volunteer vacations

April Clark and I met at Dozier Middle School in Newport News, Virginia, in 1982.
We've been best friends ever since.
Our travels together started in 1992 when we took 2 months to travel around the country driving cars for AutoDriveaway.
We hit the must-sees....Tijuana, the Fountain of Youth, Graceland, the Grand Canyon, SP Dinsmooors Garden of Eden, Las Vegas, Detroit, the largest statue of Mr. Planter's peanut, the two headed calf and 6 legged cow at the Prairie Dog Farm, Detroit and Philadelphia, not to mention every road side attraction in between.
Since then, other commitments and budgets have limited our travels together.
So now, we have made the commitment to our friendship to take a volounteer vacation together every year at New Years.
No matter where we are or what we are working on we make this time for each other.
I encourage all of you with besties to keep your friendships alive with a yearly tradition.
Our first year we travelled around the Yucatan peninsula using the most amazing public transportation system in Mexico, the autobus. On time, cheap, clean, reserved seats...very impressed.
The highlight of the trip was our visit to the spider monkey refuge, The Jungle Place.
For a minimum donation, you can enter the cages of the monkeys and interact with them. And then there was this Mayan temple, blah blah blah.

We met up the following year in Negril, Jamaica. We decided to donate our time to an orphanage, Apple Blossom, as well as bring supplies such as diapers and toys. We spent the day playing with the children and assisting with the babies.  Contact This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it..
This past New Year's we went to Puerto Rico and ferried over to it's sister island, Vieques.
We tried really hard to coordinate a day with the Vieques SPCA, but their holiday hours and days of surgery made it hard for us to get in there. Instead, we gave a monetary donation, and gave lots of food and love to the many cats of San Juan.  There's a huge stray population of cats and dogs on both islands, as well as wild horses on Vieques.  Please visit any of these wonderful sites: http://saveagato.com, http://viequeshumanesociety.org, or http://amigosdelosanimalespr.org.
Who knows where we'll go for 2012/13....all I know is on New Year's Eve, I'll be somewhere with my best friend giving to the bank of man.