Lima and Sacred Valley, Peru

Mission Trip:

October 24- November 1, 2018

Travel abroad, get out of your comfort zone and join Smiles for Speech for an opportunity to make a difference! This adventure of a lifetime includes 7-days, 6 nights exploring the culture of Peru while volunteering to work side by side with children with special needs at a school, hospital and various non-profit organizations. Become a part of making the world a better place!

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Lima

Our first visit will be to Colegio La Alegria en el Senor, a Center for inclusion located in the La Molina District of Peru that educates, trains and rehabilitates disadvantaged, young people with physical disabilities. You’ll join an inspired community of like-minded people such as: speech-pathologists, occupational therapists, physical therapists and educators in sharing methods of helping children with various special needs/disabilities while spreading smiles and joy.

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Urubamba

We will visit children at My Small Help and the Kiya Survivors/Rainbow House whose projects focus on providing support, therapy and love children with special needs as well as abused and abandoned children and their families.

During our mission trips, our goal is to serve not only the children and the families we visit, but also their communities. You will have the opportunity to experience agricultural life, traditions, and culture first hand while helping families improve their quality of life by participating in workshops such as: ceramics, chocolate making, Chicha (typical maize drink) preparation, bee keeping, flower growing, weaving, coffee processing or guinea pig raising.

Our last 2 days will be spent enjoying a spectacular and scenic journey to Aguas Calientes and Macchu Picchu.

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“I was reborn on my mission trip with Smiles for Speech. I was able to recognize myself and my spirit in the families and kids we visited. I think they made more of an impact on me then I did for them.” — Irene


Sample Accommodations

Package Includes:

  • 6 x nights /  7 days accommodation
  • Transportation to the Colegio La Alegria en el Senor/Neoplastics hospital/Peru Association for Laryngectomies  in Lima
  • Round trip flight from Lima to Cusco
  • Transportation to Urubamba-NGO’s My Small Help/ Kiya Survivors/Rainbow House
  • Chichumba Community Tourism Tour
  • Train to Aguas Calientes
  • Machu Picchu entrance fee/permit/tour
  • Excursion and hike through beautiful mountains of Machu Picchu

“I joined Smiles for Speech because I wanted to change lives… but every life I touched changed mine. “  — Jendayi


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Mission Trip Cost: $1390

NOTE: You only have to book your airfare by September 30th  to be registered. No deposit required. Pay your balance by October 15th and you are on your way. Email us at hello@smilesforspeech.org to  tell us a little bit about yourself and share why you would like to join the mission trip . *based on triple occupancy.

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Mission Trip Leaders

Sandy Dorsey, Founder of Smiles for Speech

Sandy Dorseyis a licensed Speech-Language Pathologist that for over 15 years has provided speech and language services to wide ranging populations, from early intervention to high school students in New York City. Sandy has witnessed first-hand how children with special needs from disadvantaged backgrounds do not always receive necessary help for various reasons.  Driven to close this gap and make an impact, Sandy founded Smiles for Speech, a humanitarian, education based organization dedicated to increasing awareness of this disparity while working with children with special needs and families within their communities to enhance their ability to reach their full potential by promoting self-esteem, self-expression and confidence.

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Ana Berrios is a bilingual Speech-Language Pathologist, born and raised in Puerto Rico and trained at the University of Puerto Rico. Her interest in working with culturally diverse people motivated her to move to New York City in 2014 where she currently specializes in Early Intervention. Prior to becoming a Speech Pathologist, Ana volunteered and taught a Spanish course for an NGO in Brazil for children at risk.  She enjoys working with infants and toddlers and their families to support and enhance children’s developmental skills as well as parent education. This will be Ana’s second adventure to Peru!

Thanh Dinh is a Canadian-trained Occupational Therapist currently working with the geriatric rehabilitation. He received his Master of Science in Occupational Therapy in Canada at the University of Western Ontario. Thanh relocated to New York City in 2015 to begin his professional career, where he gained experience working with children and adults with physical, mental, and intellectual disabilities. He has a strong desire to help others while traveling and immersing himself in new cultures around the world.


Q & A

How many people will attend this mission trip?
We will travel with around 8-10 volunteers.

Who can attend?
We welcome those with a sense of adventure and a heart dedicated to helping children with special needs from disadvantaged communities.

When should I plan to arrive at the center?
We will leave the hotel on the morning of October 25th at 8am to make our first visit.

How do you assign the rooms?
Rooms are assigned on a first-come-first-serve basis based on when you make your deposit. We will match according to you who you would like to share a room with.

