Woke-up and had breakfast, then Frauke took us into Hamburg for a quick tour. It couldn’t have been quick enough. The city is based around a port/waterfront area that would make the Gulf of Mexico look beautiful. -Craig
We left and headed north towards Copenhagen, Denmark. The landscape was water, windmills, forest, and more water all the way there. -Craig
Frauke escorted us into town, telling us along the way how beautiful it was. Craig and I were a bit disappointed as all the buildings were very plain and red brick. The canals were good, but nothing compared to Brugge. They did have a beautiful town hall though and very pretty town center. -Jen
The drive into Copenhagen was pretty great with lots and lots of water, bridges, small islands, and windmills. -Jen
Money Spent 4/11/09: Euro’s and Denmark Krones - USD $54.18
Total spent at this point on the trip: $26,760.00 USD
Number of countries visited: 31]]>
Happy Birthday to Craig!!! Because it was Craig’s day, we did everything he wanted to do, which was, of course, explore Plovdiv…First and foremost, we wandered around “our” area, had a wonderful cheese-filled pastry and coffee for breakfast, then walked across town to the Hill of the Liberators. This hill, of course, required climbing and I think I counted 600 steps up. -Jennifer
We got up on the 13th, grabbed a pastry from a local shop, then started wandering. We shoppd in a 3-story shopping mall inside a renovated 19th century building, looked at art set-up along the center of a small square, found a Bulgarian flag patch, and wadered around the old town on cobblestone streets. -Craig
The views from the top were nice though and the monuments were interesting. -Jennifer
For lunch, we had pizza at a little trendy restaurant. The people here seem nice, intelligent, fashionable, and always looking ahead. This could very well be a nice country. -Craig
After our naps, we headed out to have my birthday dinner at McDonald’s and then to the internet cafe. Got in touch with my mom and dad on SKYPE and told them that we are coming home to visit on February 20th. They seemed excited/confused. Mom cried a bit, dad seemed like he thought there was something more to the story. -Craig
Craig’s dad thinks something is wrong, we think, and his mom is just pre-occupied with Grammar. I had no luck again with my mom. -Jennifer
Money Spent 2/13/09: 73.13 Bulgarian lev = $47.42 USD
Extra for SKYPE credits, exchange fees, money kept = $20.00 USD
Total Spent at this point on trip: $21,801.15
Number of Countries Visited: 19]]>
How are you? I hope this mail will find you all well. We all are fine here in Rainbow Children Home and hope the same to you. We have made all bunk beds for the children. Bunk beds are more comfortable and taking little space in the room so change all old beds and put new bunk beds for all the children beds. Also we have made dining tables for the children. Now onwards children can sit in a chair and put the disc in the dining table and eat comfortably. All the children are so happy to get bunk bed and dining table.
I have attached some photos of the dining table and bunk beds in this same mail, Please have a look and comment, your suggestions and support is always highly appreciated to Rainbow Children Home. Because of your help, support and care inspires to do more for the children welfare. So, I would like to thank you all for your continuous helping, supporting and caring for Rainbow Children Home. We do hope the same in the coming days.
For more information about Rainbow Children’s Home, their current needs, and how you can help, please email us at craig (at) alsupsworldtravels (dot) com.
