MaryAnne Cabelin – Mongolia (2013) †

Help Me Help Others

Everyone has their reasons of why they want to travel to a different place, whether it may be to take a break from routine or to see famous attractions up close and personal. My reason to travel abroad is more than just a vacation; it is going to be a learning experience combined with an adventure in a culture unlike my own and going beyond the reigns of my comfort zone. My destination is Ulaanbaatar, the capital of Mongolia. Mongolia is a country with pristine wilderness, a culture virtually untouched by Western influences and a people known for their unfaltering hospitality and warmth.

In the world we live in now, especially the generation I am growing up in, technology consumes our lives in ways that seem to be taking away from living our real lives. Most people think that it would be impossible to live a life without technology, and even though technology is important to our everyday lives, I feel like I have something to prove to myself if I am able to step away from all the hustle and bustle of the media.

Another reason why I chose to travel to Mongolia is to see and experience the alternative medical practices they have. I am aspiring to have a career in the medical field, and not only do I want to observe their form of medicine, I also want to participate and lend a helping hand.

I chose to volunteer through an organization called Projects Abroad. This community service organization will allow me to join a community of well over 40,000, past and present, volunteers that have lent their time and effort to giving back around the world. On May 26 of this year, I will be joining Projects Abroad to spend a month in Ulaanbaatar, Mongolia. There, I will be volunteering at the State Trauma Hospital of the Bayangol District. While having the opportunity to volunteer in a third world country, I will be able to learn from the ground up. By doing so, it will most definitely help better my individual skills, preparation for my future career, and most importantly, my appreciation of life.

From the program, it is not limited to just volunteer work; they also want us to adventure the area and the surrounding countries. There are trains that go to Beijing, China and I have also seen pictures where volunteers are using camels as transportation. I look at my time abroad not only as a way to give back, but also as a way to gain a better insight into the world around me. While volunteering, I will be living with a local host family in which I plan to learn a lot about another culture other than mine. Upon the conclusion of my project, I hope to return with a better understanding of the country, lifestyles, morals, traditions, and the people that I have interacted with there.

This trip is roughly going to cost $5,000, which includes the flights, housing accommodations, food and vaccinations. I have already purchased my flight and transportation tickets, which cost $2,500. I have been planning and saving for this trip for about over a year but am falling short with the funds. It would be an amazing opportunity to receive this Globetrotter Grant, not only to help with this journey I am going to take but to help me helps others in Mongolia.

I believe every experience makes us who we are and helps us gain wisdom to a better future. I believe in my goals and myself. I believe that I can make a difference so please help me fulfill my goals by choosing me as your Globetrotter Grant Winner of 2013. I will work diligently utilizing my true capabilities and truly embrace this experience to its fullest. I promise to you now, that I will make every cent worthy of my aspirations.


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