What airport do I fly into?
Please book your flight to the Jorge Chavez International, Lima, Peru to arrive the morning of Oct 25th.

Are transfers included?
You are responsible for your airport transfers to and from Lima.

What can I expect the daily program to look like?
Each volunteer can choose which activities to attend. However, a day will look something like this:

  • Breakfast
  • Scheduled Visits
  • Lunch
  • Free time / optional planned outing
  • Dinner

Have a question? Email Smiles for Speech at hello@smilesforspeech.org

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A Sojourner’s Journal: Last Days in Russia

It has been so much fun exploring Russia with Cosmos .

August 6, 2017

Went to an Oceanarium today. Frogs and fishes and sharks, oh my!

August 7, 2017

Went to this huge indoor family climbing area/jungle gym. Things went pretty great till they stopped being great and everything was pain. So I decided to give archery a try. I generally like archery but my hands were still raw from the ropes and this just made it worse.

August 8, 2017

Amusement park today. THIS IS THE BEST THING EVER!!!

Sandwiches were nice. Meat chips were just meh.

August 9, 2017

Went to an aqua park today. Water slides are sweet but a literal pain.

This place has a LOT of different saunas. Tried out the infrared one. Isn’t bad.

August 10, 2017

Back to Africa today and end of travel journal.

A Sojourner’s Journal: Still Exploring Russia

Still on the Russian experience with Cosmos

 

July 22, 2017

Went out of the city to a flower festival today. It was held at the park of one the old palaces. I forget those palaces though. Lot of squirrels running. Luckily, I remembered an old trick and got them to come really close to me.

It rained quite a bit and, at one point, got so cold that we had a bit of a snow/hail hybrid.

July 24, 2017

Tried Starbuck coffee today. Wasn’t bad but definitely not worth the cost. Had a double cheeseburger at McDonalds, tastes really good but I’ve seen single burgers bigger than that.

Sent entirely too much time/coins on a scissor version of a claw machine. Won zilch.

Found a simulation gun arcade and shot a bunch of western thugs.

 

July 26, 2017

Bought a cup of berries and visited the Summer Garden today. Why are so many statues of bare chested women?

Lunch at KFC.

 

July 28, 2017

Lunch at Rock Pub, excellent cheeseburger. Need remember to write an article about this place. Details:

Instagram: @rockpub_spb

Address: Nevskiy Prospect. House number 38

 

July 30, 2017

Happy Navy Day

That’s a lot of navy/soldiers/I don’t even know.

Ships! So many ships!

Found a place called The Maze of Fear. Got sent in with another lady and a guy. Suddenly it became the maze of humour to me.

Dude in a monster mask jumped out at us. Pretty sure I terrified him when I hugged him and kissed him on the cheek.

A Sojourner’s Journal: Still in Russia

Cosmos continues with her experiences in St. Petersburg, Russia;

July 16, 2017
I went to the St. Basil Cathedral with Nancy today; was somebody compensating for something? Because you could literally fit a giant in here.
Got treated to shawarma afterwards, the garlic sauce worth killing for.

July 19, 2017
Went to this really old bookshop today, place had a marble staircase. Went to the park afterwards and got myself a cup of mulled wine; was good.
On the way back to the apartment, a pair of break dancers performed in the subway car.

July 20, 2017
Wanted to visit someplace called the Chocolate Museum today; turns out it’s just a chocolate shop. Passed a violinist playing a song from Anastasia; wish I could play like that.
Saw an old mosque and had a pretty decent lunch at Burger King.
I am now sick. Literally. I have a cold.

July 21, 2017
Still sick. Still going to the zoo though.
The metro station next to the zoo looks like a spaceship.
Zoo was awesome;
The wolf slept through everyone staring at her.
The lion was posing a like a runway model for a photoshoot (Nancy thinks he was just selecting lunch)
The jaguar and snow leopard could care less.
I saw a sleeping Sam Winchester.
Saw a tiger pace around before he tripped and promptly hid to hide the shame
Owl face. So much owl face.
The python just slept through everything
After the zoo, I let a dude put a snake on my shoulders. It felt like something cool wrapped in cling film and after that another dude put a macaw on my wrist. Bird walked up my arm and on to my shoulders. The claws kinda tickled.

Found a place in a park with a maze and models of famous buildings in the city and historical dudes at a table. This is the tallest I have ever felt.

What To Do On Your Baecation

You and bae are all set up and excited for your baecation. You have agreed on your budget and your travel plan, know your destination, worked on your packing list and you are now wondering what to do on your trip? You need to know beforehand the activities you both want to undertake and also leave room for spontaneous activities but having an itinerary is a must.

