Thursday, August 28, 2008

Travel as a Learning Opportunity

Last night, I had drinks with a friend who just returned from two years in the Peace Corps. Talk about your adult continuing education experience! My friend, who was stationed in St. Lucia, is now well versed in how to farm sea moss, prepare breadfruit and even sleep through 3 a.m. rooster calls.

Okay, so maybe you can't commit 27 months of your life to the Peace Corps. But what if you had a couple of weeks? You can get a similar experience through a "voluntourism" trip that combines, you guessed it, volunteering and tourism. Local company Ambassadors for Children offers such trips, as do organizations like Cross-Cultural Solutions, the Global Citizens Network and Globe Aware.

I'd love to take one of Globe Aware's trips to Peru, which combines volunteering in Cuzco with a trek to Machu Picchu. Alas, I've spent all my discretionary income on this fall's slate of local continuing education classes. Well, life is full of choices.

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