Archive for January, 2010

$1 day

Recently Mark and I experienced a $1 expenditure day. I like these days. Volunteering has it’s benefits.

With $1 we purchased delightfully refreshing and delicious banana shakes. Sometimes we have $2 days because we purchase one at lunch and at dinner. Next door to our base is a tiny shack where ‘we’ve’ convinced the owners it would be to their advantage to purchase a blender. They listened to this wise advice and every day are inundated with volunteers looking for some fruit shakes.

Our favourite flavours include: banana, banana + chocolate, banana + avocado + chocolate, and lime. I have yet to try a mango shake which is rumored to be fantastic. However Willy, the shake maker, never has any mango in stock. I’ll keep you posted on the mango situation.

Mark at Hands On Disaster Response

While we were staying at the Beach Inn on Lake Maninjau we met Dave and Dagmara from Vancouver who were on their way to Sungai Geringging, a small community about an hour away that was heavily damaged in two large earthquakes in September — one 7.9 and one 7.0, on back to back days. They told us about a volunteer organization that was working in the area called Hands On Disaster Response. HODR was set up in Sungai Geringging and was doing deconstruction, salvage and transitional shelter construction for families in the area whose homes had been damaged in the quake. As Dave and Dagmara left, they suggested we make our way over to check it out. Unlike many other volunteer organizations, HODR doesn’t cost money to volunteer with, and since we were so close, we thought it would be fun to see what it was all about.

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Lake Maninjau

Lake Maninjau

After one night in Bukittinggi we mustered up the energy to push on to Lake Maninjau, in West Sumatra, for some much-needed r ‘n r. After hauling our packs over rice paddies and busy country roads we eventually found a place with some vacancy, and our own lakeside hut. The place we ended up was called Lili’s. Vacancy was hard to come by because many locals were there celebrating the new year, along with some volunteers from nearby (which Mark will explain in the next post).

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Happy New Year!

We celebrated New Year’s Eve in Maninjau, Indoneasia, with two new friends from Seattle and with a great big bonfire on the lakeside. Bring on 2010! Best wishes to all of you in the new year — do something you’ve always wanted to do, or go somewhere you’ve always wanted to go. Happy New Year!

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