See below some activities we have picked out for you and your significant other.

Be adventurous

Baecation is a time to tryout new things and to have adventures with bae. Enjoy that! Be prepared to look silly trying new things. Laugh about it and allow yourself to truly enjoy the experience. Try bungee jumping, skydiving, ziplining, paragliding, and anything your destination has to provide.

Get wonderfully lost

You do not have to have it all together on your trip. Make things flexible and be spontaneous. Get lost in the city, on an island, anything. Lose the map and explore the city.

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Hit the beach

If you chose a destination with a beach, then by all means put on your swimsuits and hit the beach. Tryout all the activities the beach has to offer.

Go hiking/ camping

If you chose a destination that offers a great place to hike and also camp out, then why not give it a shot. Go on a mountain hike. Camp out in the beach or at the seashore. With bae by your side, you won’t be afraid of any monsters.

Do some yoga in open air

Stretch out, control your breathing and strengthen your body and mind through yoga/ meditation. Try out new poses together. Laugh at each other when you fall and just stay healthy.

Go for an early morning jog or run

Enjoy the sunrise, talk without pressure and stay healthy by going for a run or a jog.

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Dress fancy and go on a date

Take time out and really dress up for a date night. Wear fancy clothes, heels, makeup and take yourselves to fancy restaurant or hit a cool bar.

Try local delicacies

You cannot visit a country without finding out what the locals eat, how they eat it and where to find the best delicacies. Get adventurous and go all the way.

Go shopping

This would not be much fun for boo but girl, this would be your territory. Shop for yourself and boo, get some souvenirs for family and friends.

Go wine tasting

If the country offers this, then by all means you should include it in your itinerary.

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Enjoy some “me” time

Baecations are not always a fairytale. There might be little arguments and disagreements. There might also be that moment when you or bae will need your space at least for a while. Use this opportunity to visit places you wanted to see, go for a meal, explore the beach, shop or do something cool.

Have a relaxing day at the spa

Nothing spells bonding than two people in love indulging in a couple’s massage. This relaxes you while it provides you two time to just enjoy the company of each other with very few words.

Go on strolls and watch the sunset/ sunrise

Nothing says romance than holding hands with your significant other while walking the shows of a turquoise blue sea with sun rising or setting. This is simply picturesque!

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Staycation

When you get tired of all the activities and the outings, you can take a day out and just stay in bed. Indulge in each other, talk about your feelings, plan the future, etc. Just stay indoors and order room service.

Pack some adult games

Pick up some adult games for the days and nights you two decide to stay in.

Go Dancing or take a dance lesson

If you visit a country or city that loves dancing and take dancing seriously, use the opportunity to learn some dance moves and then go dancing to show off your moves.

Take photos

Make sure to capture all your moments together or apart. Share on Instagram with hashtag #baecation, print them out or keep them in your couple album.

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Take the baecation up a notch

If you still have time and can easily explore the country’s neighbouring countries and cities, do it! Travel for so many hours to see the perfect beach, monument, mountains etc. Just get on a bus, a car, or a train and go see it with bae. Time flies by and if this opportunity has presented itself, take it!

PS: You and bae must stay off your phones and enjoy your time together.

Photocredit: Woman Beyond Borders

Where To Go On Your Baecation

If the plan for your baecation is to explore new places and cultures, then how about the second largest continent in the world – Africa. Africa is the home of safaris, rich culture and history (earliest civilization), rainforest, various plants and animals, diverse climate, thousands of languages, art and culture, delicious cuisine, dance (azonto, amanda, shoki etc.) and music (afrobeats), diverse religions and beliefs.

If you are already hooked, then here are 15 baecation destinations in Africa.

botswana-romance-under-the-starsBotswana

You must have heard of Prince Harry and Meghan’s romance and how Botswana played a big role in their love story? Why not create your own love story at the most romantic, wild and unspoiled safari / desert of Africa? You can go on a getaway at the Zambezi Queen with its serene and melodious sound of nature, incredible sunsets and starry nights. Or you can stay at their various romantic bush camps where you can view the open air and sleep under the stars.

 

Cape-VerdeCape Verde

With stunning, never-ending, sandy beaches, glorious sunsets and lovely hotels, the islands of Cape Verde are a perfect location for a romantic vacation. If you love the exotic white linen drapes, turquoise blue sea, sun-bleached wood and seashells, then stay at the Spinguera Eco Lodge which is oozing with charm and romance. Or you can head to the mountainside on the rugged island of Santo Antão with its quiet and unique retreat – perfect for lovers of the great outdoors.

