Wednesday, April 23, 2014

What is happening? A BonaResponds update

A fast update since I have been remiss on getting newsletters out.

  1. We are SWAMPED with wheelchair requests.  Could really really use some more volunteers.  As I just this morning told a woman (Barbara), we can get 4 requests a week and it takes 2 weeks often to do a ramp, so there is a significant waiting list :(  Want to help?  Want to donate for one?  Each ramp costs about $1200 or so. 
  2. Saturday we will kick of the first Haitian tutor session.  VERY exciting!  Have rented out an internet cafe for two hours so they can have internet access.  We'd love to have you involved!Yes you can.  It is not rocket science (although if you want to teach rocket science, maybe it can be arranged too!)  It can be done from anywhere.  Locally, a group will be meeting in the Swan Business Building to walk do it together for the first time.  Come help! 10:45 on Saturday!
  3. Also on Saturday we will be finishing Karen's ramp! :)
  4. Sunday is a trail day.  11:15 meetup.  Garbage pickup and cutting downed trees in Bob's Woods.  It has been a rough winter!
  5. Shoe collections this week leading up to Barefoot Bonas day on April 29th.  We are also selling raffle tickets to help fund the shipping costs.  Shoes will go to SolesForSouls.
  6. BR-Dallas had a great weekend last week.  They worked at a the Circle R picnic for the Kids day.  Here are some pictures.
  7. BonaResponds has been helping in Pakistan.  Shaheen reached out to us and we are helping in there.  Last week he fed (partially with our donation) 300 people.  Amazing.  This is an area with many poor and now homeless people.  Want to help?  Donate and make a huge difference.  Each hot meal is about 80 cents. 
  8. Speaking of meals.  We got word this week from Feed My Starving Children that the 108,846 meals we packed are on their way to Guatemala!  
  9. More Good News from Haiti!  In addition to the tutoring program, we heard from the solar installer.  He can install solar electricity into schools for $2500 USD.  It is not as large of system as we had hoped, but it is all we can afford right now.  Goal: 3 schools by fall semester.  (What a great program for a class or business to sponsor!  Electrify a school and learn about solar energy at the same time!)
  10. Starting a new 501c3: PositiveRipples.org (site will be built soon).  It will tie together many of the areas that have evolved since the founding of BonaResponds.  For instance it will work with Haitischolarships, BonaSIMM, Enactus, and Embrace it Africa on microfinance and education.  VERY excited about it!!
  11. Got a truly heart felt request from Jessie in Haiti.  He volunteered with All Hands back after the earthquake.  He is without a job and his house is in great need of repairs.  We are looking to help him.   The initial estimate for home repairs is just under $1000.  The tools we left (ok, the tools JustRespond left there in January) can be put to good use.  Anyone want to help sponsor this building project?
  12. looking for a summer intern position?  Send your resume to Jim.  It is non paying, but will look great on a resume and you can be helping people at the same time!  Would be partially for BR and partially for HaitiScholarships.org.
  13. JustRespond may be making a trip to Haiti this summer but it is still uncertain.  SO many reasons to go, but money is tight and can only be send it so many directions.  Still deciding.
  14. Tired of reading?  Here is a soundcloud update (3 minutes of what is happening with BR). 
  15. Thanks this week to John and Anne, Zane, Lisa (another great Creole-English dictionary--Amazon only has 5 more.  Pretty cool!  Lets corner the market...lol), and Exxon-Mobil for donations!  It takes both volunteers and donors to make this work. 

Thanks everyone!  Hope you are having a great week.  jim


Looking to donate? click here! :)
Want to buy another dictionary for our tutoring program?  Click here :)
Want to volunteer?  SHOW UP!  :) It really is that easy.
Want a summer internship?  Email jimmahar@yahoo.com
Want to make a difference?  Do one or all of the above!


Tuesday, April 08, 2014

Haiti Updates


Haiti
Haiti (Photo credit: elycefeliz)
April 8, 2014


The purpose of this is two fold: one to keep everyone up to date on what is happening and secondly to recapture the momentum we had in January.



(all costs are in USD.  1 USD is about 44.6 HGd. http://www.currency.me.uk/convert/usd/htg)


What is happening? A lot! (Yeah I know, poor English).


* We had a HaitiScholarships Board meeting this past weekend.  It was good.  Several new board members who brought good energy.  They are interested in helping raise funds and hopefully raise the amount we can give.  Due to a lack of funds however we decided against opening the program up to new students at the current time.


