Podcast Episode #26 – A One Year Commitment to Serve Humanity

Podcast Episode #26 – A One Year Commitment to Serve Humanity
August 14, 2011 Lainie Liberti

1 Year For the World – Volunteering Around The Globe

Service brings joy:

I don’t know what your destiny will be, but one thing I know: the only ones among you who will be really happy are those who have sought and found how to serve.
~Albert Schweitzer

Episode #26 we speak with Alisha Robertson from SmallWorldPursuits.com

Today, we talk to someone who is changing the world, impacting her reality and serving humanity by connecting with her passion. This episode is about being in service and one woman’s chose to dedicate a  year of her life to serve causes that are meaningful to her,  and doing so on a global scale. Margaret Mead was correct in saying:

“Never doubt that a small group of thoughtful, committed citizens can change the world; indeed, it’s the only thing that ever has.”

Episode #26 is  about being in service

Alisha with children in Uganda

Alisha with children in Sudan

“Everyone can be great because anyone can serve. You don’t have to have a college degree to serve. You don’t even have to make your subject and your verb agree to serve… You only need a heart full of grace. A soul generated by love.”

~Dr. Martin Luther King Jr.

Alisha with children in Uganda

Alisha with two precious souls

Alisha Roberson is an amazing woman & friend to both Miro an myself. She finds herself on a wonderful one one year volunteer adventure around the globe. When we met up with Alisha, both Miro, myself and  Alisha  were volunteering at a children’s organization in Ecuador. Actually, now Alisha finds herself in Sudan, on the African portion of her one year tour. (Please read more about Alisha’s project here.)

This episode includes an insightful interview where we talk about volunteering, being of service and connecting with that inner inspiration that we’ve learned to follow as it guides our lives. Alisha also shares tips on how to plan a one year volunteer trip, criteria for choosing organizations to volunteer with, and strategies to save money in preparation.

Perfection is not so important

In the interview Alisha reveals an epiphany she had, the day she realized she had to stop waiting for perfection and start living her dream. (Something I think a lot of us can relate to.)

Alisha writes about this experience here on her blog :

One of my biggest struggles was with perfection. That constant reminder to myself that there doesn’t have to be perfection before action.

A perfect plan. A perfect idea. A perfect way.

Because, if we’re always waiting for perfection, our ideas will always stay ideas. There may never be action, because there may never be perfection. As I heard these words come out of my mouth, I realized that I still don’t even do some simple things, because I’m afraid that it won’t be perfect. So, this has been a simple moment of awareness for me. Being aware that my aim for perfection is actually holding me back. I am no longer going to stop acting on my ideas because they are not perfect.

So, the next time someone asks me what is my biggest piece of advice when it comes to pursuing dreams, travel plans, or making decisions on the next steps. I will simply say:

Don’t wait for perfection to take action. Go be amazing, and learn along the way.

We were so moved by her words, we are grateful for this reminder in our lives as well.

A Children’s Organization in Ecuador

This wonderful video, produced by Alisha from SmallWorldPursuits.com, shows some of the activities we led with the beautiful children in Ecuador. Working with the children was a true gift and kept us inspired.  See if you can spot Miro and myself working along side Alisha in some of the images.

Alisha Robertson – SmallWorldPursuits.com

I do it for the joy it brings, cause I’m a joyful girl. ‘Cause the world owes us nothing, we owe each other the world.”
~Ani  Difranco

Alisha and Daana in Ecuador

Alisha and Daana in Ecuador

Small World Pursuits is a blog about my experiences on my volunteer journey around the world and a resource guide to help you on your own volunteer pursuits in this wonderful world.

The Mission: To live and work throughout the world while volunteering with social cultural projects and philanthropic organizations that focus on education and have goals of teaching economic self-sufficiency.

The Vision: To provide a volunteer resource guide that also highlights volunteer opportunities around the world. To help others believe in the transformative healing power that can be created through education and interaction. The vision of Small World Pursuits is based on the understanding of what a Senegalese poet once wrote:

“In the end we will conserve only what we love. We love only what we understand, and we will understand only what we are taught. We must learn about other cultures in order to understand, in order to love, and in order to preserve our common world heritage.”

The Odyssey: An around the world volunteer voyage. To learn other ways of being and other ways of thinking. The quest to educate myself through social and spiritual enlightenment. To be in the world of human culture where I may seek out the commonalities of human kind.

To connect with Alisha at SmallWorldPursuits, please go to her web site here.

Click Here to follow Alisha on Twitter
Subscribe to her blog so when she updates the site,  you will receive an email.
Join the Small World Group on Facebook

A brief History of Ecuador

For more on the history of Ecuador, visit this wikipedia page.