 

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Egypt

If you and bae are history lovers, the explore the early civilization in Egypt while riding a mesmerizing felucca ride across the river Nile into the sunset, plan a dinner cruise or relieve the ancient charm by riding a horse-drawn carriage in Zamalek. While in Egypt, use the opportunity to also visit Sharm El Sheikh – the resort town between the desert of the Sinai Peninsula and the Red Sea where you get to explore the diverse marine life, go diving and see the Thistlegorm wreck.

 

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Gambia

If your baecation is on a budget, then consider Gambia. There are so many things you can do on a budget while staying at an eco-camp, the beautiful beaches or the floating lodges of Mandina and Makasutu on River Gambia. You and bae will be surrounded by the marvellous beauty of nature – a sight to die for.

 

ghanaGhana

If you are looking to relax and immerse in authentic African culture, then Ghana is an ideal destination as it is the best place to learn more about African history. The people are amazing, the city of Accra is quickly growing and the nightlife on the Oxford street in Osu is a must see. Plus the eateries are also amazing. You can also go to the Eastern / parts of Volta region where there are mountains and the Volta Lake which gives a cool breezy atmosphere. Or the Central, Greater Accra, parts of Volta and Western Region with its various deep blue seas. Or the safari in the North. You can also use the opportunity to visit neighbouring countries like Togo which is right after the Aflao in the Volta region, Cote D’Ivoire to the West and Burkina Faso right after Paga in the North for a weekend getaway.

 

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Kenya

There are so many things to do in Kenya. You can either go with an itinerary or leave everything to chance. From their safaris; cultural and historical sites; the beautiful city of Nairobi; to the waterworld and exotic beaches, you will have to make a difficult choice when in Kenya.

 

madagascarMadagascar

Madagascar was attached to Africa until some many years ago when it was violently torn and set adrift. This adds some magic to the baecation as it would be beautiful knowing you are on a secluded island – perfect for a romantic or a relaxing time with bae. There are the mountains, forests, coral reefs, beaches and you would not be surrounded by many tourists – a perfect island paradise. So, you and bae get to explore the abundance of wildlife and each other.

 

mauritiusMauritius

Mauritius rightly called the Paradise Island has powdery white sands, turquoise water, ethereal beaches which makes it look like something out of a romance novel.  This makes it a perfect spot for a baecation. From enjoying your sweet private time with bae to exploring the adventures together, things to do in Mauritius and places to visit there, has a ton of both. You can spend lots of time experiencing world famous water sports, trendy bars, restaurants and clubs.

 

PalaisNamaskar47.tifMorocco

The country is not only a top tourist destination for history and culture but also offers a warm climate, starry nights in the Sahara, captivating cities of Marrakech and Fes; calm beaches, great activities and sights which makes it a perfect location to spend with your loved one. Together, you can visit the romantic setting of Cascades d’Ouzoud with its waterfalls and pools; enjoy the luxurious beach resorts with its outdoor pools, fantastic restaurants and accommodation. Go camel trekking in the Sahara; wander the Souks, go on a hot air balloon flights, dine on a rooftop, visit the Atlas Mountains and Majorelle Gardens.

 

namibiaNamibia

For you to enjoy the full Namibian effect, it would be best to go during dry season, which begins late May to November. Just imagine a baecation where bae and you sleep under the sparkling stars, whilst the Naukluft Mountains and the Namib’s red desert dunes or mountains isolate you from the outside world. This I believe would give you the peace and quiet you seek with your loved one in picture perfect scenery.

 

rwanda

Rwanda

Enjoy the sunrise with two cups of some of Africa’s Best Coffee raised in Rwanda while staying in a resort on the studded sandy beaches along Kivu with the scenic Savannah of Akagera National Park right out your balcony. There is the romantic warm all-yearlong weather with the wondrous, fairy-tale Afro-Montane Jungle like Nyungwe Forest, the incomparable Virunga Volcanoes found in Volcanoes National Park along with Mountain Gorillas, Golden Monkeys, Volcano Climbing. You can partake in the cultural dances and music that will strike a spark in your and your bae’s soul.

 

Sao-tome-and-principe-newSao Tome and Principe

The Democratic Republic of Sao Tome and Principe is one of Africa’s thriving island tourist destinations. It is a small island country with a many romantic hotspots. For couples and lovebirds seeking the opportunity to ignite the spark in their relationship this year, then Sao Tome and Principe is the way to go. Rich and unspoilt beaches, stunning volcanic geology and pleasant all-year-round weather are priceless attributes of this romantic island.  Whether you are a history enthusiast or a lover of lush vegetation and exotic birds, this island will not disappoint you.