Got to Pamukkale, paid the outrageous entrance fee ($25) and headed in. We walked through the Necropolis of Hierapolis first and looked at all of the tombs. Sadly, these cities are beginning to look a lot alike. But, I don’t wanna get home and wish I had seen ‘em…Anyway, we really came for the “travertines”. It was a huge area covered in pearly white travertine with a thermal stream running through it! We took off our shoes and soaked our feet in the hot water awhile and enjoyed the views of the travertine and the mountains covered in snow in the distance. -Craig
What an amazing place the Romans chose to build Hierapolis! Right on top of such a beautiful thing! -Craig
The ruins were much like all the others we’ve seen, except the theater was huge and quite impressive. After wandering around for awhile, we visited the white travertines. Now this was amazing! It looked just like a snow-covered mountain and spread across a huge site. -Jennifer
Turns out Adnan (our Couchsurfing host) isn’t so useless. He arranged a futbol (soccer) game and said I could play! Even loaned me a jersey…That happened to be #5! Oh yeah! Excited is an understatement. Elated. Gassed. Fired up. Torqued. “Legs, break out of your useless state. You are needed!”, I said. Jen can never understand how excited I get when I get to play. No one can. Except maybe Daniel Hodge. I believe he loved it as much as me. Maybe… -Craig
The game was an hour long with no breaks, half-time or anything. Safe to say I was dead tired in no time. Very quick play. High scoring game. I played defense most of the time, but got a couple shots, both on target and good shots, but sadly both blocked. Got one assist. Saved a goal or two. Gave up a goal or two. Got hit in the groin with a ball. Busted my knee. Not a bad time at all. Actually, an amazing time though I played fairly poorly compared with my former play as a youngster. -Craig
Money Spent 2/5/09: 125 Turkish Lira = $78.13 USD
Total Spent at this point on trip: $21,306.12
Number of Countries Visited: 18]]>
We had a long table outside with mountains and pastures all around. The place was really in the middle of nowhere. Beautiful country though. We ordered collectively and were brought tons of stuff! Honey, olives, 3-4 cheeses, eggs with pepperoni’s (weird), bread, butter, cheese fajita things, water, tea, etc… -Craig
We ate, talked, and had a good time until about 2 pm, then drove out onto the peninsula and walked around the shoreline as a group. The water was blue green, the shore rocky and hilly. Very pretty. -Craig
Back at the bottom, it was decided that we needed to go for coffee. Back in the car, we drove for another two to three hours to get to a bar…I guess the coffee urge passed in all that time. Craig and I split a cheeseburger and had a cappucino. Everyone else had beer and fries. -Jennifer
Longest breakfast in history for me! -Craig
Craig and I stayed home while Onur took his girlfriend home. He brought back another dinner…Some kind of meat with rice and veggies to put in wraps. It was pretty good. We also had baklava, a sweet pastry. -Jennifer
Money Spent 2/1/09: 46 Turkish Lira = $28.75 USD
Total Spent at this point on trip: $21,126.56
Number of Countries Visited: 18]]>
We awoke, had a shower and brekkie and set out on foot to see the city on foot! -Jennifer
Istanbul is so amazingly spread out! It just goes on forever! -Craig
Back at home, we cooked and ate dinner then showed some of our pictures to Serena (our couchsurfing hostess) and her mom and talked about our trip, then went to bed! :) -Jennifer
Money Spent 1/27/09: $55.79
Total Spent at this point on trip (almost 7 months in): $20,887.92
Number of Countries Visited: 18]]>
We sincerely hope this post finds you all well and on your way to accomplishing your New Year’s resolutions. We are on our way to accomplishing ours, slowly but surely. Please take a moment to read over this message that we just received concerning the orphanage in which we worked in Nepal during our trip around the world and are now sponsoring a child. If you can help financially, great. If not, at least please pray for this opportunity for the women and children around Pokhara to benefit from this project and improve their living conditions. I assure you, the need is quite evident there. If you want to donate and can’t get it done with the bank info which they provide on their website listed below, please let us know and we can either coach you through setting up an account with a company called “Money to Nepal” or we can give you the link to our paypal account and we will forward the money to Rainbow Children’s Home. Please be a part of this project. P.S.-RCH is still looking for sponsors for some of the 26 children currently living in the orphanage. Please check out this http://orphancarenepal.org/help.php link if you are interested in sponsoring one of these amazing children. If you pick one to sponsor, let us know and we may be able to give some insight into the child, as we have met most of them…
Project Name : Rainbow Handicraft Project
Project Managed by : Rainbow Children Home Nepal
Beneficiaries : Helpless, socially oppressed, divorced, widow and poor women of Nepal and Rainbow Children Home Organization
Project Location : Dihiko Patan, Lakeside Pokhara-6, (Near by Rainbow Home)
Our aim is to help the disadvantaged women and children of Nepal. We wish to give disadvantaged women of Nepal independence through giving them work and making them financially strong, enabling them to support their children. Equipping a poor woman with the skills and resources to market her talents will in turn provide her and her family with a source of stable, constant income. We plan to establish a small handicraft industry in order to give job security to disadvantaged women, thereby providing women and their children with shelter, food and education. The women we help will be able to live a family life and lives will be saved through our small handicraft project. Our commitment is to produce the finest handmade products possible using only the highest quality raw materials available.
