5 Jun 2022

Good to be back

Ah! The plane is old, with notices written in Cyrillic but it is definitely not Russian. I don't know where Congo purchased this plane from and i surely don't know why it was such a nightmare to get seats on it! We have to pay extra for the excess weight we carry (lots and lots of solar lamps and water filters are with us) and we are told that some people's bags were kicked out because of my extra heavy tote. Eek! I had combined the contents of three totes into two plus some extra things into Mandaba's suitcase, as we are allowed only one piece each. It doesn't [...]

5 Jun 2022

Ten things….

Ten of the many things I am grateful for today: Fresh, juicy mangoes A clean hat A skirt I can swoosh around when it is too hot to breathe A familiar face in a throng of pressing strangers Lunch with friends Unpacking my suitcase and having a wardrobe in which to organize things Fried goat A fully charged power bank The smell of flowers outside the window Landing safely, even when flying in an old (SO very old) plane

4 Jun 2022

Bopping to music on way to airport

Trois Cents calls early, telling us he is in his way and requests directions to the guesthouse. At 9am, he calls again, saying he is leaving his home and it expect him soon. At 12, we are still waiting and he calls to reconfirm the address and directions. At 2, I have given up seeing him and am wondering out loud what the purpose of his visit is. At 4:30pm, he shows up, saying he is so happy he knows Kinshasa well, as it was easy to find the house. WHAT?!? Upon arrival, he informs us that he needs money for tickets and with our names written on a [...]

1 Jun 2022

8 Whimsies of an A.F.C.A Braai

Let me walk you through it: the air is dry, umbre if you will, and there is smoke wafting across, colonizing the Jones garden; there are shreeks (the children are playing UNO enthusiastically) and there is gentle chatter spread across the front yard; there is food, lots and lots of it- salads are spread across and fighting for space on the table- but most importantly, there is meat on the braai and sadza on the stove. You can smell all of it, and so can everyone else in the neighborhood A braai may seem like some strange lingo you can barely pronounce, but in South Africa, and Southern Africa [...]

1 Jun 2022

Congo never fails to give me a story

I am the third person through customs and for the first time ever, it is the easiest process. I virtually fly through the system, handing over my passport, answering questions, getting my now infamous visa checked, and hearing the wonderful words, "welcome back to Congo"!. I practically skip through the health check, with my yellow card and necessary paperwork checked and approved. I can't believe how easy things are going as I stand at the carousel waiting for the three large totes I brought with me. My carryon is a ridiculous weight and so is my backpack, but I feel lighter than I have ever felt here in the [...]

23 May 2022

Episode 8: From Fitness Class to the Top of Kilimanjaro with Stefanie Watkins

Listen on: AnchorFM / Spotify / iTunes Podcast Homepage Stefanie Watkins didn't see it coming, the day she met Tanya in a fitness class that one day, she would be beside her and a handful of other women, summiting Mount Kilimanjaro in Tanzania  Join Jen in a conversation with AFCA's Board President, Stefanie as they chat about her volunteerism and adventures with AFCA and how meeting Tanya spark a series of adventures and a reconnection for her birth country, Africa, as well as the children and people she's met along the way. If you're interested in traveling along with us, AFCA offers a variety of adventure travel experiences that [...]

13 May 2022

Episode 7: In the Warehouse with Betsy Dorsey

Listen on: AnchorFM / Spotify / iTunesPodcast Homepage The AFCA warehouse depends on donations of medical supplies and money to ship containers of supplies to program partners in Africa. Our warehouse, located in Lebanon, Pennsylvania is run by one of our extraordinary volunteers, Betsy Dorsey. In this episode, Jen chats with Betsy about her volunteer experience with AFCA, and what drew her to step into this role. If you'd like to help us pack a container, organize supplies or get in some service hour requirements, our warehouse will gladly accept your help. You can reach out to Betsy directly to schedule your time, or event at bdorsey@afcaids.org [...]

2 May 2022

How To Travel More Sustainably With AFCA

Have you wanted to travel and make a difference at the same time? It certainly feels like a difficult task. How can you travel, gain valuable experiences, and make an impact all at the same time? AFCA has opportunities available for you! AFCA runs a variety of sustainable traveling programs, including Climb Up and Vacation with a Purpose and managing other sustainability programs. These programs allow those interested to travel while also aiding in great causes. The Climb Up program encourages people to gather a party of 4 to 10 people to undertake a hike to some of the most beautiful locations on the planet, including but not limited [...]

2 May 2022

How To Fundraise For Your Next Amazing Vacation

Fundraising is easier than ever with the rise of the internet and the many different platforms people can use to raise money for a non-profit. With AFCA’s “Vacation with a Purpose” program, individuals are able to vacation to various different countries and have a direct impact on communities in need. All it takes is a little bit of fundraising to get you there! Here are five ways you can fundraise for your next amazing vacation with AFCA.  Crowdfunding  Ever heard of Indiegogo or Kickstarter? What about GoFundMe? With the help of social media it's easier than ever to source funds from various people on the internet. With just a [...]

27 Apr 2022

Episode 6: The Magic of Mothers

Listen on: AnchorFM / Spotify / iTunes Podcast Homepage In this special Mother's Day episode, Tanya and Jen talk about their moms, being moms, and how to help mothers in other parts of the world. You don't even need to be a mom to nurture and care for others. The two talk about the importance adults play in the mentorship of children and celebrate the magic of mothers and the societal need for them to create stronger, healthier, and more sustainable communities here and globally.There are many ways in which AFCA supports mothers in our programs.   Supplying medicine and medical supplies so moms can access what [...]

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