HOME BUILDING IN XOCHIMILCO, MEXICO CITY
With 29 other Canadians and Americans, Dr Jen traveled to Xochimilco, a district of Mexico City to work with Journey and Techo to build 8 homes for 8 families in need. "It was an experience full of emotion- everything from joy to frustration. Seeing the gratitude on the faces of the family of seven receiving a home that was only 10 x 20 feet was truly humbling". Her team slept on a school floor and survived on spaghetti and tomato sauce during the build. "It's amazing what we take for granted in Canada- especially in Victoria- where we can access fresh whole food and water year-round". Dr Jen hopes to inspire patients and others on the importance of giving, whether it is donating to your local Food Bank, or traveling with purpose. "It can be a very healing experience". http://wejourney.co/
MEDICAL VOLUNTEERING IN JIQUILILLO, NICARAGUA
In March 2014, a group of 40 medical doctors, dentists, veterinarians, and one Naturopathic Doctor descended on the tiny fishing village of Jiquilillo and set up a multidisciplinary clinic. Health concerns from parasite infections and high blood pressure, to mal-absorption and poor eyesight were treated, and medications and education provided to the locals. Dr. Jen was involved in the Vitamin Project which provided more than 120,000 prenatal and children’s vitamins from Vitamin Angels to those in need. Providing multivitamins to the people living in rural communities Nicaragua decreases diseases resulting from vitamin deficiencies and also and boosts immunity. For more information on how you can get involved: http://heroefforts.org/
100 MILES FOR ELEPHANTS
Every day approximately 100 African elephants are being killed for their ivory; if the slaughter continues at this rate, they will be close to extinction within a decade. Along with 10 others, Jen set out from Nanyuki, Kenya and trekked 20 miles each day to reach the goal of 100 miles. More than $12,600 was raised with every penny going to Space For Giants, a non-profit organization dedicated to saving these amazing creatures.
A local Samburu tribe lead Jen and her trek-mates through their traditional lands, where she learned about the local food and wildlife, and the abundance of medicinal plants and health traditions. As if sleeping under the African stars listening to the distant roars of lions and eerily laughing hyenas wasn't enough, Jen continued her travels south on her own into Tanzania, Malawi, Zambia, and Zimbabwe to learn about cultures and wildlife in these East African countries.
I hope you enjoy these photos and are inspired to continue following your own passions in your lives. To my family and friends- thank you for providing your unconditional love, supporting my passion to save elephants and help those less fortunate, and being my rock over the past few years. Namaste.