* BonaResponds and Haitischolarships are teaming up with Achievenet (Normil’s internet cafe) to provide monthly online tutoring.  I am very excited about this!  We are renting the entire internet cafe (8 computers) for a couple of hours on Saturday mornings.  It is a definite Win:WIN:WIN!  (Haiti, Normil, and the students).  I hope it is the first of many similar programs.   We are also considering a program whereby teachers could get training and tips from teachers here as well.  This would improve the quality of classes in Haiti and likely lead to more interaction with US classes.


* A couple of science kits were sent to Haiti as a test case. The student leaders who are running this want to make it a long term project at many schools (and in multiple nations).  SO NEED feedback on them!  We can not stress that enough.  Think of them as test marketing.  Without feedback we will not know what is working and what is not working.  


*  Due to some troubles between the CJM primary and secondary schools, the primary school fell behind in paying their teachers.  A few of us (not BonaResponds) have stepped in (THANK YOU GREG!) and paid the back pay and committed to the payments for the rest of the semester (April and May).  This is a concern as we can not continue to do this long term.  It is our hope that the school will be approved for money from the Haitian Government by the summer and that will pay for the teachers (primary school students other than those in Kindergarten go to school for free).


* Wesley has identified a lack of food for students as the #1 issue holding back the schools.  We are looking into ways to lessen this problem.  In an ideal world some of the 108,846 meals we packed with Feed My Starving Children make their way to these kids as a short term solution.  Longer term we’d love to be able to sponsor a program there and in Gonaives to buy food (good for Haitian Economy).



English: Satellite image showing deforestation...
English: Satellite image showing deforestation in Haiti. This image depicts the border between Haiti (left) and the Dominican Republic (right). (Photo credit: Wikipedia)
* We have been working on a few very exciting “green” projects that we hope have impact both in the US and in Haiti (as well as elsewhere!).  The first is a solar heater made with recycled aluminum cans.  Even in WNY where there is limited sun, we have been able to get the temperature well above 200 degrees.  So far the tests have been mainly “Proof of concept” (as Reed would say), but the results have been amazingly encouraging and have led to an expansion of this idea.   We also are testing a VERY easy way to make a charcoal replacement using scrap paper.  This would eliminate many of the garbage fires that burn as well as eliminate the need to cut trees for wood.  It is so easy and cheap that every family could have their own.  Stay tuned.  Again results look VERY promising.  


* I have not heard any updates of late from on the pen pal program.  I hope it is working but typically lack of information is not good news.  Anyone writing? Receiving letters?


* After discussing with a couple of teachers at the Secondary School and George, we plan on going forward with a small solar power project there.  The cost of what we had hoped to get (over $7500) was too much.  We are capping our investment at $2000.  So we will start small.  In the same vein we are still waiting to get an official quote from Robinson on his solar request in Gonaives.  The cost estimate we got did not include shoring up the roof and when it was included the cost was both open ended and likely too much (about $4500).  


*  Five barrels are still in transit containing tools, irrigation kits, school supplies, and books.  They were shipped about a month ago so should be arriving relatively soon. Once they leave our possession we have no way of tracking them.  We will announce it as soon as we know more.  (FYI We paid $2400USD for the last shipment which was slightly lower than initial estimate--that does not count the cost of shipment to the schools via tap-tap.)   Incidentally, this is what the irrigation kits mean to one group in Gonaives: "let me know when you have an update about when the barrels / the Irrigation kits will arrive in Haiti. The irrigation kits will be very important for the participants now as we have just finish with the re-transplanting process and the plants will need a good watering process which the irrigation kits will be very useful for!

The BonaSIMM board rejected our proposed microfinance lending in Haiti (and Uganda) but the result will be a new organization that will be doing it by this fall.  We have already received pledges/donations for $3500 to start in Haiti.  

* GoodNewsHaiti is continuing but at a much slower pace than had been hoped.  We have almost 300 "likers" on facebook, but we are dragging on website and even on participation on Facebook. If someone wants to champion this cause, it would be a great thing!


* On April 29th, BonaResponds is co-sponsoring a Barefoot Bonas day to collect shoes that will be donated to Soles for Souls.  As Haiti is a large recipient of the shoes, this is a good way to help and to clean out your closet!


*  A summer trip to Haiti is still being debated.  This would not be a BonaResponds trip but would be very similar.  Cost is a major issue.  The need is clearly there.  Stay tuned.

* We are aware the HaitiScholarships webpage is currently down. We are working on it. (Anyone want to help/take it over?)




