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GeoVisions Blog

Participant Stories

The Ripple Effect: Terri Wingham’s Incredible Journey, Part 1

Posted by Anni on Friday, August 10th, 2012 at Journeys for Good.  This Blog Post is used with permission. GeoVisions note:  Terri Wingham started her "incredible journey" with GeoVisions in Vietnam. This post is an interview done by Journeys for Good regarding Terri's "incredible journey." Welcome back to our new interview series, The Ripple Effect. The Ripple Effect explores the emotional impact of volunteer travel and its lasting effect on people’s lives. Today we’re speaking with Terri Wingham, a truly inspirational woman. As a cancer survivor, Terri has been through one of life’s greatest challenges and has come out the other side, vibrantly alive and passionate about to helping others. She has found hope through volunteering.
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Volunteer Abroad And Be Proactive

on Aug 24, 2019 10:36:20 AM By | Randy LeGrant | 0 Comments | Reasons To Volunteer Abroad Guilford Randy LeGrant
Two years ago this weekend I was packing for a 12-day trip throughout Asia.  I had just gone to the Guilford Fair Parade with my children.  So here we were again, sitting along the street with friends to watch a parade of history that identifies Guilford to this very day.  Guilford is an agricultural community and a seaport fishing town full of rich history going back to it's roots in 1639. And it is also back to school...some of the floats in the parade are from the different schools in the area, celebrating Guilford's strong commitment to education.  The nights are considerably cooler, needing a cotton jumper to keep the evening chill away.  And we are watching the Red Sox baseball team.  We are one game of clinching a playoff spot.  Around here October is actually Soxtober. Our staff has returned from all of their summer assignments...most looking for more!  Staff in our Paris office ventured to South America and found time to hike all around Machu Picchu.  Our staff in Bangkok spent time in Malaysia and then ventured to Cape Town to view new projects we will announce soon there and in Soweto. Our staff in Boston headed for Madrid, Santander (northern Spain) and then Istanbul.  The result of the trip to Istanbul is an amazing Language Partner program where we will even provide round trip airfare for anyone headed to Istanbul to teach conversational English for 1, 2 or 3 months. For me, I took to the back streets of Paris and then London.  I met with our partners from France and Germany in the Jardin du Luxembourg for a light meal and discussions on how we can make the conversational English programs in both countries even stronger.  The result?  The price for our programs in France and Spain went from $1795 to $1295. It was a great summer season of travel with remarkable results that benefits our incredibly giving volunteers.  If we can provide airfare on some programs, if we can lower fees by $500 then staff travel is for the right reasons.  Those decisions mean we can provide more help abroad to those families and communities most in need of GeoVisions' services. Kevin, Jim, Ray, Rebecca and I have just completed five days in New York City where we had 72 meetings with global agencies looking for our help to sustain their efforts in their own communities.  We are exhausted but be sure to keep checking our website to find even more meaningful projects that will take us to the end of 2008 and help usher in 2009. I am reminded of a quote I read somewhere recently that goes, "The more proactive you are, the less reactive you'll need to be!"  That sums up the volunteers from GeoVisions.  Being proactive enough to go abroad and make a difference in lives and make a sustainable difference in communities means our volunteers believe that being proactive solves problems now, provides sustainable tools and resources to people and communities, and leaves far less with which to be reactive.  Remember, Lucretius tells us, "Drops of rain make a hole in the stone not by violence, but by oft falling." The above photo is one of the bands in the Guilford Parade.  I couldn't resist adding it.  Enjoy. Randy LeGrant Executive Director
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Chickens Are Mine Became The Cold Baby-This Is Conversation Corps

The video embedded in this Blog post is by the great Italian actor, Adriano Celentano.  Also a song writer and singer, Celentano wrote this song entirely in gibberish to show English speakers what English sounds like to non-English speakers.
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Compassion and Volunteering Abroad

I've attached a TED video I hope you will take 10 minutes to view.  If you don't have time right now, please bookmark this post and come back to it to view the video.  TED, as you know, is a small nonprofit devoted to Ideas Worth Spreading.  It started in 1984 as a conference bringing together people from technology, entertainment and design.  But it has now of course grown and you can view more than 450 TED talks online, free, right now at TED.com. A friend of mine sent me a link to Karen Armstrong's 10 minute talk (embedded below) on why we should revive the Golden Rule.  I started thinking about what I've been doing the past 35 years in my professional life, what GeoVisions does, and if our volunteer abroad and teach abroad programs (and those volunteers who participate) practice compassion, or do we focus mainly on ourselves? "Always treat all others as you'd like to be treated yourself."  Armstrong points out also, however, that equally important is the negative version--"Don't do to others what you would not like them to do to you."
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