Category Archives: Uncategorized

Galle orphanage 

Today I went with my housemates to the orphanage they are volunteering at. I didnt know what I was going to see so I had mixed feelings. I was pleasantly suprised to see there was a medical centre, education and good accomodation. We were assisting with the young children under five.

Some of the reasons these children are here are death in childbirth, where moms cannot afford to take care of their child, many are found at bus stops. Its heartbreaking to think of the decision people have to make here to give up their children or leave them somewhere because they cant be taken care of. 

The children crave attention, always wanting to be picked up but they all had a smile on their face. There are two disabled children which got me emotional as I know that they will have a hard time. They will not get married in this country or be adopted here, there only chance is to go to another country. You have to fight back the tears.

This was a little girl called regina. There are over 30 small children here in cribs. Theres also a month old baby. The women who work here everyday are inspiring and volunteers really make a difference. 

This girl stole my heart. Her name is wama. It makes you appreciate life so much. These children have no clue whats going on, probably for the best. Some of the parents do come back to visit sometimes. 

This is rando. Such a character. They cant afford nappies here so everytime they go to toilet they have to wash them and put another trousers on them then clean the floor. Its hard going. I didnt take too many photos as it wouldnt be appropriate but you can see how hard it is in some countries. If someone wants to adopt a child here from another country they have to be married.

I was also told a few details that there is a facility here where girls have been raped. If this happens to a child under the age of 18 they are taken away from their parents and put in a security building to live. If this happens to your child you are unfit to be a parent and this is what happens. Maybe at 18 if they choose ,they can go back to live with them. Sometimes foreigners can have a chat with them but not often for their safety. You hear about orphaned children and girls getting raped but to see and be so close to it all really upsets you, and you admire the people who help them so much. I hope these babies have amazing futures and these can put the pain behind them and grow into amazing women. 

Appreciate your safety and life ❤

Advertisements

Sri Lanka

My next adventure was to visit the turtle hatchery. Turtles are brought here mostly by the fishermen who have had turtles tangled in their nets or have accidently injured them. The people who work here collect the eggs from the beach to keep them safe until they are old enough to be released back in to the water. They hatch after around 60 days.

There were a lot of poorly turtles. Some had damaged flippers where you could see where the net has been caught around them. Some of them had missing limbs probably due to the boats propeller.

There was also a disabled turtle that had deformed short legs and a fat belly where his shell hadnt grown properly. It is a 1 in a million chance of this happening. He seemed happy enough. When the turtles are fit and well they are released back into the sea in the night where it is quiet and safe for them. 

After more singhalese language lessons I was told about the tsunami here in 2004. There were over 30,000 casualties and over 21,000 dead. The host family im staying with was here when it happened. The son said there was no warning. They live just opposite the sea and were just standing in the street when they looked over and saw the water getting higher and higher. They started heading for a temple on higher ground when they realised their sister was still inside the house. After quickly going to get her they ran for the temple. They were in the water for 20 minutes. When they returned home their house was half full with water. Many houses were destroyed but thankfully everything has been rebuilt.

This picture was taken from their balcony.

This afternoon we all headed for the beach called wijaya beach. It was stunning. Golden sand and hundreds of palm trees lined up. The sea is clear and cool. The tide is very rough and strong this time of year but you can still swim. 

Until next time 😀

Sri Lanka day 1

Day 1 here in Sri Lanka and what an amazing place it is. Theres the hustle and bustle of the main street and the calmness of the ocean all outside the doorstep.

This morning I was briefed on the culture and history of the country. A lot of the culture reflects on the women. There is no sex before marriage and only 5% are divorced. The men bring home the money and the women are the housewives so if a couple divorce it is almost impossible for them to remarry as no one wants them. The women  would also be left with no job so no money and sadly turn to prostitution to survive. A strange thing here is that if children move out before they are married it is considered a bad thing and believe the person will have many problems. The people are friendly and used to foreigners so you dont get much attention. If you get friendly with men they may think you are trying to get with them so I was warned to just say hello 😂

As the British used to rule Sri lanka, they have kept some similarities such as British education in English academies, same holidays, free healthcare and right hand driving. 

