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Photo Gallery | Bolivia Has A 'Calling' For Samantha Dolan!


Economic instability has touched people worldwide. The challenge faced is great in pursuing economic stability throughout the world. This, however, creates a universal bond, a determination inherent to the human spirit, to not only endure these unsure times, but come to the realization that we are part of a process of cause-and-effect. That which affects our nation, affects my neighbor and, in turn, does indeed affect me. One person’s loss is a loss which diminishes a little bit in each of us.

As we are in need each other more and more, networking to find employment, striving to make ends meet, there also comes a shared humility and giving heart.   What perhaps once defined who we thought we were, as in our careers, our incomes, how many possessions we held, all is now shifting and we are re-creating our vision of who we are and who we wish to become.

Interestingly, more and more volunteering positions are being held by those unemployed. The heart has become more generous during the strife of not only our lives, but the lives of those around us. Those who are so inclined to volunteer are rewarded in spirit, as the faith that each act which helps another, helps oneself as well. There are those who find a “calling,” if you will, to volunteer time with the elderly, the home-bound, homeless shelters, food centers, and wards of hospitals, to name a handful. As volunteers share their talents within our country, volunteering on missions might call to another from distant lands…cultures existing within the confines of only dirt trails, living in less than the survival mode…existence of life can be just hourly.

Project Helping Hands (PHH) is one such nonprofit organization on a mission currently to Bolivia and a local young woman, Samantha Dolan, shares this vision of helping others. At the young age of 25, a Registered Dietitian, she is teaming up PHH.

This mission is entitled, “Sub-Tropic Mountain, Pack Mules – November 2011”

As Samantha must pay her own way, it is costing her $2450.00. Her devotion to volunteering for this trip will entail her endurance of hardships to which she has had no exposure. “On this trip, the team will reach some very remote villages that are not accessible by road or river.” The team will be comprised of people who work within the medical field, as this mission will have many facets. Their path will begin in Caranavi visiting Casa de Esparanza, an orphanage. They will travel on to towns of Guanay, Mapiri and Consata. From there, they will hike to other villages and pack mules will help carry their supplies. Clinics will be held and community education provided in seven villages. Seminars for health-care persons in one of the villages will be also be held.

This team has been apprised that the conditions will be so rough, that only participants in good physical condition are accepted. The team is to expect “rugged conditions and vicissitudes…the “price” of serving very remote and needy rural communities, not to mention spells of heat and cold, hot sun, mysterious fog, cold rain, icy sleet, dust and mud, thirst and hunger, uncertainty, sore bottoms and sore feet, insects and itches, hypoxia, culture shock, etc., etc”.

“My role in Bolivia will be to provide education on hygiene, water purification, and food sanitation to the community members...I am a Certified Lactation Consultant so I will be providing breastfeeding education to mothers.  Through eLife Adventure Organization, a dinner was held. A sum of $500 and well over 50 lbs of supplies and medicine were donated...I was amazed at the giving hearts people have and realized that so many people have the desire to give to those in need."

Samantha, may your journey be a safe one, as you depart for Bolivia on November 2, 2011. You take with you many blessings which will have a lasting effect on those lives you touch.

Sources: Project Helping Hands, Sonia Dolan

Website is www.projecthelpinghands.org

               Samantha Dolan

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