If you would like to help, get involved!  :) you can donate (http://www.bonaresponds.org/donate.html), collect school supplies, tutor English for a couple of hours a month, write to penpals in Haiti, or much more.  




Enhanced by Zemanta

Friday, March 21, 2014

This is it! The food packing weekend is here!

BonaResponds
BonaResponds (Photo credit: Bona_Responds)
This is it! The 100,000 food packing weekend is here! We have almost 300 volunteers signed up (please honor your commitments! ) 
 
We are still a few thousand dollars short on the money side, so if you want to buy t-shirts etc (or just make a donation) tomorrow that would be great too!
Remember it is in the Richter Center (right next to Reilly Center on the Bonaventure campus). Come in the NORTH doors (on the side closest to Rt 417 (away from the soccer fields).

A few random things about the day:

* Remember we are making meals: so please be clean. Hair nets will be provided.

* People will be given jobs from labeling bags, scooping foods, carrying more food to the work stations, packing, packing boxes, and moving pallets. ALL are needed. Remember every job is important and without each the process breaks down.

* Strive for speed and efficiency (THINK!) but also have fun. 100,000 meals is a big number and we only have three production shifts. So we need over 33K meals each 2 hours. Given the start of each shift is a video introduction, we will REALLY HAVE TO HUSTLE!

* Feed My Starving Children ( Feed My Starving Children) is a great great group! They will be making the decision where the food goes but where ever it goes I am sure it will be very needed. They have shipped over 244 million meals to Haiti so there is a very good chance the meals will go there.

* If anyone would like to make a video of the day, that would be beyond great! Here is a video of the last one: http://vimeo.com/19173857

* PLEASE show up 15 minutes (or more) prior to your shift to get a name tag and sign in. Again with such a tight production schedule we can not afford to lose work time with forms etc. (you can speed the process somewhat by printing and filling out the waiver form in advance. It is here: http://bonaresponds.org/forms/br-waiver-new.pdf

Finally and most importantly, this will be a great day. We are honored to have you work with us to make the world a bit better. We encourage you to remember that this is just one way that BonaResponds strives to "Change the world" and we'd love you to stay around and help us on a regular basis. It is great fun and you will be doing great work!

THANKS EVERYONE! We look forward to seeing you all on Saturday!



(with apologies to the old Kenny Loggins' song)
Enhanced by Zemanta

Monday, March 17, 2014

Food Packing "Press" release: BonaResponds looking for help to feed 100,000 meals





Want to help make 100,000 meals?  BonaResponds would love your help in doing just that this Saturday March 22..  The  Bonaventure based volunteer organization that is most known for local jobs and disaster response trips is teaming up with Feed My Starving Children to make 100,000 meals but they need a total of 300 volunteers to pack and ship these meals.

This is the second time that the group has undertaken a food packing like this.  The first was after the 2010 earthquake in Haiti.  “The 2010 event was great.  It was fun, successful, and  we made over 113,000 meals,” said Jim Mahar the founder and leader of BonaResponds. “It is really a great opportunity to help others without ever having to leave Western New York” added Olean’s Reed McElfresh a BonaResponds volunteer and graduate business student at St. Bonaventure.  

“Planning for this food packing event started back in the fall after the Typhoon hit the Philippines.  We had hoped to make 200,000 meals but even at only 22 cents a meal, the cost adds up and we were unable to raise enough money do we had to settle on 100,000 meals.  We have not quite made it to the $22,000 cost but we are confident we will” said Greg Faughnan a senior chemistry major and BonaResponds student leader.  

Senior Chemistry major Nick Turgeon explained that BonaResponds does not know exactly where the meals go, but that they trust the Feed My Starving Children people.  “They feed millions of people a week around the world.  They are a great group and excellent to work with.”

“Personally I hope the meals go to Haiti” said Lilly Whelan a senior math major.  “I was one of several volunteers who worked in Haiti over Christmas break and I fell in love with the people.  They have so little but were always willing to help us.  Whether the exact meals that we make go there or not, I am glad we can be helping people in need.”
 
The work day is broken into three two-hour shifts (9-11, 11:30 to 1:30, and 2-4) and is open to all who would like to help.  “Young or old, everyone can help some and we’d love to have you work with us” Mahar finished.  

Volunteers under 18 must be accompanied by an adult.  Volunteers are asked to sign up at BonaResponds.org.  Volunteers should arrive 30 minutes early to sign in and to get “trained”.

