Allison Bauer

Al Ammo

Allison Bauer

India and Nepal = June and July

Leaving Wednesday morning for New Delhi!

Asia » Nepal » Pokhara July 18th 2011

With my volunteering officially completed, I had a few days to spend poking around Pokhara with some pals that I made at my hotel. First, I headed to a yoga and meditation center outside of the city for a few days of relaxation. In order to reach the yoga center, you have to hike for uphill through rice paddies and forest using little white signs as navigation. It wasn't easy with my heavy bag on my back. I kept thinking that this trek must be some way to weed out the people who aren't physically fit enough to complete the yoga course. I eventually made it and I am glad that I did. Each day, the wake up gong goes off at 5:30 AM and we stumble down to the meditation room for morning meditation. After ... read more
Baby birds at my hotel!

Asia » Nepal » Pokhara » Sarangkot July 12th 2011

I just finished volunteering for two weeks at a foster home for children. DB and Rekha have adopted 8 children in addition to their 3 biological children from remote mountain areas of Nepal. Some of the children have fathers who have left or died and others were street children that did drugs. The rural areas in Nepal are very poor and without Foster Foundation Nepal these children would not have food security, healthcare, or go to school. DB and Rekha dream of adopting more children and expanding their program to include a handicraft business for single women with children. In Nepal, divorce is basically forbidden and women whose husbands leave them are branded witches by their family and village (this happens in rural areas), making it impossible to support their children. The organization is brand new ... read more

Asia » India » Rajasthan » Jodhpur June 25th 2011

New one. Tired. ... read more

Asia » India » Rajasthan » Pushkar June 20th 2011

Pushkar is a sleepy little town next to a lake that is a major pilgrimage site for both Hindus and backpackers. The lake was created when Brahma (god of creation) dropped a lotus flower to Earth. Pushker literally means "flower hand." The lake is surrounded by dozens of bathing ghats where people go to wash in the holy water. Ghandi's ashes were spread in the lake at what is now known as Ghandi Ghat. Pushkar is also famous for the throngs of hippies that got stuck here in the 60's. We saw quite a few baby boomers with dreadlocks that got lost in Pushkar 40+ years ago. The city is really just a few labyrinth-like lanes along the lake crammed with guest houses and rooftop restaurants serving traveler fare such as banana pancakes, pasta, and basic ... read more

Asia » India » Rajasthan » Jaipur June 17th 2011

It's been surprisingly easy to make the time switch here, considering Rajasthan is exactly 12.5 hours ahead of California time. It's usually meant that we wake up at about 5 am every day, but recently we've been able to sleep in. If you've wondered what time it is for us here, just take your time, flip the sun, and add one episode of Sabrina the Teenage Witch. The rains still haven't come, and the heat hasn't relented at all. Ammaron drinks about 100 oz. of water a day, and only uses the restroom once or twice a day; crazy hot weather. Jaipur is the capital of the state of Rajasthan. We arrived in Jaipur in the middle of a dust storm and arrived at our homestay covered in sweat and dirt. In Jaipur we stayed in ... read more

Asia » India » National Capital Territory » New Delhi June 14th 2011

Q: What do you get when you take millions of Muslims, millions of Hindis, and two white people? A: Northern India in the off-travel season. Sorry for the late post. We've been super busy and not all of our wireless internet connections have been very good. The trip has been nuts so far, in a very good way. This post is of Delhi and Agra. We were able to rent a car and driver for the entire stay in Delhi, and took a train on our day trip to Agra, which is about three hours from Delhi. We went to the largest Mosque in India, the Taj Mahal, Hindu temples, and lots more. It's funny to look around this place and think about how we Americans daydream about winning the lottery, because each of us HAVE ... read more

Asia » Vietnam February 24th 2008

It was 4:30 AM when our alarm went off. For once I actually woke up before the roosters woke me up. Only an hour earlier, it was pouring down rain on An Binh Island in the Mekong Delta. We had arranged with our home stay to go out on the family's boat at 5 AM to head to the floating market. Although it was drizzling and pitch black outside, we grabbed our Vietnamese hats and set out with a former Vietcong soldier and his 10 year old son, both of which spoke not one word of English. As we chugged down the river, we watched the sun rise even though the sky was cloudy and admired the lush jungle and family homes that line the river. By about 7 AM we were at the floating market, ... read more

Asia » Vietnam » Southeast » Ho Chi Minh City February 20th 2008

I have been lucky enough to be in Vietnam for Tet (also known as Lunar New Year and Chinese New Year). Tet is like Christmas, New Years, and everyone in the whole country's birthday all rolled into one. During the holiday, everyone takes at least 1 week off to spend time with their family and most businesses are closed for 1 - 2 weeks. The preparation and celebration blows any western holiday away. Everyone buys tons of flowers, especially these yellow flowering trees that go for 1 million dong! Near where I was staying, the whole park was transformed into a gigantic flower market with bonsai trees, dragon fruit, orchids, bushes shaped like dragons, and every other sort of flowering plant one could imagine. It was so beautiful! To celebrate New Year's, my other volunteer friends ... read more
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Asia » Vietnam » Southeast » Ho Chi Minh City February 7th 2008

Vietnam has been a complete adventure. The country is deeply patriotic after one thousand years of foreign occupation and memories from the Vietnam war are fresh. It is apparent that you are in a developing country that blends capitalism with a communist government. Ho Chi Minh City (Saigon) is a literal twenty-four hour traffic jam of 3 million of motorbikes (yes, 3 million) with a few taxis and busses mixed in. The city officially has a population of 6.5 million people, but the actual population is around 12 million. Enter me. I was supposed to get picked up at the airport by a volunteer coordinator, but when I arrived no one was there. I waited patiently for about 45 minutes reminding myself that things work differently in Asia. Although many people live in densely populated cities, ... read more
Rules for the Park

Asia » Thailand February 1st 2008

My mom and her fiance Jan eventually made it to Thailand after a marathon 48-hour journey. Their plane was delayed for 8 hours in San Francisco due to a cracked window, which in turn made them miss their connecting flight in Taipei. They were supposed to arrive in Bangkok at noon for a fun filled tour of the city with me, but they made it after midnight. So, we had a quick evening drink at 1 AM in Bangkok and then went to bed for our flight to Chiang Mai the next morning. As with all of my mom and Jan's vacations, it was raining when we got to Chiang Mai. Luckily it let up enough in the afternoon for us to check out some temples around town and go to the Chiang Mai night safari. ... read more

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