Friday, May 4, 2012

Filling you in and inviting you to join what's next!

It's been a while and I think its time we catch up!
As some may know, I've spent the last ten months living in Accra, Ghana. I joined Journalists for Human Rights and was sent to work as a Rights Media Educational Officer at the African University College of Communications (AUCC). One of our main projects  resulted in the production of a rights media magazine, video documentary and audio clippings on impacts of mining, to learn more click here

I was asked to stay at the AUCC until end of February to develop and implement a course on Publicity Methods within the Development Communications department at the university. I happily accepted and once finished this arrangement, I spent two more months working on independent projects and touring around Ghana's beautiful country side.

As always one adventure leads to another, and along the way I met a wonderful person named Ben Sampson who introduced me to an awesome organization called Operation Groundswell (OG). The purpose of OG is to provide travel-curious individuals with ... well, a trip of a lifetime!

OG is a non-profit organization that works to provide curious young travellers with safe, affordable, exciting and authentic travel opportunities in countries around the world. OG believes in community living, active participation and among all things, building friendship with those whose countries we explore. OG strives to have a positive impact in the places they travel and view every situation as an opportunity to explore and grow;  OG also makes it easy to do this, because participants are travelling alongside other awesome people in incredible places!

Sooner or later, I think people feel the desire to explore and learn more about themselves, our planet and the people whom inhabit it - colours, sounds and scents - sometimes we're just ready to go! Which is why when I was asked to join two other incredible team leaders in Ghana to co-facilitate two awesome summer programs - I was thrilled!!!

So, after being in Canada for a short 2.3 weeks, I am sitting on the floor of Washington airport on my way back to Ghana. Soon I'll meet my incredible co-facilitators Jeremy and BB and in less than two weeks we'll be meeting with the first round of participants in Ghana's capital city of Accra.

There are two awesome discovery trips this summer and I invite you to follow our journey! We must all be aware internet connection isn't what it is at home, but as long as we have the patience and find the time - we'll find the resources. (But if it isn't regular, don't worry... it isn't that we've been captured or have melted away in the heat... we're just having to much time BEING PRESENT to get online... sorry mums!!)

So please, check in and check up. Ask questions and live vicariously through the youth who have decided to be courageous and explore something new. Join us at OG's blogsite by clicking here or visit my personal blog at Think Glocal by saving the link!

Being a trip leader with OG will allow me to help foster the natural curiosity of our participants and share everything I love about Ghana with people who truly want to experience it.

If you're one of those people who has been bit by the 'travel bug' and/or are looking to 'spread your wings' but don't know where to start... maybe you should grab some friends and check out OG's incredible opportunities.

If you're going to travel - backpack! And if you're going to backpack - backpack with a purpose!
Do it OG style.

Michelle Newlands
Trip Facilitator
West Africa Discovery 2012
Operation Groundswell


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