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Children of Kibera, Kenya

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When our patients and their parents heard that we were going to Kenya and would visit a school in Kibera—one of the largest slums in the world—many of them asked if we could take some supplies for the children there. One mother had her children use their allowance to buy books, others brought colored pencils, […]

Secrets of the Sahara in Morocco

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Sitting in a small circle around the fire that evening, darkness fell all around us. Beyond the glow of the fire, the endless sand dunes that extended outward in every direction fell asleep in the alluring shadows of the night. Above us, the scintillating stars in the infinite sky twinkled with divine secrets to which […]

Mabilla Mountain, Nigeria a place to be

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Mabilla you are the rose of Sharon, the lily of your heart. As a lily among the thistles, so is my beloved among mountains. As an apple tree among the trees of the wood, so is my love among mountains. In his delightful shade I sit, and his fruit is sweet to my taste. She […]

Gold SATW for Ken Budd

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Congratulations to Ken Budd for his 2014 Gold SATW award for his article,  “Kenya: Holding Elijah.” Ken Budd’s 2013 story on his volunteer experiences in Kenya and recent media criticism of voluntourism won gold on October 16 in the Society of American Travel Writers’ Lowell Thomas awards, which honors the best work in travel writing and media. Gary Arndt of […]

The elusive Room 27 at Planet Baobab, Botswana

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“Makgadikgadi? I asked what was out there, and they said ‘Nothing-only idiots go there.’ I thought fine, that’s the place for me.” Jack Bousfield, 1963 It was indeed this quote by the famous hunter, adventurer and safari operator, Jack Bousfield that convinced us to plan the most memorable breakaway imaginable. A Saturday in June marked […]

The Yauri I will never forget in Nigeria

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Do you know that a bird on hand is much better than many on tree? At times, giving eyewitness account only reduces a story to nothing but understatement or exaggeration. In the past, I’ve heard too many stories from my friends about their tour to various places where they could be themselves however it only […]

Rural Relaxation in Malawi

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My bones creaked and my body yelped in pain as I rolled over and reached for my phone, but instead of the ghostly display satisfying my desire to know the exact hour at all times of day and night, I found only an inanimate piece of plastic. I then remembered, with the aid of the […]

Bravery in Malawi

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I’m sure my parents won’t like to hear this but taking risks is part of experiencing the world. To quote a favorite movie of mine, “A life lived in fear, is a life half-lived.” I keep reminding myself of this when I question putting aside my anxieties and having faith that something will work out […]

The parched sand of Tahrir Square, Egypt

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Cairo’s Tahrir Square is an uninspiring sandbox, lacking any color or foliage. It is surrounded by unloved concrete and internationally-notorious traffic. It is a feeble place to launch a revolution. But in 2011, Tahrir Square became an Earthly portal linking mortals and the Olympus gods. We jammed drinking straws through the sand and sucked up […]

The Yauri I will never forget in Nigeria

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Do you know that a bird on hand is much better than many on tree? At times, giving eyewitness account only reduces a story to nothing but understatement or exaggeration. In the past, I’ve heard too many stories from my friends about their tour to various places where they could be themselves however it only […]