Photo by Emily, Volunteering at WAVES in Peru.
I apologized to my parents last night for taking so long to “find myself.” I can’t even imagine how a “Lobiteno” would reply to that. Ironically, I find myself self-reflecting and reflecting on my trip more so now that I’m back in the rat race than I did during all of my time on the beach in Lobitos or even throughout the long bus/plane rides I endured.
A hard truth I realized in Lobitos is that there are people all over the world that will never get to experience another world outside their own. So it’s hard for me to accept that all the while I’ve been “finding myself,” and driving my family absolutely insane, there exists a small town like Lobitos, where the locals approach each day with a zest for life as they know it.
So while they may not get to travel or experience much outside of their culture, their raw innocence encourages happiness and a nonexistent crime/drug problem in Lobitos. They are inspired by WAVES volunteers, and do not expect pity, nor do they wallow in self-pity. I honestly don’t recall hearing anyone complain about anything at all. After all, why would they?
Photo by Joshua Berman. He and his wife, pictured above at a health clinic in Ghana, served three volunteer assignments while their honeymoon.
A Guest post from Joshua Berman http://joshuaberman.net
Have you ever thought about volunteering abroad during your honeymoon? Joshua and Sutay Berman did exactly that during their 16-month round-the-world honeymoon to 16 countries (here's a map of their route). They served as volunteers for three months in an Indian tea-growing village, two months working with Sri Lankan tea farmers, and finally, two months supporting Planned Parenthood Association of Ghana in Accra. From their past experience, they knew the benefits of approaching a region as volunteers. As Joshua writes, volunteering would only increase their chances for unplanned encounters and shared adversity—both surefire relationship strengtheners (or relationship killers – they were aware of the risks!).
After several months traveling in Pakistan and northern India, the newlyweds' first volunteering adventure began in Calcutta, the capital of the Indian state of West Bengal, where they had to report for duty before traveling to their work site even farther north. The following is an excerpt from my book about this experience, Crocodile Love: Travel Tales from an Extended Honeymoon (Tranquilo Travel Publishing, 2016).
When Sutay and I met—via mutual friends from our respective U.S. Peace Corps experiences (I’d served in Nicaragua and she in The Gambia), we got engaged pretty quickly, in a matter of months. We began planning a wedding, then suddently canceled the reception and diverted the money to a plane ticket fund. We applied to serve as professional volunteers through American Jewish World Service, and eventually completed assignments with local non-governmental organizations in India, Sri Lanka, and Ghana.
The following is an excerpt from my book about this experience, Crocodile Love: Travel Tales from an Extended Honeymoon (Tranquilo Travel Publishing, 2016).