Objectives of the Project:
The specific objective is to increase income and job opportunities for poor helpless widow, disadvantaged, social oppressed and divorced women in selected rural areas by improving their financial situation and make them financially independent. There are many objectives of this handicraft project, the main objectives is to empower the poor and helpless women. This project will help poor and helpless women to generate small income and financially self dependence also they will able to look after their children and their education after their job security. Sustainable development in the long run is better and necessary for making our home (Rainbow Children Home) sustainable and independent in financial aspect. It will generate some regular fund for sustaining our organization (RCH). The other objective is to help the Rainbow Children Organization financially and it helps the children to learn about small Industry. After some years, our children will be big enough and finish their school education and they might be joining this handicraft industry, they will earn money and will be independent, it helps to manage their life by their selves. At least they can earn their daily salary. Other aim of this project is committed to uplift socio-economic conditions of the socially deprived and economically backward especially poor and helpless widow and divorced women through imparting technical know-how and appropriate skill at the local level. Equipping a poor woman with the skills and resources to market her talents will in turn provide her family with a source of stable, constant income.Main Objectives of throject
· Provide income and job opportunities: The main objective is to increase income and job opportunities for poor, widowed, disadvantaged, socially oppressed and divorced women in selected rural areas by improving their financial situation and making them financially independent.
· Protect children at risk: By helping women to generate income and obtain financial dependence they will be able to care for their children and provide them with an education, protecting them from things such as child labor.
· Sustainable development: We aim to make Rainbow Children Home a self-sustainable and financially independent organization. The project will generate regular funds for the long term sustainability and development of our organization.
· Educating the children of Rainbow Children Home: The RCH children will have an opportunity to learn about the running of a small business. In the future, after finishing school, our children will be old enough to join the handicraft industry; they will earn money and will be independent and selfsufficient.
Actually the aim of this project is not to make business or make money; even some profit will come to us. Our aim is to give job opportunities and give financial independence to the helpless women, so we divide the profit to the worker as well as we will put some profit in Rainbow Children account for the children of Rainbow. If some one buys our product, their money directly goes to raw materials, wages and small profit will go to Rainbow Children Home Organization.
Price = Raw Materials + Staff Wages + Overheads + 5% Profit (for RCH)
We have included a margin of 5% that is used to provide our members with additional skills training, manufacturing equipment, performance bonuses, scholarships, and aid to members who become injured or sick. RCH will manage an Employee Welfare Fund for the employee’s help and support to be used if employees have monetary problems.
Approximate start-up costs for the handicraft project
S.N. PARTICULARS in NRs. In USD
01. Land (1 year lease) 50000.00 NR 694.44 USD
02. Building works (3 x rooms & 1 x office) 500000.00 NR 6944.44 USD
03. Sewing machines x 3 50000.00 NR 694.44 USD
04. Craft machines x 3 40000.00 NR 555.56 USD
05. Over locker and interlocker machines x 2 30000.00 NR 416.67 USD
06. Equipment, furniture, and raw materials 250000.00 NR 3472.22 USD
07. Training for employees (3 month course) 50000.00 NR 694.44 USD
08. Generator for power supply 90000.00 NR 1250.00 USD
09. Staff salaries - 10 staff 70000.00 NR 972.22 USD
10. Miscellaneous 30000.00 NR 416.67 USD
Total 1160000.00 NR $ 16111.1 USD
The US dollar amount of $16 111.11 is based on the current exchange rate of 72 Nepalese
Rupees of 1 US Dollar.