In 1977 there was a civil war where the East were fighting for their rights as they were poor and wanted to be equal to others. This war lasted over 30 years but they never gained their rights. However the people in the east were not the victims. If they killed someone they were fighting with they would dress them in their clothes and pretend they were from their village. They videoed this and sent it out so other countries would feel sympathy for them. 😐

Today there is no tension and the east side is visited in peace. 😆

This afternoon me and my roomate took a walk to the main centre and to the fort. The fort area was built by the danish in the early 1900’s

It is very european style with narrow streets with cafes and souvenir shops. 

This is a mosque for muslims.

I am staying right by the water. There is a big walk way in the fort along the sea.

I obviously sniffed this out as a dog lover. This was a beautiful store with clothes, jewellery, dog toys. All proceeds go to helping get dogs off the streets. There are many homeless ones here. I bought a toy for my dog 🐶

Now we are relaxing until dinner is made by the host family. 🍚

Always follow your heart

Travelling was always my dream and I have been lucky enough to travel around the world. Ive taught english in two countries, Ive met tribes, been to remote areas of the world, Ive seen things that have made me cry and things that make me smile so big everytime I think i think about them. Travelling is truly an amazing opportunity but can be confusing. for those who haven’t travelled much you probably think ‘you have an easy life’ or ‘what have you got to moan about’ but for the people I have met in the countries I have been to you will know that travelling is an emotional rollercoaster, its lonely and you could find  yourself even more confused about who you are and what you want to do with  your life. sadly that is an experience im having.

I spent an amazing year in South Korea and came back here for another ‘amazing’ year but it didnt plan out that way. I had this awful feeling at the airport when coming here. I knew something was wrong and that it wasn’t going to be good but I got on that plane anyways. The last few months have been a whirlwind of emotions, mostly crying everyday. I hated my job so much. the children were spoilt, ungrateful and didnt care about anything. I would think back to the countries I visited where all children wanted was to be able to go to school. I found myself standing in front of the class thinking what am I doing here. I started to hate these kids so much. They have no idea about the struggles other children go to and even if I told them they wouldn’t care.

It has been the loneliest  months ever and you can give someone advice but you cannot really truly know whats going on inside another person. I decided to give my notice in and leave the country I said I was  going to live in to return to the country ive said I hated so much with no job no money but with one thing which is all I need and that is my dreams to motivate me.

During these months here things seem to upset even more. World disasters, animal cruelty, people left with nothing. It can make you feel helpless but I know that I truly want to make a difference in the world. If you could see my bucket list the majority of it right now is volunteer work all over the world, and you know what Im going to do all of it. This will be the last time I teach in a rich school. From the day I get back to the UK my goals are to work with refugees, build houses, protect the rainforest and so on.

I may still not know exactly who I am or where I belong but I know that I want to end my days knowing I have made a difference and feel fulfilled in my life. I just hope that I can be an inspiration to others to follow your dreams and that nothing is worth it if your not happy.

See you soon UK

A dog can change the way you see the world.

If like me you are an animal lover. You adore your little furry friend and will let nothing bad happened to it. Unfortunately this is the the same mindset people in Korea have. They buy dogs without thinking of how much care and attention they need. They then end up in the pound as the owners cant take care of them anymore. I have been volunteering at one of these pounds and it breaks my heart every time I go in there that people can people just buy dogs and just abandon them.

screenshot_2016-10-12-12-55-53-1

This is the pound. This is the sad reality of where these dogs end up. Theyre in small cages unable to be let out. We have over 100 hundreds dogs now and with the help of Korean and foreign volunteers, we clean, feed and give them the only small amount of love we can. Many dogs do get adopted, but for every 10 that leave for new homes another 10 will be brought to the pound.

screenshot_2016-10-12-12-56-08-1

Heres me and another volunteer getting stuck in. We also have big dogs to which are our priority at rehoming. We rely on some money from the government but mostly from volunteers to pay for food, blankets and medical bills.

