalpa, Honduras on Wanderlust and Lipstick here. Follow the adventure on Twitter here.