As the temperatures fall and the foliage changes its hues, so many on our continent have plans to gather and be thankful. Some families have even used the holidays as a time to serve others at home and abroad, expanding their world view, giving back and exploring the world simultaneously.
Don Germaise, a retired TV news reporter, spends time volunteering all over the world. He has experienced our Romania program twice and is looking forward to serving in Guatemala this coming year. After much private fund raising, he has contributed significantly to the community center in Romania. We asked him a few things about his experiences with us:
How has this trip impacted or changed your life?
This trip made me realize how lucky we are in America. We don’t know what poor really is. This trip made me much more appreciative to live in the United States and of all that I have.
What was your favorite memory?
My favorite memory was just how much the coordinators actually care about helping people. At the end of the trip I left a $100 tip to take the kids in the area out and instead the money was used to help pay for a little boys operation that his family couldn’t afford. I couldn’t believe what all $100 could do to change someone’s life. Another of my favorite things is to have been able to really experience how Romanians live. I stayed with a host family for a whole week and the immersion experience is incredible. I learned so much and really cherished it.
What was the food like?
It was delicious eastern European food. We had great chicken and dumplings and a tasty soup at every meal. The food was delicious with hearty meals and breakfast each morning was like a grand buffet. Everything was homemade. Even the chickens you would see running outside the house were the same chickens you were enjoying at dinner. The eggs were fresh from the chickens and they made for the tastiest and most delicious omelets in the world. Another thing that I found amazing was that the host family brewed their own wine and served a tasty white and red wine at dinner. They used the wine to trade for bread and pastries and other things. Everything I ate was fresh and delicious.
Do you feel your project was meaningful?
Yes, extremely. I feel that we did good hard work and got a lot accomplished in a week. I also got the chance to teach students in the community and I believe that they really appreciated it and learned a lot.
Would you do it again?
Yes! This spring will be my 3rd trip to Romania and I am planning a Guatemala trip as well. I believe that Globe Aware does a fantastic job of letting you have fun and help people at the same time.
Do you feel anything could be done better?
I am just eager for the community center to be done and have it ready to use. I just wish the program would receive more donations and volunteers to speed up the process.
Volunteer Vacations - Redeeming Romania
Romania is currently redeeming its rich heritage following the collapse of an oppressive dictatorship. This charming country embodies the European spirit of past, present, and future. Picturesque castles and quaint farming villages contrast with cosmopolitan cities and ski resorts as the country strives to develop its economy after the fall of communism and its recent admission to the European Union. Learn More
How to pack a carry on like a proWater Bottle
In case of dehydration, also add a filter to purify water if needed.
Antibacterial things, band aids, Dramamine for motion sickness on plane, Pepto tabs, chapstick, Excedrin, tissues, & lotion.
To pass time on plane or while relaxing.
Chew gum while on plane to relieve ears while taking off or landing.
Phone, Charger, and Earbuds
Bring cash as a backup in case there are no ATMs
Always a great idea to throw a couple snacks in your bag if you miss lunch or get busy.
Yuca Fries RecipeINGREDIENTS
Facebook recently converted our old Globe Aware Volunteers page.
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