20161009_094513

This is Lucky. I have been fostering him for around a week. He was extremely thin when he came to the pound and obviously hadnt been taken care off. He is full of love, will cuddle and play before taking a nap on your bed. We are currently looking for a forever home for him.

20161011_140115

This is just many of the pounds in Korea and a sad reality. We try our best to find new homes and we even send them to other countries. Some of our dogs have gone to America and europe so you dont need to be in Korea to adopt So if your interested in getting a dog please consider rehoming one from our pound. You will be saving and giving a life to a new pet. They deserve one. If you want more information please email me

xxnataliaxx@hotmail.co.uk

Facebook: yongin pound adoption page

Vegas and grand canyon

After a 6 hour bus journey from LA, I arrived in Vegas.

image

image

First stop was the high roller. Its the biggest one in the world. It only took about 30 minutes to get around. It had amazing views of the whole of Las Vegas. The cabins were huge and could hold 40 people.

image

This was taken from the strip. This street was so chilled with restaurants and bars where you can sit outside and people playing guitars and singing. Perfect place to relax.

image

The Palazzo hotel. Its had a shopping centre full of designer shops. Was a really posh looking place.

image

Outside of the Mirage hotel is a fire and water show. It was inpressive. Definatley a must see if your in Vegas.

image

image

image

Inside the venetian hotel. Made to look like Italy. The whole ceiling was made to look like the sky. You could take a ride on the gondala in the lake running through the hotels. Hotels are huge in vegas. They have shopping malls, theaters and more in them. Theres signs in all hotels as you can get lost in them

image

New york new york with its rollercoaster outside.

image

Excalibur hotel. So pretty. Outside hotels there are fake clocks on them as there no really sense of time here. It is hard to find a working clock outside here.

image

This hotel is the luxor. It is shaped like a pyramid and all egyptian themed inside. They have this ray of light reaching to the sky when its nightime.

image

image

This LED screen was insane. Its in freemont street. The screens change with music and people fly across ropes on the top. Its amazing to see. Theres bars all the way down with outside entertainments. Theres also lots of shops.

image

The next day was a visit to the Grand canyon. I took a helicopter ride and got to sit by the pilot. Yehhh. The canyon has been formed over billions of years. Its over 250 miles long.

image

image

Views from the helicopter. We were heading to the river for a boat ride.

image

Nice little speed boat ride with the rocks towering above us. The rocks are beautiful and are different colors.

image

The helicopter waiting to take us back.

image

image

More views from the helicopter on our way back.

image

image

There were three main places to visit at the grand canyon. This stop was the ranch. You could stay there in the ranch accomodation.  They had the cowboy looking shops and restaurants, horses to ride and the bull. I met a cowboy called Michael. He actually wanted to move to the UK with his girlfriend from the phillipines. He was a great guy to chat with.

image

image

image

This was the second point. The canyon is so huge. You feel so small in it. Theres no barriers either so its pretty scary looking over the edge. In the second picture is the glass Skywalk. This is owned by the tribe who live within the canyon. They will take your picture on it. You can stand here and look for hours.

image

You get a free lunch at the 2nd stop with a pretty good view. Food is really good too.

image

image

image

This was the 3rd stop and my favourite. It was like looking at a picture. Ive never seen rocks like this and the colours make it look so pretty. I just dangled my feet over ha. You can see the Colorado river running through the canyon. Definatly one to remember.

image

image

On the way out of the canyon we stopped at the hoover dam. Its been in movies such as transformers and San Andreas. It was dedicated to president Roosevelt and was named after president Herbert Hoover.

image

On my last day in Vegas I jumped on the tour bus. Vegas looks a lot different in the day. First stop was caesers palace. This is the colloseum.

image

The famous lobby from the Hangover. If you have the money i would recommend staying here. Its a stunning hotel.

image

image

The ceilings are amazing. Theres so much design. This photo was taken from the casino.

