New Kind of Travel: Helping People

Image Credit: diginomica.com

Image Credit: diginomica.com

I was just out on an adventure as a volunteer for a relief operation. I saw an ad put up by an organization that focuses on going around places that needed distribution of reliefs. They usually go to places that have been struck by calamities like typhoons, earthquakes, landslides, and the likes. The ex-military that I am, and now that I have started on my adventure as a traveller, I decided to sign up for just 1 relief operation.

Nothing makes travelling more fun than making it more exciting through helping others in need.

As it happens, the group not only supports calamity stricken places, but also those places where living is very difficult and people are really poor and hungry. They also support and visit places where indigenous people live.

When I joined, the team was headed for a rural part of the Africa. We were met with faces of both young and old, whose faces lit up the moment they saw our van. They knew they were going to get the help they deserved.

Being the new guy, I followed orders and started helping the others give out the relief materials. I was happy to see that they covered the essentials: food, clothes, shoes and slippers, blankets, mosquito repellents, baby formula milk, soap, etc.

While others wait in line for their turn, the children were also gathered and the volunteers put up a mini-show for them. They did basic magic tricks and had games where the children gladly joined in. Seeing the joy in the children’s eyes as they watch the simple show makes you see how important and life-fulfilling the experience is for them. For the man that I am, I could not help but shed a tear.

They also had doctor volunteers who gave free medical and dental check-ups. Throughout the entire trip, I was really touched at the wonderful cause that the organization has decided to pursue. At that time, I could compare their heroism to the soldiers of the country, except that they do these with their own group’s efforts.

Like soldiers, they conquer unknown lands and battle their fears and their doubts about what could happen to them on their relief operations. They focus on their goal, which is to help those in need; to give to those who have none.

I was really glad that I came to participate in that outreach program. Even if it was just a short term experience, it was very inspiring. It made my second escapade very meaningful and heart-warming.

The First of Many Travels: Venezuela and Food

Image Credit: venezuelanfoodie.com

Image Credit: venezuelanfoodie.com

Living years of my life in service to my country through joining the military did not make me lose my desire to travel and create adventures. My body desires for movement and adventures, thus, made up my mind that I shall travel the different parts of the world in order to satisfy my need for something new.

I started off my travelling adventures with Venezuela. After years in the Atlantic, my body wants to find peace and celebrate the good life in the good old sizzling country of Venezuela.

And by sizzling, I do not just mean the weather, but of course, the food as well.

In any other part of the World, even in Venezuela, there are food favorites that no matter how loaded with calories, people just cannot get enough. For Venezuelans, there is a lot of ancestral influence in almost all things, including food choices. For they are mainly influenced by Europeans – Italian, French, Spanish and Portuguese to be exact, famous food in this country are also as calorie-loaded as that of other European countries. Staple foods include corn and rice while potatoes and yams are among the favorite veggies, as well as beans.

Some of the famous dishes from Venezuela include, for one, Arepa, a flatbread made of dough that is eaten almost daily, and is accompanied by a wide array of choices such as cheese, avocado, or jam, depending on what one feels like eating it with. Another Venezuelan delicacy is the Pasticho, their version of the European Lasagna. As for snacks, one of the most famous Venezuelan snack, and a wedding favorite, is the Tequeño. It is an elongated bread filled with white cheese and deep friend to perfection. They really like food stuffed with delicacies in the middle. Another example of which is the famous empanada. Venezuelans also love their selection of breads. Their breads are not your typical bread full of yeast and dough. They have fillings that differ from bread to bread. They have pan de jamon, which they stuff with ham, olives, and raisins. This is a most delighted sight especially during Christmas. Other breads are pan de Dulce, pan de Sicilliano and pan de Dulce.

To love food is never a wrong thing. After all, a happy stomach equals a happy person, and a happy person equals a happy life. Also, it is a necessity.

Experiencing the culture of a country through their food is a wonderful thing. I will be sure to come back to this amazing place, if life permits me.

Hope you had fun reading my blog and I will be telling you another story in for another adventure in another country, really soon!