1. How has this trip impacted or changed your life?
The trip I took to Costa Rica with my family instilled in me a passion for international medical aid and advocacy. After our volunteer work, we spent our free time the same way the other kids did – playing soccer. I noticed after a day or two that Andre, the son of our Globe Aware guide, didn’t play with everyone. When I asked him why he didn’t want to join in the game, he pointed to the sores on his legs. He explained to me that he used to love soccer, but his doctor had advised him not to play anymore. His doctor was not equipped with the information or technology to diagnose him, much less cure him, and their family didn’t have the money to send him to a different doctor. I knew there were problems like this everywhere in the world, but coming from the US where we have such advanced health care and resources, it was strange for me to see Andre in this situation. It upset me tremendously, and I started to think about how I could change this, not only in Andre’s situation, but in other places as well. I did research and found the name for what I was interested in: Global Health. I was a sophomore in high school then, and I am now attending Villanova University, majoring in Political Science and minoring in Global Health. I hope to one day work with an organization like Doctors Without Borders or the United Nations to bring health care to other countries.
2. What was your favorite memory?
My favorite memory was teaching English to the students at the school in the village. The children were all full of energy and so eager to learn. My brother and I loved playing games with them - especially kickball! - and it strengthened the friendships we had already made with some of the kids.
3. What was the food like?
The food was DELICIOUS! All of the meals that the families cooked for us were a little different and we loved them all. The fruit juices were my favorite!
4. Do you feel your project was meaningful?
The project I did with my family was renovating one of the tanks that supplied the village with fresh water. My brothers and I have participated in many fundraisers with H2O For Life and we understand how vital having a clean water supply can be. We definitely found our volunteer work to be important and meaningful.
5. Would you do it again?
I am definitely planning on doing another Globe Aware trip in the near future, probably to a place that I haven’t been before like India or Peru. It’s a great way to mix travel and service. Everything about our trip to Costa Rica was wonderful! Thank you for giving us the opportunity to go on such a rewarding family vacation - keep doing what you're doing!
Tell us your thoughts about our new website launched this month!
Six Ways to Avoid Crazy Data Charges Abroad
Turn Off Data Roaming – Roaming occurs when you use your cellphone on a network that does not belong to your provider. Data usage means you're using services like Internet (without Wi-Fi) or email. When you roam on another network, the mobile phone company that owns that network sends a bill to your provider, who then bills you.
Disable Push Notifications and Auto-Synching – Does your phone alert you instantly when you have new mail? That requires data usage. If you have an iPhone, you can change this by accessing Settings > Mail, Contacts, Calendars > Fetch New Data to turn off Push Notifications. Furthermore, on iPhone, you can manually disable push notifications for each app.
Be Aware of How Much Data You’ve Used – Reset your data tracker so you know exactly how much data you've used in a given time. If you have an iPhone, go to Settings > General > Usage ("Cellular Usage" on some phones) to reset data statistics.
Buy an International Data Package through Your Mobile Provider – These packages are sometimes called "add-ons." Most carriers let you buy a bundle of data for a monthly rate, so you can use the Internet without searching for a Wi-Fi hotspot.
Buy a SIM Card Once You’ve Landed – Buying a local SIM is often the cheapest option, but it can also be the most difficult. When you purchase a local SIM, you also get a local phone number. If you decide to buy a prepaid international SIM card for traveling abroad, you'll need to look into getting an unlocked GSM standard phone.
Wi-Fi Enabled Alternatives - There are some great apps right now, which you can use to communicate with people while abroad — if you have Wi-Fi or Internet access. What’s App lets you send messages, pictures, audio notes and video messages with friends, via Wi-Fi. Vibr is free and lets you call, text or send pictures, via Wi-Fi or 4G.
Huevo Chimbo – A Latin American Staple
Guatemalan Rellenitos de Platano are fried plantains stuffed with sweetened black beans. These are best enjoyed hot and with a cup of coffee however they would also make a lovely snack or appetizer as well.
20 egg yolks
2 cups sugar
1 cinnamon stick
½ cup Pisco
½ cup raisins
Grease a rectangular baking pan.
Preheat the oven to 350ºF.
Beat the egg yolks until very thick and pale, (when the beater is lifted the yolks should form a ribbon - this should take about 15 minutes).
Pour into the prepared mold and bake for 20 minutes (pierce it with a toothpick - it should come out dry).
In the meantime combine sugar, cinnamon and cloves in a saucepan. Add 1 cup water and bring to a boil. Cook for 5 minutes or until syrupy. Turn off the heat and add Pisco and raisins.
Cut squares on all the surface of the cake with the tip of a knife. Put several raisins on top of the cake.
Pour the syrup over the cake and let it cool completely.
Facebook recently converted our old Globe Aware Volunteers page. The new format doesn’t allow an easy way to post and share photos. To keep up to date with our projects and fun, be sure to like us at https://www.facebook.com/globeaware To share photos, friend and then post to “Shanti Shahani GlobeAware”.