image

image

image

image

This is walking to the shopping mall in the hotel. Got all your designer shops and restaurants. This hotel is huge, thankgod for the signs.

image

Lunch at Serendipity.  The food portions here are so big. It took me 40 minutes to eat this and I was done for the day. The food was so good. I wanted to eat here as its Kim Kardashians favourite place ha.

image

image

I went to see the Titanic artifact exhibition in the Luxor hotel. It was amazing they had so many items from the actual titanic. They even have a part of the titanic ship in there. I was in awe. Im going to do a more detailed blog of this exhibition as it was so interesting.

image

Harley Davidson cafe. So many of these stores here. They sure love their motorcycles in Vegas.

image

Ha these wedding chapels. I saw a bride and groom outside one of these. They are definatly a spontaneous thing. They looked like they just popped in to get married on their walk down the street.

image

Mandalay hotel. Looks like gold. Wouldnt mind staying there either.

image

Designer shops. The building are stunning. I didnt expect Vegas to be this nice. All the buildings are immaculate and its so clean there.

image

Eiffel tower. You can go to the restaurant inside. I love how they’ve put landmarks there so unique.

image

image

A load of these chocolate a drinks stores in this street. There was a hersheys one opposite and a hugeee pint of guiness.

image

The Bellagio hotel. They have water fountains every 30 minutes. This hotel is famous for there casinos and was also in the hangover movie.

image

At the end of my last day here it was a trip up the stratosphere tower to watch the sunrise. Theres a bar and restaurant here and you can do a jump off the tower.

image

View of the strip. They say good morning at nightime because its when the city really comes alive.

image

Vegas is up there with my favourite places. Its so much fun and so much to see. Theres something for everyone. Will have to come back here some day.

Los Angeles

Today I took a 6 hour day trip around Los angeles. First stop was the hollywood walk of fame.

image

image

The stars continue on for a mile theres so many. They start near the dolby theater.

image

image

This is capital records. Theres a light on the top that flashes in morse code ‘hollywood,

image

This is from the griffith observatory park. The name griffith actually came from a billionaire from Wales who wanted to build two things before he died so he built this park and the white greek theater thats in the movie get him to greek.

image

This house used to belong to robert pattinson and is the house that he was going to move in with kristen stewart. It now belongs to jim parsons from the big bang theory.

image

Ahhh the house from fast and furious. I couldnt believed it when i saw it.

image

This is the house used in charmed its two doors down from the fast and furious house.

image

Venice beach. This place was so nice. Theres a boardwalk behind with shops and a cycling and skating track all along the beach.

image

image

image

Few more of Venice beach.

image

Was on route 66 a few times on this tour. Can check that one of the bucket list now.

image

The famous santa monica pier. Its got rides, amusements and more.

image

This road heads up to Malibu. You can just see the malibu hills in the distance.

image

This is one of the entrances to the playboy mansion. Its so hard to see the houses as theres huge gates, bushes and trees covering them.

image

Audrey hepburns former house. Her son may still live there.

image

Elton Johns former house. Well gate.

image

Michael jacksons house, the one he died in.

image

Elvis Presleys house. It was opposite Michael Jacksons.

image

Beverly hills. This place had a really nice town with coffee shops and stores and people driving around in their expensive cars of course.

image

Sunset Boulevard 🙂

image

This is the other end of the walk of fame. These statues were so cool.

image

image

Chinese theater and the front of the dolby theater. A great day.

