Good Deeds Done by Journeywoman Travellers
gave my phone card to a student...
When I was finished traveling through Costa Rica, I still
had a ton of minutes left on my phone card. I met (online,
through CouchSurfing) a woman who was about to move there
for a year to study Spanish, and sent her the card from my
next destination. It won't win me a Nobel Peace Prize, but
was a random act of kindness that this starving-artist-student
Sonia, Washington, USA
was a nurse on a medical mission in Brazil...
I have just returned from a medical mission in Birigui, Brazil.
We were there for 10 days performing surgeries on children
from low income families. The people were absolutely amazing...
so friendly and hospitable. I'm a Registered Orthopaedic Technologist
and work at The Hospital for Sick Children in Toronto. A staff
orthopaedic surgeon, two ortho O.R. registered nurses and
myself took part in over a dozen surgeries, with the help
of the local hospital staff. My role was to apply the casts
following surgery. Some of these children were diagnosed over
a year and a half ago and have been waiting all this time
for their operation! The project is led by Dr. Fabio Ferri-de-Barros,
a Brazilian physician with international training in Pediatric
Orthopaedics, who currently works at The Hospital for Sick
Children in Toronto. P.S.
Thank you so much for developing Journeywoman. I enjoy it
so much and eagerly look forward to each issue.
Jean, Toronto, Canada
helped an injured woman at Obama's inauguration...
While in Washington D.C. for the Inauguration I was walking
around the blocks near the White House when I heard a man
yelling, "somebody call 911!" I saw him and looked
down to see a woman on the ground at his feet. I ran the half
block and discovered the woman had tripped, fallen and hit
the ground face first. She was bleeding from a huge cut at
the bridge of her nose and was shaken up. I could hear someone
else calling 911 so I grabbed the Kleenex I had in my pocket
and immediately applied pressure to the wound. As I asked
the woman if she hurt anywhere else, a man on the phone was
yelling at us, "How old is she?" I know he was asking
for the EMT's but I blurted out, "Don't you know you
never ask a woman her age?" She laughed and said, "Merci."
We did find out she was 70 and that she wasn't hurt anywhere
else nor feeling faint. She did tell us she'd been looking
at the buildings and simply tripped. She was embarassed. She
had on a faux fur stole and I kept the blood from getting
on it and knew the ambulance was in route as I could hear
the sirens. I retrieved her broken glasses and placed them
carefully in the purse she had strapped across her chest.
The EMT's arrived and with a smile and a pat on the arm bid
Claudia, Hollywood, USA
raise money for Agent Orange victims in Viet Nam...
I visit Viet Nam most summers as I lead guided tours to Viet
Nam. When I first went back to Viet Nam (I was there during
the American war) I began to fund raise and visit "Rosy
Jade" which is a rehabilitation centre dealing mostly
with Agent Orange young people. Originally they taught and
cared for 150 young people, now the center treats over 450
people. Another year I got acquainted with "The Friendship
Village" which is a place that cares for children and
veterans affected with Agent Orange. Each year I take my group
there so they too can spread the word about helping these
people. I also give presentations on behalf of the Village.
The most fun is going to play with the children each year.
I am also part of a fundraising group that builds comfort
houses—small cinder block homes for the many widows
left from the war.
Beth, Saskatoon, Canada
I helped three
travellers find a place to stay...
Many years ago when I was travelling around Australia I was
helped along the way by many people in a variety of different
ways. Then one day after I'd landed in Hobart, Tasmania. a
new friend came over to help me clean my kitchen and she said
"Don't repay me for this - Pass it on!" So since
then I have, as often as I have the opportunity. Last month
three Dutch travellers passed through Melbourne and I was
able to put them in touch with my parents who live in South
Australia where they were able to stay at my house there.
They got to meet my folks and for two days they all had lots
of fun together. If we all look out for each other and "Pass
It On" then we all can have better times. I may live
in Melbourne but I'm always on a "journey"!
Jennifer, Melbourne, Australia
toys in Mexico...
While in Mexico (Puerto Vallarta area) I volunteered to help
out with the Jan 6 (New Year's Day) tradition of ex-pats who
distribute toys and supplies to back country schools, etc.
It was the best part of my time in Mexico. This group fund-raises
all year to purchase supplies and toys and supports cleft-palette
surgery and club-foot corrections. When we took off for our
day-long trip to various villages I was astounded at the joyous
welcome we received everywhere. I was also asked by a serious
young boy who was manning a stall in the market to speak into
his tape recorder so he would have my voice and pronunciation
for his studies. Now my voice is helping him learn English
long after I had left Mexico. This is another of those times
when one is thankful to have the experience of being a visitor
as opposed to being a tourist. Hope all new volunteers have
as much fun as I have had.
Joan, Sechelt, Canada
returned lost money...
Recently while on a trip to Toronto by train I was waiting
for baggage at Union Station. I was people watching and noticed
something drop from a young man's pouch. I picked up his wad
of money and ran frantically through the crowd to locate him.
I was looking for the hat he had on and at first didn't recognize
him as he had removed it.Then I noticed his clothing and the
pouch around his waist which was open. He was so surprised
when I approached him as he hadn't even been aware he'd dropped
his roll of bills and seemed to really appreciate having them
Elaine, Saint John, Canada
volunteered in Taipei and Johannesburg, South Africa...
I spent a month in Taipei. During that period I worked at
a local orphanage with babies up to two years of age. Even
though I don't speak Chinese just holding, hugging and playing
with them in addition to covering feeding periods was definitely
worthwhile and gave the staff time and a little breathing
space. It was most rewarding and one received immediate satisfaction.
Also, during one of my four trips to South
Africa I volunteered at Unity College in Johannesburg. This
facility caters to 125 children from the ages of 6-20 years
of age who are intellectually challenged. I worked with youngsters
diagnosed with Down Syndrome, Autism, and a number of other
slow learners and the phyically handicapped as well. Needless
to say to this was most challenging but I loved every moment
of being able to help. After being at the school everyday
from 7:30am - 1:30pm for five weeks it was difficult to leave.
I did go back in January but only to visit for a day to see
"my kids." My heart broke to leave.
Marsha, Montreal, Canada
I paid for a
child's medical treatment...
While on the way home from vacation I needed to stop at a
local clinic to check my blood levels (I have a history of
DVT-deep vein thrombosis). There was a woman ahead of me who
did not have the funds to pay her co-pay to get treatment
for her child. She asked the staff to bill her, but they refused.
I placed the money in her hand and disappeared into the doctors
office. I hoped I helped her a little that day.
Ursula, Atlanta, USA
I helped two
women with knee problems...
I stopped in a tiny village (they are all tiny!!) in Nepal
and sat with two women who both had knee problems. I rubbed
Arnica lotion on the painful parts and wrapped their knees
with my ace bandages. I was gifted with huge smiles and hugs.
My guide had told them I was a "doctor" when really,
I'm more than that - I'm a nurse and I'm a healer!
Bonnie, Lake Oswego, USA
We towed a car
In the Eighties I lived with my family in West Berlin. At
that time Berlin was divided and in order to travel from W.
Berlin to W. Germany, one had to drive through East Germany.
While driving the highway on New Year's weekend, we saw a
couple near a French car waving excitedly. We stopped and
they asked if we spoke French. We did and they were thrilled.
The car had broken down and there were in trouble. Since East
Germany was difficult at any time, let alone on a holiday,
we towed them to the border and translated for them at a garage.
They were thankful and offered us their hospitality in Tours
in the Loire Valley.
Thelma, Hamburg, Germany