The group is also still accepting donations to cover the cost of the meals as well as many of their local projects.  Donations can also be made via BonaResponds.org or mailed to BonaResponds. Box BY, St. Bonaventure NY 14778.


Enhanced by Zemanta

Thursday, February 20, 2014

Spring Break Trip to Breezy Point

I sent this out to those who had asked via email earlier, but we do have room for a couple others (especially those that will be meeting us there!) :


We will be going to Breezy Point and Far Rockaway--staying in Breezy Point.
 
 We will be working with Habitat for Humanity again (the last 8-9 trips there we have worked with them).  Sleeping on cots in a church. ( Big news there is now heat and indoor plumbing!)

We will aim to leave 5PM on Friday (will need help packing van as many of the "regulars" are not going--new crew!)   Work will be about from 8:30 or 9 to 6 or 7 most days.  

As a reminder to those of you staying at "home", subways and buses do not run all the way to Breezy.   As I think I will be the only driver, I can not be running back and forth all the time.  SORRY.

we will be returning Late Wednesday (probably 1-2 AM on Thursday) as I have to be back Thursday and Friday.  (if you want to continue doing BR work, there will be jobs Sat and Sunday as normal!)


Given it is still cold, PLEASE dress for cold weather.  We may be working inside some, but I would bet outside as well.  Wear layers. Wear boots. 

here is a past list of what to bring...still works pretty well:
http://bonaresponds.blogspot.com/2013/10/getting-ready-for-trip.html


I spoke with Habitat today and there is much work, so be ready to work :)
Enhanced by Zemanta

"Tattoos on the Heart: Power of Compassion" - Father Greg Boyle - 04/14/11

I just finished ristening to Tattoos on the Heart.  It is a great book.  Indeed so good that upon finishing it I immediately restarted it.  It was that good.








It sounds as much like BR (at least how I see BR) as anything since Greg Mortenson's Three Cups of Tea and Stones to Schools.   Highly recommended regardless of your religious views. 



My version:

1. Better not perfect.

2. Everyone has something to offer.

3. Life is in part skill and work but also luck.

4. Until you walk a mile in their shoes, you have no idea of the real story is.

5. We are working with friends and for friends (or at least potential friends), not just giving things away or doing things for strangers.




Many of the stories in this talk are also in the book.  Now I have to figure out how BonaResponds can work with HomeBoy Industries.





--Jim





Here is a longer list of our "mantras".  I bet you will like them! 

Here are several NPR stories on HomeBoy Industries.
Enhanced by Zemanta

Tuesday, December 03, 2013

Giving Tuesday request

From our FB account:

In the year since Sandy hit we Bona Responds) have made 12 trips to the NYC/NJ area, and a trip to Oklahoma after their devastating tornadoes there. We have built over 20 ramps (lost count), and sent 10 pallets of supplies to Haiti (soon to be 11). We have helped start a new BR branch in the Philippines, had countless local work days where we did everything from clean streets to paint homes, work on trails, clean homes, and just about anything you can think of. We have spent roughly $4000 at the SPCA for fences etc, We have given out WarmSnugglyBlankets to people with cancer. The list goes on.

BUT we have spent almost no time on fundraising. (actually we tried twice and made less than $100 per attempt). These trends can not continue. Where do we cut? How do we say no?

I am getting very concerned we will have to scale back the food packing event. Our first payment of $15,000 is due in 2 weeks. Help?!? You can donate at BonaResponds.org (http://bonaresponds.org/donate.html)

One of our efforts that has really taken a hit this year is HaitiScholarships. Today however, we have an "anonymous" donor who will match donations today. (See below). But frankly BonaResponds has so many needs right now, any donation to any of them would be very much appreciated: Haiti, local, Bona Responds Philippines, our huge food packing day for 200,000 meals in March-at 22 cents per meal it will cost $45k, WarmSnugglyBlanket, and of course HaitiScholarships. ‪#‎GivingTuesday‬ ‪#‎Bonas‬ ‪#‎Volunteers‬

Don't forget: it's Giving Tuesday! And your dollar counts as two with a donor matching all donations up to $1,000. We're having trouble with our website but you can donate via Paypal: haitischolarships@gmail.com. Thank you!

Wednesday, November 20, 2013

Today's update from the Philippines

Map of the Philippines with Cebu highlighted
Map of the Philippines with Cebu highlighted (Photo credit: Wikipedia)



Executive summary:

Things are going well. If in Philippines, we'd love you to volunteer with us. If in the US, a donation goes a long ways to helping those in need."


