SI MONTHLY NEWS OCTOBER 2005 Travel and host reports
From SI Exco News
Host and Travel Reports
Since joining Servas in 1993, Ben and I have made many new friends and learned a lot about the World and it’s people.
We started as hosts while we were living aboard our boat in Eastern Australia and our first traveller was an English girl backpacking around Australia. Her parents were born in Pakistan but migrated to England after the war so we were given an insight into the problems of different values held by different faiths. We lived for three years in the Middle East in the 1960’s so we already had some knowledge, but the personal meeting within our home helped our understanding.
Since that time we have hosted many interesting people, both in Australia and also in England from 2000 -2003 while we were travelling the canals in a barge. We joined Servas UK at that time.
We have also been Servas travellers and one of our first experiences was marvellous. Australia is a large country and we had driven our campervan from Brisbane to Darwin and needed somewhere to leave it while we sailed with friends to Indonesia. A Servas Host in Darwin promptly offered space and also offered their downstairs flat for a more comfortable bed when returned!
Our most recent Servas travelling was during August, September & October this year when we travelled by train from Beijing to London. The journey from Beijing to St.Petersburg was with a small group tour but from then on we made new Servas friends.
In Potsdam we learned first hand about life as it was during World War II and the subsequent cold war period, we were also shown the beautiful gardens and the palace of Sans Souci. In Cologne our host gave us a personal tour of the cathedral, including climbing the tower (509 steps). He also showed us the beautiful gardens in Leverkusen, a space returned to the town by Bayer thus making the River Rhine accessible to all.
In Compiègne, 80km North of Paris, our hosts took us to an outdoor market and drove us through beautiful forests, we also had the opportunity to visit Paris and the Louvre and go to the top of the Eiffel Tower.
In England we stayed with Servas friends made when we were living on the barge. With Servas, meeting again is greeting familiar friends because of the unifying desire for peace and understanding among the peoples of the World. With each host, the problems of the World were discussed and we all agreed that , in a small but veryimportant way, Servas was helping to break down barriers between countries.
Ben & Jean Spencer.
Servas Hosts, Brisbane, Australia.
Sahyadri Ayurveda Hospital
Peermade 685531,Idukki Dist., Kerala, India
I travelled in south India during August this year. During my travel I spent a fortnight at the Ayurvedic Hospital and Resort at Peermade in District Idukki in Kerala, a hilly area amidst tea gardens with excellent climate.
The Ayurvedic hospital is managed by Catholic Diocese of Kanjirappally, founded by the Present Bishop Mar Mathew Arackal and headed by the Executive Director Fr Augustine Kariapuram.
I discussed about our Servas philosophy with Fr Augustine Kariapuram & the Director, Dr Jacob Thomas MD(Ayurveda)PhD. They both felt much impressed about our Servas philosophy & agreed to allow 10% discount in the prevailing cost of accommodation and Ayurvedic treatments to any Servas traveller seeking Ayurvedic treatment from their hospital. The traveller will be required to produce some documentary proof of his/her being a member of Servas.
Our Servas travellers travelling in South India can visit the Sahyadri Ayurveda Hospital at Peermade which is known for excellence in Ayurveda.
The details can be found at websites:
Telephone: 0091-4869-232496, 232497, 232197, 232725
A Visitor in Tacna
In February I had the opportunity to have my first Servas visitor, Ralph Hammond; it was incredible. As the day approached I was nervous; for him also it was the first Servas visit. But when we met personally I felt that something happened, we recognized each other with an unbelievable harmony. We were very anxious waiting for him, my friends and I, because everybody know he was coming, and he did. The most important thing was that everybody was interested in him; he shared our customs, practiced his Spanish, danced salsa very, very well We told each other things and shared confidences in a way that I am sure will never leave us. We didn’t know if we’d see him again or not, so we wanted to take advantage of the time with him and let him feel the affection we felt for him. We enjoyed his presence to the maximum and when he said he would return we said we would always be waiting for him. We’re still waiting for you, Rafa, wherever you are, FRIENDS FOR LIFE.
Kareen Rios, Tacna, Peru
The city of Tacna is located in the extreme south of Peru near the frontier with Chile.
The distance from Lima to Tacna: 1,348 kilometers.
inserted by Amelia