The native people of Ecuador grew crops of maize, beans, potatoes and squash. They also raised dogs and guinea pigs for food. Many of them were skilled potters and metalworkers in gold, silver and copper.

Ecuador Map

Then, in the late 15th century they were conquered by the Incas. Then, just over a hundred years later, the Spaniards encountered the coast of Ecuador for the first time. Soon thereafter,  Ecuador became the Spaniard’s focus, eventually resulting in conquest  in 1534 after having already conquered the Incas in what is now Peru.  In 1534 the Spaniards founded the city of Quito on the remains of a captured Inca city. The next year, in 1535, Guayaquil was founded.

In the years to come, diseases brought by the Spaniards, especially smallpox, killed many more of the native people than the Spanish soldiers did. With no resistance to European diseases the original peoples of Ecuador were decimated.

True to the nature of Spanish conquest,  the land  and people of Ecuador were treated as property and divided among the Spaniards. The settlers founded large estates and enslaved the native people  to work the land. The Spanish also brought slaves from Africa to Ecuador to work on sugar plantations. Today many Ecuadorians are of mixed race, part Spanish, part Native South American and part African.

In the 18th & 19th centuries were filled with changes for the people of Ecuador, including  an economic recession, disillusionment and uprise from the Spanish rule, and part of the Bolivarian movement in 1820. In 1851, slavery was abolished in Ecuador and great tensions between different regions of  Ecuador resulted in the 1859 Ecuador split,  known as the ‘Terrible Year’.

In the late 19th and early 20th century Ecuador’s economy turned around as a result of  booming cocoa exports and the production of Panama hats.

20th Century Ecuador  brought a volatile political situation, including  military cous, a deep economic depression, earthquakes, political instability, and a quick succession of presidents.

To read more about experiences in Ecuador, please visit this page.


Supporting Our Journey

As you know,  Miro and I are on an 8 year, around the world journey, volunteering , giving back, and living as a global citizen. We have hit a new milestone though, Miro and I have begun our 3rd year of travel together and have recently entered our 11th country. Our adventures and experiences ARE his classroom. We continue to participate in the world as a visiting residents, and it’s our pleasure to give back however we can. Together, my son and I have learned so much about humanity, culture, language and history.

If you are able to support us financially we would be so grateful.  We continue to raise money to keep us safe, and keep us out on the road. I continue to work a little remotely and we have started to earn a little income from our web site, but if you can support us with a donation, no matter the size, we’d be so grateful. Without you, we wouldn’t be able to continue our travels. We live frugally, stay with families & couch surf and  volunteer our time and energies. We  know this is  all part of our experience in the world and are grateful for each and every moment.

We want you to know, your donations go such a long way helping keeping us in the present, safe and knowing we have exactly what we need. Thank you to all who have supported us through your donations in the past and those who will in the future and believing in our travels.

Podcast #26 Sponsor

The Raising Miro Podcast has  new sponsor!

Episode #25 is brought to you by the fabulous folks over at Audible

Sign for a Free 2 week trial membership AND Get a FREE audiobook download of your choice!! Go to  audibletrial.com/RaisingMiro and choose from over 85,000 titles for your iPod or mp3 player

Sign up TODAY! It’s a wonderful deal.

Thank you!

We want to take a moment to thank a few peoplewho have contributed to our travels. Your donations have helped cover our travel expenses and for that, we are so grateful! The people who have contributed to Raising Miro are: Ashley Hansen, Grandpa, Scott Van Pelt, Sashya Amee, Ivan Amador,Heather on Her Travels, Bradford Akerman, Tuan Vutran, Terrance O’Dowd, Eric Hammond, Chip Jacobs, Billy Horn and Sonia Kim. Thank you so much! Your support is heart-felt and much appreciated!

Support Raising Miro!

If you are interested in learning more about ways to support Raising Miro, including donating money or sponsoring our travels please click on this link. If you are interested in finding out about advertising opportunities for our podcasts or website, please on the site, please send a note here or use the donation form in the sidebar.


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Special Thanks

To those of you who have supported us so far on this journey, the donations we’ve received and the wonderful words of encouragement. Thank you all for your comments and feedback, and please keep them coming. Thank you Hanna for giving us a wonderful professional boost with the intro & outro, engineered by Hanna Jakobson, music “Multilayered Timbres” by Dr. Pimp courtesy of CC (creative commons) license.


  1. contruction CRM 13 years ago

    So true, we only need a heart full of grace. A soul generated by love..

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