Wat themy and sok orphanage

This morning I went to a temple called wat themy. Its is a small memorial place for the people who were killed in the pol pot khmer rouge regime.

image

Here are the skulls and bones of the people who had died. Some of the skulls still had teeth. Some were half a skull or less. It is a very strange feeling standing there looking at what used to be people who died so tragically.

image

image

These are some pictures of what life was like in that period. The photos were really old and faded. They are mostly pictures of people working or eating together as they had to.

image

The pictures on the left are of the dead. They are a bit hard to see. Pictures of all the victims were taken. You can see they were just skin and bone.

image

image

These are pictures of the field workers. Most of them waiting to die. If the people did anything wrong, them and their families would be killed. Even if they said the word angkor wrong that was the end of their lives.

image

People returning back to their homes after the fall of the khmer rouge. They have no idea what they are going back to, what happened to their families or what they are going to do next. They have nothing. Completely walking back to the unknown.

image

This is the prison surrounded by barbed wire. After the end of the khmer rouge this was turned into what is now called the genocide museum we know as the killing fields. Even being here gives and effect on you. I dont even know if i could go to the actual killing fields in phonm phen which is now as museum  Its so graphic there and ive heard of people having nightmares after what they have seen there. My guide said that some young people in Cambodia are in denial that it even happened.

image

After a quiet journey in the car lost in thoughts, I visited an orphanage. The owner of the orphanage was badly affected by the regime. His whole family were killed when he was a little boy and he had to fend for himself most of the time. The website for this orphanage is sokschoolvilla.com and you can read his story. You can also donate as they rely on funds from donors and visitors.
There are kids here ranging from kindergarten to high school. He has really done wonders for the children here.

image

They loved the selfie stick. I played volleyball for about an two hours as they all wanted to play. Was good to just be there and play with them for a couple of hours.

image

This one wouldn’t let me rest for 5 minutes ha. Theyre all really happy there and are doing well. Its really nice to see.

Day 2 of tour

An early start at 5.30am to watch the sunrise. We stopped just outside angkor wat and sat by the lake. As we were sitting the tour guide told me more about the political situation during the pol pot regime and after. Millions of people were killed during this regime and apparently the first killing began when khmer people were informed that they had to kill educational people. Around 100 000 people were killed that day but it is still an open case as to who sent that message to kill the people. The guide also said about the locals having to drink dirty water when ge was young. In his school he could only learn German and Russian but when he was older he started learning english under a stilt house with a teacher but only writing not speaking. When he began being a taxi driver he would practice his english speaking with tourists.

image

After breakfast we were off to the            lake to see the stilt house village. Im writing this at a restaurant by the lake. Ordered a big meal as im always hungry :). I wasnt too sure what to expect. Ive seen stilt houses before but nothing like this. The houses were held up by tree trunks.

image

image

How they stay up I dont know. You can imagine how high the floods get by how high the houses are. Families have to stay in their houses when the floods are bad. There are also bridges over the river made from thick branches. The water is filthy and there rubbish on the sides. Hard to believe this is peoples lives.

image

Me on the boat with the driver doing a cheeky photo bomb.

image

We stopped off at the temple in the village. These women were preparing lunch for the monks. Monks have to shave their hair off.

image

I was suprised at how many schools were here. I could just wander in the classroom and take a picture. The children chanted something in cambodian, saying hello and thankyou. The classrooms were so hot, there wernt even any fans. The kids and teachers were sweating. The only english was the alphabet. Hardly any resources. But still all smiling and laughing. They were so cute.

image

Alot of the kids didnt have any shoes. Their feet had infected sores on them. They didnt seem bothered though. Their uniforms were filthy but they were all wearing them. One little book walked up to me and shook my hand. 2 girls poked their hands out of the window to touch mine. Even though they didnt have much, I didnt feel sad. They were so happy. Such strong people and kids.

image

A local women asked me if I wanted to buy notebooks and pencils for the kids. Heres me giving some. She looks pretty happy. This photo makes me smile.

image

Here they are with their new supplies. They love a picture.

image

Some new friends followed me down the road and held my hands. One girl kept looking at my long nails. She seemed pretty fascinated and held my hand up to scratch her cheek with them. They then went off to their homes. I wanted to stay longer but I didnt. You really appreciate the little things when you see this and we need a reminder now and again of how lucky we are.

image

Continuing through the river. These are mangrove trees. The trunks were so cool.

image

This was a restaurant on the water. They had a baby crocodile farm and a random python.