 

seychellesSeychelles

This Island of Romance is perfect for any type of baecation as it is considered the most romantic in the world. Are you looking at proposing? Are you looking at making memories to cherish forever? Do you want to just relax and chill? Or do you just want to live in the moment? Whatever it is that you are searching, Seychelles has it! From secluded white-sand beaches; calm turquoise waters that provide spectacular snorkeling, surfing, and sailing; and intimate, luxe resorts with treetop villas and elegant, open-air restaurants. Some resorts even provide a beachfront proposal spot. What more can you ask for?

 

south africa

South Africa

Whether you prefer a beach getaway or a luxury safari experience, South Africa has unlimited baecation spots, memorable romantic places to stay and activities for you and your loved one. There are lodges, cottages, resorts, hotels and backpackers from the coast and mountains to forests and the bush, to suit every budget. From breathtaking views to spas to wineries and places that offer some of the most delicious food, South Africa is indeed an ideal place for a long baecation.

 

tanzaniaTanzania

Tanzania hosts the tallest mountain in Africa which has three peaks called Kibo, Mawenzi and Shira. Given the fact that tourism is one of the main contributors of the Tanzanian economy, this country’s tourist attractions are one of a kind and offers whatever you are looking for. Whether it is a private romantic time at the beach, exploring a city’s markets and history; or indulging in absolute luxury and pampering. It is the perfect place to go on a baecation. When you get tired of the mainland, you can visit Zanzibar – a cluster of islands off of Africa’s east coast and home to beautiful white-sand beaches with sapphire waters, a rich history, and even hidden rainforests.

Happy Valentine’s Day Wanderlusts! Go have fun and just live!

Featured Image: Woman Beyond Borders

Other Images: Google

How To Plan Your Baecation

Baecations are meant to be awesome as it is a period where couples choose to indulge in each other through pampering, spa treats, shopping, wine tasting, nice dinners while exploring new territories. That is why it is important for you and your bae to plan this vacation carefully so you can get the best experience you both want and deserve. As you and your bae have been together a while, you should know each other’s likes and dislikes by now. You must also know how to compromise because baecations are all about doing what will make you two happy in a different land or while on the road.

If you are looking to get away with bae, here is how to go about your plans to ensure a happy time for the both of you.

 

Discuss your goals

You and bae have already agreed on the time of the year that is suitable for this baecation. The next step is to discuss your goals. What are you looking to achieve on this trip? What are you both seeking? Are you travelling for an adventure? A relaxation? Are you travelling to bond? Knowing your goals and the type of experience you are seeking will help you decide on your destination and budget.

 

Agree on your budget

What is your budget? You two have to agree on the budget for the trip to prevent any unpleasant surprises. You have to know how much you are both willing to spend on flights, activities, accommodation, other transportation, food, shopping etc. Make sure you are both on the same page and if either of you want to do something extra, you should discuss and then carry extra cash.

 

Choose your destination

Now that you have decided on your goals and budget, the next step is to choose your destination. Choosing your destination is all about compromise. You two have to consider each other’s likes and dislikes and then agree on the best place to travel to. This way both of you will be happy and the trip will be mad fun.

 

Book your flights and accommodation

What is your means of getting to the destination? Is it by flight? Then book it early at a time when deals are super affordable. Are you going on a cruise ship? Then book it quickly! Is it going to be a road trip? Then make the necessary reservations ahead of time. Same applies to your accommodation. Decide on the type of accommodation (hotel, B&B, Airbnb homes) suitable for the trip and book it. Do not wait till the last minute!

 

Prepare your itinerary

Though it is great to be flexible, it would be best you have an itinerary to guide you throughout your trip. You would not have to follow it step by step but it will give you a fair idea of what you want to do, see and where to visit. You would not want to come back home without achieving your baecation goals.

 

Create your packing and check list

In order not to forget any essential items, it would be best to create a packing and checklist to monitor you and bae’s progress. The checklist will keep you in check and make sure you have done all you need to do before the trip. The packing list will make sure you have all the items you will need during your trip. It would be really sad to go on that without your favourite bikini.

 

Bonus Tip:

Share the planning workload

Since you are going on this baecation together, be sure to each contribute to the planning workload. Whoever is the creative and adventurous one in the relationship can take charge of coming up with fun-filled activities that would interest you both. The organized one in the relationship can take charge of booking the flights, accommodations and preparing the itinerary.

The couple who plan together, stay together. Plan this baecation together and have fun!

Featured Image: Woman Beyond Borders