Longer update:

 From Facebook (like the BonaResponds-Philippines page)


 * BonaResponds reaffirmed our intent of making this a long term program that is working long after the current disasters (earthquake and flood) have faded from the news. Totally expect this to be a permanent part of BonaResponds.

* Discussed their upcoming volunteer plans. From Shamae: we will be taking food to "Pilar Camotes this weekend [where] we will work on feeding in the evacuation centers and maybe start working with Gawad Kalinga."

* Are you in the Philippines? Want to volunteer, they have a ton of work to do and could really use some more volunteers. Leave us a message. 

* We have no plans on going from the USA. We have looked into it, but the cost of one plane ticket is about 12,000 meals. That tradeoff is not worth it in our opinion at the present.

* If you want to help and are in the US or elsewhere, we will gladly accept donations and make sure that 100% of what we get (credit card fees are still credit card fees) is used for the Philippines if you explain where you want the money to go.

* BIG NEWS: Rather than spending money on shipping, we have found a large hardware/home improvement store in Cebu where we will be buying gift cards to set up the tool "library". This is actually HUGE news. It cuts costs, reduces lead times, increases flexibility, and helps the local economy.

* Jen and Shamae's father (who has been drafted to help with the tool library) having been having computer and internet problems, but that is expected and hopefully getting better as Jen is back online today.

* Personal note: BonaResponds volunteers have never ceased to amaze me from the first trip. Bringing hard work, ingenuity, and a willingness to work with others to all jobs. BR-PH and especially Shamae and Jen are truly living up to this high standard. From identifying jobs, working in the field, and looking for ways to partner with other groups to help as many as possible, they are doing a great job!!

Salamat, Jim





Enhanced by Zemanta

Monday, November 18, 2013

Fast update from the Philippines

Sorry for the lack of updates lately, Shamae and Jen have been having internet and electricity "issues". They are ok and will distribute more food as soon as they can.

Many have been evacuated to Cebu. Here is a picture that Shamae sent late yesterday (US east coast time) [I should stress I do not know if she took it or not]   "of some of the evacuees from TaclobanLeyte in one of the evacuation centers here in Cebu (Brgy. Tinago, Cebu City)"

Tuesday, November 12, 2013

An update from our friends/volunteers in the Philippines

Provinces and regions of the Philippines
Provinces and regions of the Philippines (Photo credit: Wikipedia)
As many of you know about 2 months ago Jen and Shamae founded a BonaResponds arm in Cebu City in the Philippines.  Their plan was to help in the slums of Cebu City and elsewhere.  

Fate has intervened twice since that humble beginning and the first response was after the eathquake that rocked the Philipines on October 15.  And now the typhoon that wrecked havoc over much of the nation.  

I heard from Shamae and Jen tonight  Here is a recap of what is happening in the Philippines through Shamae's eyes:

 
"Hello Jim, we are experiencing rotating brownout because of the power shortage. Most of the electricity towers in Leyte were destroyed. I have heard from my relatives in Pilar Camotes Island, an island in the extreme Northern Cebu, that our house was totally damaged. Pilar Camotes is the hometown of my mother.

We're very lucky that my parents are here with us during the typhoon. I have a proposal if it's ok with you and Jen that we will have relief goods distribution in Pilar Camotes. They are experiencing food shortage already. Most of the properties are totally damaged. Most of the relief goods from Cebu will just pass by the island going directly through Leyte and Samar. Pilar Camotes is just 30-40 minutes away from Ormoc, Leyte. I hope we could help them.
I have also another proposal if it's ok that we will have feeding in the evacuation centers in Northern Cebu, maybe we could go to Bogo, Sogod or Daanbantayan. Most properties are also totally damaged.

The immediate need now is food/water/medicines...as you can see in the news others are already stealing in stores."


BonaResponds just sent $500 to help the immediate need for food. (this is after the money sent after the earthquake that brought meals for 130 families).   We will be sending more.  You can help!  Please donate here.   Also see Hands.org the group we were modeled after and with whom we have worked many times.  They do great work!

Once the immediate emergency is over, the work will begin to change and we hope  
Enhanced by Zemanta

Wednesday, October 30, 2013

Want a friend? Want to help Haiti? Now you can do both!

Map of Haiti
Map of Haiti (Photo credit: Wikipedia)
We are very happy to announce our penpal program with schools in Haiti!  It is a great opportunity to meet people in another country while also helping teach English to those in Haiti.

