- By Amanda
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First, we’d like to give another BIG thanks to everyone who has supported (and continues to support) Learning Service and our book-writing project!
This past winter we were able to launch our 6-part video series on responsible travel and volunteering practices. We’ve also completed the writing for our book, and are deep in the editing stages. Claire and Daniela are in Cambodia right now, with a few other fantastic volunteers and seconded team members from PEPY Tours, editing away for the next two weeks. Zahara has dedicated most of the last few months to editing as well, and Joe continues to support the team with his extensive experience… We’re getting close!
The copies of the book in the current state that we have printed out are HUGE! We’re now cutting down material so we can get the book into a digestible and enjoyable read… And so we can get it into your hands as soon as possible!
This book has really been a test of global-connections – as of the four authors, few of us still have never met in person. We’re spread across 12 time zones, on three continents and in four cities: Katmandu, Santa Cruz, London, and Washington, DC. In the year plus that we have been working on this book, we’ve all gone through our own personal changes. Our team has held together through joys (Daniela’s wedding) and hard times (Zahara’s chemotherapy). Our ages range from thirties to sixties, and our experiences, skills, and personalities vary widely. We’re divided by two official versions of our common language (the Queen’s English and American English) and the linguistic, cultural, and technological differences rooted in our generational spread.
But we also believe that our differences have been an asset to the creation of a meaningful book. Joe contributed 50 years of experience in Latin America, Africa and Asia, as well as a depth of writing experience as the co-author of more than 20 books. Zahara brought in two decades of research on international volunteering. She also kept her fingers on the pulse of would-be readers in the US through workshops on college campuses, and her wide connections with networks of international volunteer organizations. Claire’s base in Katmandu and expertise in development education gave her a vital perspective on cultural issues involved in international volunteering. In addition, she coordinated the team, serving as our shepherd, and doing the hard work of weaving together our disparate drafts. Daniela is our connection to vital conversations about international volunteering in the UK and Europe, contributing the framework of Learning Service, and many of our core messages.
Though we are so spread out, with many of us working a number of jobs in addition to book writing, it is this idea that keeps us going through all the ups and downs – we share a passionate belief in the core concepts of Learning Service, and we believe that now is the time to share this concept with the world. Thank you for supporting us – we’ll keep on editing so we can get this book! It is our shared commitment to support would-be volunteers, to benefit communities where volunteers serve, and to help people rethink the field of international volunteering.
Many thanks for your continued support!
– The Learning Service Team