Category: Information

The Last Notes

Haiti volunteer project: evening update 1/14/10
Haiti volunteer project: evening update 1/14/10

UN forces performing rescue operations in Haiti. Photo: UN Development Programme.After spending a day at the Haitian Consulate in New York City, we have a clearer picture about the best way to channel our energy and assistance.Please donate now to support relief efforts:– UNICEF. Go online to unicefusa.

Locked Down At London Heathrow
Locked Down At London Heathrow

Dink: di NG k noun, slang. An irritating, comptemptable individual. Use: The customs officials that he encountered at Terminal Five were a bunch of dinks.“Don’t worry. I’m not going to do anything crazy.” His eyes told me that he was speaking the truth but it was the white rubber gloves that were scaring me.

Losing My Travel Virginity: Ghana
Losing My Travel Virginity: Ghana

Photo: BagaballI had already been to first, second and third base with travel by the time I reached Ghana.I’d had light dalliances with the West Coast of North America and some superficial, fleeting affairs with the usual places in Western Europe. I’d lived in Ireland for a while, then in London. I did a few backpacker loops through France and Spain and the tiny Benelux countries.

Notes on My Polish Informant
Notes on My Polish Informant

Now fully in love with Poland, Matador Goods Editor Lola Akinmade remembers her very first date with the country.September 2003. We cross the border into Poland from Slovakia. Our party bus is pulled aside and a control officer hops on. He glides down the aisle, sucking air and grabbing passports. He must love his job.

Honduras By The Numbers
Honduras By The Numbers

Matador Contributing Editor Juliane Huang gives us a by the numbers overview of medical volunteering in Honduras.Panoramic view of Tegucigalpa, Honduras. All photos: Global Medical BrigadesHours on the plane, round-trip, including delays: 16People seen and treated for medical concerns: 1,000Medicines brought by volunteers.

Puerto Rico By the Numbers
Puerto Rico By the Numbers

Woman in San Sebastian, Puerto Rico. All photos by author.Matador managing editor Julie Schwietert goes to Puerto Rico on a guidebook assignment and sends in this by the numbers dispatch.Weeks between receipt of guidebook contract and assignment due date: 8Two of the features are about art. Special features assigned: 3Itineraries to write in addition to features: 2Total number of pages to be written: 17People and places to visit in order to write features & itineraries: Too many to count.

Tim and Tom’s Excellent Adventure Part 1: Cashews
Tim and Tom’s Excellent Adventure Part 1: Cashews

Tom, hanging with ‘the creature’.Here’s what happened when Matador Editors Tom Gates and Tim Patterson met up for a few days in Laos.21/3/09Patterson:3 days ago I projectile vomited from an auto rickshaw in Varanasi, India, on the way to the train station. This was after a week of flights from Vermont to Chicago to Colorado to New York to Brussels to New Delhi to Kathmandu.

Finding my Mouth in Mexico
Finding my Mouth in Mexico

There are no signs in Mexico, at least none that aren’t out of date or unintentionally funny. My personal favorite was the sign on Chacala beach that said no mascots were allowed. (Mascota is the word for pet in Spanish.)Photo: WonderlaneIt isn’t easy for someone like me to get accustomed to a place where you can’t find the information you need in writing.

We had our slingshots out and knives drawn.
We had our slingshots out and knives drawn.

David Miller’s notes from another evening in the Rockies.1. Japhy and Kieran run into the house breathing hard saying they just the bears. “Two big bears and a cub!”“So what did you do?” Segundo asks.Their breathing slows and Japhy says “I just stood there with my jaw dropped. We were following Asia into the woods looking for squirrels.

Working with Street Kids in Uruguay
Working with Street Kids in Uruguay

All photos by the author.El Abrojo, a non-governmental organization founded in 1988, has locations in 16 cities throughout Uruguay.In the small city of Las Piedras on the outskirts of Montevideo, El Abrojo focuses on helping children who work and live on the streets.The name of the NGO is often believed to be a shortened version of the Spanish phrase, “Abre Los Ojos,” meaning to open one’s eyes.

On the other side of the world someone awaits you.
On the other side of the world someone awaits you.