So far we have 8 schools signed up in Haiti (in Leogane and Gonaivies).  This is very exciting and something EVERYONE can do.  It takes only a few minutes and will bring much joy to both you and the person you are writing to!


If the below "embed" does not work, the actual document is here: http://bit.ly/1ds1cSZ



to sign up:
Enhanced by Zemanta

Wednesday, October 09, 2013

Getting ready for the trip

Rob playing with the Boys
Rob playing with the Boys (Photo credit: FinanceProfessor)
As you know BonaResponds is heading back to Breezy Point this weekend.  We have had many requests about what to bring etc (more than any trip since 2006 I would guess--not sure why).  So here is my guide to a BonaResponds trip.

Thank you for coming to help others with BonaResponds.  This is a fast guide to what to expect, what to bring, etc.


First of all, there will be very little “schedule”.  We are going to help.  That is often all we know.  But it will work out.  There will be many smart people and we are flexible so we can respond to changes and unforeseen events.  (Trust us, planning for these trips is close to impossible.  Too many unknowns.  The only known things is that we will help.  You will help.  And it will be a great trip.)



While every trip is different, the following is a pretty good guide to the “What Should I bring” question:


  1. A good attitude--far and away the most important.  Preplanning is next to impossible (number of volunteers change, jobs change, work changes) so go with it.  We are going to help.  That won’t change.
  2. Work clothes (jeans, long sleeve tee, short sleeve tee, sweatshirt, work boots (ideally steel toed).
  3. Gloves--leather is best IMO (we do provide lightweight gloves, but you may want to bring your own.
  4. Sun glasses/safety goggles--again we have some, but not “most fashionable”  lol.  
  5. Sleeping bag  (We do have 3 or 4 sleeping bags available on a first come, first serve basis--and we have cots.  A pillow maybe too-yoga block works great and is smaller)
  6. Flashlight, GPS (we seemingly never have ours!)
  7. cell phone charger
  8. digital camera (Phones often run out of battery!)
  9. Towel
  10. toiletries etc (contacts, toothpaste, toothbrush, etc)
  11. water bottle
  12. Sun block
  13. granola bars, fruit, etc.  

We will have tools and cots.  Food is included once we are working, but honestly, you probably want to bring food you like too and maybe some spending money as we will stop in stores etc.


Other tips:


Be Safe. We want to get much work done, but staying safe is incredibly important (if for no other reason, you can't help others if you are hurt, so be safe!)


The normal legal disclaimers apply. As volunteers you are on your own. We are suggesting you go and help others, but you are all assuming risk on your own behalf. Which means you can not sue St. Bonaventure, BonaResponds, or anyone else involved with this project/trip.  You must fill out this form: http://bonaresponds.org/forms/Participant%20Waiver2.pdf


Often times we are working in the homes of people who just lost everything.  Be respectful.  Be kind.  Please no swearing around those we are helping.   Imagine others going through your house. 

Step right in and get involved.  Unlike some organizations, we do not have mandatory classes on volunteering before you start helping.  It is largely on the job training (exceptions for power tools and chain saws etc).  So jump in, work with others, and make a difference.  You do not need to be asked.  Get going! :)

If the trip is longer than a few days, we will TRY to find a place to do laundry, BUT no guarantees and expect to wear dirty clothes to work in. 

Make new friends.  If you only hang out with those you knew before the trip, you are missing out on much of the fun/learning.  So work with others.  


Talk to others. Don't just work. It is supposed to be fun. Play music.  But Talk AND work at the same time :) 

The days will be long.  We are there to work not to go sightseeing, engage in Volutourism, or just to be somewhere different.  We are there to work.  We generally start between 8-9 and work until dark. 


Whenever possible, get others involved. Especially those you are helping. This is great for their mental outlook and makes it much more meaningful for the volunteers as well. (invite them back to "camp" for a meal if at all possible").


Things will go wrong. Don't sweat it too much. Remember better not perfect.

Be prepared to clean and pack the van before going.  This is not a large organization.  We all work as well as volunteer.  So it will not be done in advance.   

You don't need to stay with us (You can get a hotel or sleep at home etc) but again, you will miss out on some of the adventure and bonding.  Many great memories are made on late night bonfires, trips to a grocery store (or Walgreens!), or just hanging out. 


Be flexible. If you start out to do job A and job B gets done instead, oh well. Often these things happen for the best.


Have fun! We are not paying you. So you better have some fun!

Be Safe! 


It will be fun!
 
Enhanced by Zemanta