Posts Tagged ‘Institute for Field Research Expeditions’

Happy Buddha’s Birthday

Different sects of Buddhism celebrate the birth date of Buddha at different times with different holidays (often tied to cycles of the moon). Throughout much of Southeast Asia, that date this year is today, May 10. Theravada is the dominant form of Buddhism in Sri Lanka, Thailand, Cambodia, Burma, and Laos. Theravadins combine observance of Buddha’s birth, enlightenment, and death into one holiday, called Vesak, Visakha, or Wesak, also sometimes known as Buddha Day.

In honor of the day, here are a few volunteer vacation ideas from 500 Places Where You Can Make a Difference with direct ties to Buddhism:

Teach English to Buddhist Monks in Sri Lanka, with Global Crossroads or Institute for Field Research Expeditions. 2-week projects where you will live with a local host family and work with young men, ages 8-20, who have dedicated their lives to Buddhist practice.

Buddhist Pilgrimage Volunteering in Thimpu, Bhutan. Spiritual seekers make their way through mountain passes, and you can custom-choose how best to volunteer your time during your journey. Amitabha Bhutan Tours.

Ladakh, India Buddhist monastery program to assist locals around holy sites. Global Eco Spiritual Tours.

Dharma Wheels Buddhist Bicycle Pilrimage is 2 days on a dharma trek in Marin County, California, in the spirit of generosity, and dependent on volunteers.

I don’t know about you, but my life has been pretty chaotic lately…so these sound particularly appealing. If you need me, I’ll be outside, in the lotus position, chanting…shhhhhhhhhh

World Cup-Inspired

So I’m not sure whether Paul the Oracle Octopus will choose Spain or the Netherlands to win the World Cup, but I do know that the World Cup has finally conquered the US with Football Fever (soccer for us with our weird naming), bringing us up to the level of the rest of the world where the sport has been the most popuar on the globe.

When I was researching sport volunteer options for 500 Places Where You Can Make a Difference, I had a tough time filling a chapter with any sport-focused volunteering that WASN’T soccer. I found a swimming coaching program here, maybe teaching tennis to kids in a distant land there, but mostly it was all about footie. So if you are a player or juts a fan, you can help kids and adults around the world find the importance of teamwork, exercise, and community building all with that black and white ball (or a bunch of t-shirts tied into a sphere–the beauty of soccer is there isn’t any fancy equipment or playing field required).

Find out more by checking these out, and using it as a launching pad–there are many more…

The Homeless World Cup takes place in a  different city each year, after qualifying tourneys in their own countries, championship teams, all homeless players, converge for a huge tournament run by volunteers like you. 2010 is in late September in Rio.

Also in Rio is a coaching kids volunteer gig via Institute for Field Research Expeditions.

i-to-i does soccer coaching volunteer vacations in Posada, Argentina (as well as a host of other volunteer vacation opportunities).

World Endeavors will get you to Accra, Ghana to work with kids as they play through their passion for football.

Pitch in teaching on the pitch in La Esperanza, Honduras with Intibuca Soccer Volunteers.

In Madurai, India, the sport and community clubs keep active with international volunteers who visit and work with Travellers Worldwide. Working with the same organization, kids in Ja-Ela, Sri Lanka need volunteers like you to help get fields safe (gravel, dirt, and broken glass don’t make for great play) and run tournaments.

How about some soccer coaching in Chisinau, Moldova? Projects Abroad gets you there and sets you up to help kids excel.

In Hout Bay, South Africa, the vuvuzelas were blaring for the World Cup, and kids are eager learners, benefitting from your coaching with Abang Africa Travel.

Closer to home, in Santa Cruz, California, the Resource Center for Nonviolence has inspiring volunteer programs focused on community sport/soccer league for at-risk kids.

There are 14 urban areas across the United States: Atlanta, Bay Area/San Francisco, Chicago, Cleveland, Dallas, DC, Denver, L.A., Miami, Milwaukeee, New England, New York, Seattle, and St Louis that all benefit from the volunteer efforts of soccer coaches and supporters via the America SCORES program for sport and creative expression.