What happens when a beautiful girl follows you onto a bus in Chile?A few minutes earlier I had let her cut in front of me at the ticket counter because I felt uncomfortable with her standing so close. In Chile you have to stand on top of the person in front of you or others think you’re not really standing in line, just sort of checking it out.

The Top 10 South Shore Spots for Surfer Chicks
The Top 10 South Shore Spots for Surfer Chicks

Photo by Brenda YunFemale surfers do not have to look far to find the source of their inspiration. Stephanie Gilmore and Carissa Moore appear to be paving a new path, reminding us that girls can be amazing surfers too.Nevertheless, it was only fifty years ago that women began to break into the surf scene with figures like Gidget and the “Queen of the Makaha,” Rell Sun.

“All Corners of the Earth”: Volunteer Travel with Kiva’s Fellows Program
“All Corners of the Earth”: Volunteer Travel with Kiva’s Fellows Program

Opportunity Overview: Less well-known is Kiva’s year-old Fellows program, a natural extension of Kiva’s mission.Organization: Kiva.orgOpportunity: Fellows ProgramOrganization Overview: The U.S. based microlending organization, Kiva, has generated major buzz, enthusiastically supported by President Clinton and featured in The New York Times Magazine and a documentary produced by Frontline/World, all of which have praised the organization for its novel approach to linking social entrepreneurs and lenders through the Internet.

Volunteering in Pakistan
Volunteering in Pakistan

In Pakistan, you will not find short-term volunteer opportunities that cater to the traveler or combine volunteering with tourism.If you are looking for raw volunteering, without extras like pre-dawn yoga classes and sunset trips to the Taj, there are several organizations you can get involved with in Pakistan.

Against Complacency: Some Thoughts About AIG
Against Complacency: Some Thoughts About AIG

On the night of November 4, 2008 I made a decision: I wasn’t going to feel hopeless about the future of my country anymore.On the one hand, nothing had changed. But because we finally had a leader who seemed to see what was wrong, call it out, and start doing something about it—someone who actually gave a damn—I felt the right (the civic duty, too) to be empowered and engaged.

Massive mineral deposits discovered in Afghanistan
Massive mineral deposits discovered in Afghanistan

In what may be the most unexpected news out of Afghanistan in a long, long time, the US discovers massive mineral deposits.Gold. Cobalt. Copper. Iron. Lithium.The “bleak Ghazni Province seems to offer little,” noted the caption on the header photo leading into the article in Sunday’s New York Times, and the photo itself seemed to confirm the observation, a spectrum of grays and browns on a flat, rock-pocked landscape.

11 tips for winter desert camping
11 tips for winter desert camping

Photo above by ChadicaWinter is upon us, and snowbirds are alighting on the American Southwest for moderate temperatures and world-class hiking. And why not? The searing heat has dissipated, the monsoons and dust storms are over, and the scorpions and rattlesnakes have retreated underground, inviting travel and exploration throughout the Sonoran, Chihuahuan, Great Basin, and Mojave deserts.

The English language’s 10 worst Christmas songs
The English language’s 10 worst Christmas songs

From poverty porn to sappy love to easy listening, the music industry has all bases covered to tug the heartstrings of the uncritical listener.They get stuck in your head and follow you from store to store. From the ones you can’t shake to the ones you’ve never heard before, these are the worst songs of Christmas.

Traveling in slow motion
Traveling in slow motion

Editor’s Note: This is the first part of a two part interview with Lara Lockwood and Tom Fewins, who are traveling around the world without ever stepping foot onto an airplane. Part two will appear on BNT tomorrow. Photo: Tanya DropbearBNT: When did the idea for this trip start to form? How long did it take you to put the whole trip together?

The seeker chronicles: Eliezer Sobel, The 99th Monkey
The seeker chronicles: Eliezer Sobel, The 99th Monkey

Big Sur. One of places Eliezer spent a good part of his adult life. | Photo: prawnpieAlex Andrei’s Q & A Series with Deep ThinkersThis week, we pose some questions to Eliezer Sobel, the author of The 99th Monkey: A Spiritual Journalist’s Misadventures with Gurus, Messiahs, Sex, Psychedelics, and Other Consciousness-Raising Experiments.