A small donation can make a big difference to the life of poor, helpless,
abandoned, orphan children and poor, helpless, widow, divorced, oppressed,
neglected, disadvantaged women of Nepal.
Thank you from all at Rainbow Children Home family, Nepal
We are currently on our way to Istanbul, Turkey! Finally a place in Europe. We are so excited! -Jennifer
We met a very nice guy and girl from a university in Indiana that were coming from Baghdad where they had been working to setup academic programs. They are brave souls! -Jennifer
They gave us first hand info. about the progress that Iraq has made as a result of the U.S. being there. Good job George Bush! Our conversation was interrupted by a Turkish-looking fellow telling me to ” move to the other seat ” and that my “American accent” was making him “nervous” and that “that is why everyone hates Americans”. -Craig
….we tried to get $$$ at an HSBC atm and were turned down repeatedly until we finally tried successfully to pull out euro’s instead of Turkish lira. So stupid! Hate! Hate! Hate! HSBC! -Craig
We followed the cobblestone streets through the very quaint area of town past old walls and city ruins, past nice shops with nice smiling faces, and through the many parks with monuments reminding us we were standing where Constantine founded Constantinople. -Jennifer
We walked between the Aya Sofia and Blue Mosque and wandered up and down old cobbled streets until we found a cheap-enough hostel for the night. Got some spaghetti, ate it, settled in for the night. -Craig]]>
This week has been a tough one for me, as you may now imagine considering my interminable banter up until this point in this post. If you read my posts titled Help For a Friend and One Perfect Day , then you perhaps understand that Jen and I have a bit of a soft-heart for those less fortunate than ourselves. Maybe my current work as a children’s crisis therapist and the frustrations that are seemingly inherent in this position are fueling my breakdown…breakthrough tonight. Maybe the fact that the celebrity fundraising drive for Haiti was on television tonight and I doubt that even all of our supposed “role model” celebrities and professional athletes have engaged themselves to send a dime to the relief efforts.
So anyway, I was in a training meeting today learning to pre-evaluate people for committment into mental hospitals, and the only thing that kept running through my brain was the question of whether or not I am currently being of any service to anyone other than myself and further, if not, why not? Does a lack of current expendable income have to detour my ability to help others less fortunate than I? Am I not capable of love? Of prayer? Of writing a compelling enough argument that people will respond and do something to improve upon the current hopelessness and degredation of this world in which we live? Do you ever consider these things? Alas, I do have a format. The same format that gets politicians the vote of today’s youth (Barrack Obama ). If we, as a people, will embrace a man who speaks in lofty terms about ”change” and “belief”, and seriously expect him to better our home and our world, then will we take that same intitiative and do something ourselves? The same amount of energy that it took for the young people of America and the world to stand up and stand for something that they could believe in equivalent to the energy that it would take to donate, to pray, and to care for and about someone around us. The following list includes several places that touched us in our travels along with several ways to do something for those in Haiti, those affected by Hurricane Katrina, and those in Cambodia affected by the Khmer Rouge:
So, I will make the plea again as I have several times on this blog: Please do something to help someone TODAY. We have some amazing friends that helped us throughout our travels and made special things happen for people we met along our way. I just pray that these people and the readers of this blog will step up and make a change today by beginning a continuous movement to effect change in our world, one helping hand or donation at a time.]]>
Last thoughts on Israel: Israel has been a trip within our trip. At times, Israel ticked me off, made me sad, frustrated the crap out of me. Other times, I was amazed and blown away to be walking where Jesus walked, seeing things He saw, and praying where He prayed. This is an amazing country. -Craig
This experience has taught me that people worship in many different ways and it encouraged me to define mine. I may not do two hours worth of rituals a day, but I certainly love the Lord and I think my worship will be forever enriched because of this experience. -Jennifer
The Dead Sea was fun to float in, bad to taste. The Nigerians were plentiful and humorous when they banged their rocks against Lott’s wife’s remains. The Sea of Galilee was powerful with it’s remnants of the Jesus Christ. The ruins were on par with any we’ve seen in Tzippori. -Craig
Money Spent 1/17/09: $97.36USD]]>