Next up on a travel addict's agenda: Orlando and NYC (Feb 25, 2011)

Tuesday, November 9, 2010

Fall back, spring forward!!!

I  remember hearing that 'life is like a roll of toilet paper, the closer you get to the end the quicker it goes.'27 years old and starting to believe it.  In December, I will have been working and living in Switzerland for one and a half years.  CRAZY!

It also seems just like yesterday that I started fundraising for my trip to Ethiopia.  Here I am now, just four quick naps until my departure!   I  am pleased to announce that with the generosity and support of my family & friends, I raised just under 2000$!!!!!!!!!!!!!  THANK YOU to all my sponsors and the kind-hearted indviduals who supported this trip that means so much to me.   The money went directly to HOPEthiopia for the funding of this health mission.  On Saturday, I will be meeting the crew of doctors, nurses, dentists, hygienists and other team members in London.   It will be great to see my old colleagues from Westbrook Dental center in Calgary. (Ralph, Scot & Denise)  From London, we have a direct flight to Addis Ababa, Ethiopia's capital.   For the following week we will be staying in a village called Wolisso which is located about 130 km SW of Addis Ababa in a nice and secure hotel.   Internet access will be limited for us while there so please keep updated by visiting Hopethiopia's facebook page.  
HOPEthiopia facebook page 

You may have noticed that my blog got a makeover!  When doing some browsing and reading on the net in preparation for my trip, I came upon a young Canadian woman who is doing AMAZING things.   She runs 'blogs for a cause' where she makes blogs for people to help fund her humanitarian work all over the world.    Check her out at:  Blogs for a cause 
It was great to 'stumble' upon her.  She's also done work in Ethiopia and has so much practical information.  She is a great resource for anyone wanting to do humanitarian work. Thank you Nikki and good luck with your upcoming trip to Kenya!

Well, I better get to packing.   Thanks again for stopping in and for your kind words of support and encouragement.  I look forward to my first ever humanitarian trip and already know it won't be my last.   I will do my best to keep you updated via blogs, photos, facebook etc.

Here are a few pics that I took in Switzerland during this beautiful Autumn season.

Much Love,


Sunday, August 29, 2010

My journey to Ethiopia

Hello, thanks so much for stopping in!  I am starting this blog to allow my friends and family to follow me in my travels, as well as to help raise money for my volunteer trip to Ethiopia in November 2010.  The mission group is called HOPEthiopia, a non-profit organization based in Calgary, Alberta, Canada.  This project focuses on restoring land for the homeless, orphaned children and seniors of Ethiopia. I am joining the 'Community Health' part of the mission where medical doctors, dentists, nurses, dental hygienists, and various support team members will put their best hands forward for the people of the community. Given that this will be the first 'health care' project, in addition to providing direct health care for individuals, we will also plan and assess the facilities and needs of the people for future health-based trips.

I became aware of this project in 2009 when I was working as a Dental Hygienist in Calgary.  One of the dentists I worked with, Dr. Ralph Dubienski, is one of the co-founders of HOPEthiopia.  One day, as we were  sitting in the lunch room, I asked Ralph about his latest trip to Ethiopia.  I was always eager to  hear about the mission work he and his family were in. He was so enthused about the outcome of this trip and informed me about his very successful meeting with the Ethiopian president.  The government had granted HOPEthiopia 4000 acres of land.  This was AMAZING news!!!! I knew immediately that I would love to contribute to this project in some way, so when I moved to Switzerland, I made sure to keep updated on the progress of HOPEthiopia. As a health care provider, I thought the 'health mission' was a great way to finally get involved.  It will allow me to use my skills as a dental hygienist to educate and treat the people with their various dental challenges while experiencing a new country and culture. This experience will also expand my horizons and open my world to volunteering abroad and misson work.

photo by Kathy Dubienski- Ethiopia- Aug.2010

Here is a video of the health care facilities that we will be working out of.   The last mission team in August 2010, spent time painting and working on the outside of the building.  

Additional information on the various aspects of HOPEthiopia are available including word blogs, photoblogs, a facebook page and the main website for the project: 
I have included more links at the bottom of this page.  

This volunteer opportunity will cost me $1500 for one week, excluding my travel costs which I plan on paying for myself.  The rest of the funding will help with costs of materials needed for our trip's objectives which include; medical care, dental care, teaching the community, orphan care and community projects.  I thought asking friends and family to help out might be a big help.  If you are willing and able to sponsor me on this project, please see details below.  I DO REALIZE that donating money may not be possible for everyone; and I am just as happy to gain your support by reading my blog, following me on twitter, or on facebook, or simply with positive thoughts, prayers, etc.

If you would like to donate there are two ways to do so, and both will provide you with a tax deductable receipt from HOPEthiopia.  

1) Canada Helps Online: Canada Helps
Please include under Message/Instructions that the donation is towards my fundraising.
 2) Cheque:
Please write to me at and I will send you a special form to send in with the cheque. My name should not be written on the cheque but on the form you will receive.  

Thank you kindly for taking the time to read my blog. I will keep you updated with my fundraising and my trip to Ethiopia as it gets nearer!