image

On the way back there were signs outside houses and wells. They were donated by mostly American  charities or were dedicated to people. Was pretty cool to see so many. Heres a donated well.

image

My lunch and the biggest coconut ever. I hope theres plenty of pee stops this afternoon.

image

This temple was called banreay srei ‘womens temple’ and is famous for its pink and yellow sandstone.

image

Alot of the carvings had been restored as so much of the temple had been restored. The carvings were so detailed and told stories of the gods.

image

Standing in a doorway. You can see how beautiful the design is.

image

This temples was built 2000 years before ankor wat so is a very old building. The buddha statues are the protectors.

image

This was the last stop of the tour. The road to this temple was too dangerous during the pol pot regime as it was full of landmines. Landmines were layed across the whole length of cambodian thai border. The local people of cambodia were forced by vietnamese to plant the landmines to stop any attacks from the khmer people in Thailand. The goverment planted more around villages to protect them. We passed a sign saying that this area had been cleared of them.

image

Most of this building was crumbled but the towers stood tall. They cremated bodies here. You could see the stone rectangular block where they put the bodies in to burn. They then collected the left over bones put them in a box then in stone and put them on top of the wall of this temple. This was for the important people.

image

One of the protecting towers surrounding the main tower where the king would be buried. My guide told me that years ago when they cremate a family member they burn the bones after thry have been cremated and drink them. He said he had drank his brothers bones and that it didnt smell bad. If people wanted to be buried they would put the body in a tree and let the animals eat the bodies. They would then go back, collect the bones and bury them. Not sure how people would prefer that or how the situation is today.
I booked this tour with happyangkortour.com

Angkor wat

Angkor wat meaning city of temples was built in the 12th century for the king and the khmer empire. It is the biggest religious monument in the world.

image

My guide was full of knowledge about these amazing temples. He told me his parents died in the khmer Rouge, the pol pot regime and he was brought up with some locals villages. He had to work hard carrying a basket on his head everyday carrying water, cow dung etc. He said his childhood wasnt bad but everyone was starving. The pol pot regime is one of the saddest tradegies ive read about. Please look it up on the internet as its long to explain. Theres also books called the killing fields which is about the regime and what happened.
Cambodia also had many landmines during the regime. The majority of them have been found and detinated. We passed many landmine victims playing instruments with missing arms, legs and eyes.

image

Inside many temples are stunning carvings which tell stories of the people, gods and devils.

image

image

image

There are many inscriptions on the pillars in the khmer language which is not used anymore. They are mostly poems, chants or prayers about the gods and life.

image

A famous picture spot with the reflection in the water.

image

image

The big tree roots growing over the buildings. These temples were very old. Some were just blocks on the ground. They were covered in green moss but was definatly the best temples. They were amazing to look at.

image

image

The tree behind me is the one you see in tomb raider. There was a huge line for a picture but I got a sneaky shot sitting on some rocks before one of the workers caught me. I also recommend reading Angelina jolie notes of my travels. She is an ambassador of the UNHCR which works with refugees all over the world. She visited cambodian refugee camps as a result of the pol pot regime. to help raise awareness.

image

The very old and crumbled parts. The tour guide knew all the best places for pictures. There was a do not climb sign on the side though of course.

image

This was once a hospital. Most of it is destroyed but you could still go inside. You couldnt make out any rooms in there.

image

This was the east gate. We climbed up the hill to see the buddhas face. Theres four of these on each side.

image

This was an impressive temple. The tall tower is protected with towers of buudhas faces. Buddhas eyes open mean protection. Eyes closed means meditation. One eye open means imagination. All of the faces are different.

image

Carvings of cambodias traditional dancing called aspara. There are performances of this dancing telling the story of cambodia life.

image

image

image

Kiss the buddha 🙂

image

Tour guide getting me to do some hopeless poses.

image

The road to paradise. God statues on the left, devils on the right.

image

Ending with this view. Theres so much history to this country. So much tradegy has happened but the people have worked hard to rebuild their lives and their country. I admire them very much and am privileged to see this amazing country.