Volunteer wardens help american tourists in trouble overseas _ the sacramento bee

Minutes before Holland America’s Nieuw Amsterdam was scheduled to depart for Fort Lauderdale, Berit and Dan Wick received an urgent call at home. Sadhana yoga school Without delay, the couple hailed a taxi to the port terminal in Cartagena, Colombia. Yoga pants pictures chive Once aboard the vessel, Dan approached an American stretched out on a hospital bed surrounded by the ship’s doctors and nurses.


Pure yoga westboro The woman was pale and struggling to breathe; an oxygen mask covered her face. Tara stiles yoga morning Her sister-in-law waited by the gangplank, filled with worry and concern.

Dan Wick accompanied Sue Wright in the ambulance, a bumpy ride along cobblestone roads. Haute yoga west palm beach Berit Wick loaded Rosemary Cox and 16 days’ worth of luggage into a car. Yin yoga benefits By the time they reached the hospital, the cruise ship had sailed off. Yoga melbourne city But the Wicks – strangers at first, advocates to the very end – stuck by the pair until they were well enough to return home a week later.

“It’s a sudden shock for people to find themselves in a foreign country, not speaking the language, not expecting to be disembarked from an enjoyable cruise and having a serious medical condition,” said Dan Wick, a Californian who moved with his wife and daughter to Colombia in 2003. Pregnancy yoga exercises second trimester “We are here for them, to be a familiar North American face, helping with logistics, language and arranging to get them back home.”

The Wicks are good Samaritans of a specific breed: The expats act as wardens on behalf of the U.S. Asana yoga studio State Department. Prana steadfast yoga mat bag Their voluntary role in the consular services program is specific in mission (help your fellow Americans) and broad in services (do whatever you can to achieve Goal A).

“I am often called upon to assist U.S. Sahaja yoga hindi bhajan mp3 download citizen travelers who encounter difficult and often confusing situations that require immediate assistance, from stolen passports and money, incarceration for breaking foreign laws, political unrest, falling ill and even personal conflicts resulting in physical assault,” John Mackey, a four-year warden in Phnom Penh, Cambodia, wrote by email.

The program originated during the 1930s, when embassies relied on volunteers to disseminate critical information to citizens living abroad. Yoga exercises to lose weight at home The name derives from World War II air raid wardens who patrolled territories in the United Kingdom and United States. Yoga poses images and names The service resembled a phone tree: Participants would knock on doors and ring up landlines to deliver messages ranging from administrative updates (absentee voting, Social Security benefits) to code-red warnings (evacuation meeting points, natural-disaster shelters). Yoga hosers premiere These days, most of the 276 overseas missions can dispatch information electronically. Yoga babylon Technological innovations have freed up the wardens to focus more on American tourists whose trips have taken an unpredictable turn down an unimaginable road.

“These people get themselves into trouble,” said Adriana Michele, a New Yorker who has dedicated more than 25 years to volunteering in Cartagena.

The wardens are civilians – emphasis on non-State Department employees – with strong ties to their community a la Mister Rogers. Yoga moves They are typically fluent in the culture, habits, layout and language of their adopted country. Best yoga for weight loss youtube Elizabeth Gracon, a U.S. Bali yoga kirkland embassy official in Colombia, described them as “a local face on the ground.”

Many of the volunteers have full-time jobs. Yoga in daily life new york Tommy Phillips, a three-year warden in China, is the chef-owner of Bread Rock Bistro, a popular expat restaurant in Yanji, in the northeastern province of Jilin. Yoga breathing poses Jennifer O’Sullivan teaches yoga and runs a handful of bars and cafes with her husband in Siem Reap, Cambodia. Bikram yoga dallas texas Other wardens are retired or iced their careers to pursue humanitarian projects. Uptown yoga The Wicks, for instance, left Silicon Valley to volunteer at a school in Cartagena and start a foundation. Yoga teachers of colorado Despite the wardens’ divergent pasts, they all share a charitable streak.

“They are Americans helping Americans,” said Christine Fagan, a division chief in the department’s Office of Overseas Citizens Services. Google images yoga poses “Also, the warden can give the local perspective.”

Recruitment into the program is a casual affair. Yoga shelter grosse pointe A consular officer might deliver an open invitation to join the warden network during a town-hall-style meeting or an embassy event. Yoga exercices Or a member might entice a friend to join the club, as was the case with Phillips, a veteran who explained that he wanted to “continue to serve my country however I could.”

Wardens are found in every country with State Department presence. Hyp yoga wellesley The size of the cadre depends on the destination and its level of development. Kundalini yoga music free Urban centers with strong teleconnectivity need fewer volunteers than remote areas with primitive communication systems. Dahn yoga gaithersburg Communities without a consular office nearby also lean more heavily on wardens.

Because of the program’s informal arrangement (for instance, there is no training or manual), officials do not have a global head count of participants. Good yoga routine for beginners But they can provide a snapshot of the warden census map: Lebanon, 90; Thailand, 73; Honduras, 25; Bangladesh; 23; Togo, 22; Chad, 18. Yoga arts san diego Colombia claims 25 wardens, including four in Cartagena. Bikram yoga melbourne south east I met the quartet during my October visit, but in arbitrary life, I would not have known their identities unless I had signaled an SOS.

The chain of command starts with the embassy. Ashtanga yoga info The tourist or concerned family members in the States will contact the office for help. Yoga journal com The staff might resolve the situation in-house or an officer might notify the warden for assistance. Iyengar yoga poses sequence The issue might be an easy fix, such replacing a stolen passport. Bihar school of yoga scandal Or it might demand a significant amount of time and emotion on the volunteer’s part. Yogasource los gatos For example, if an American dies abroad.

During last year’s cruising season, the Wicks handled the arrangements for three deaths. Videos de yoga para hacer en casa Berit Wick still tears up over the memory of a Chicago woman who had been cruising with her husband three years ago when she became ill. Yoga benefits She died while Wick was in the ICU with her. Balance yoga barre An increasing load

The Adelsons capped off a very busy week for the Wicks, who also receive calls from the port agents about incoming medical cases. Yoga hatha flow Sue Wright was the first patient to disembark, on a Wednesday in mid-October. Downward dog The ship also dropped off an Indonesian crew member with a torn esophagus. Yoga for meniscus tear The next day, the Cartagena hospital received a District woman who had hit her head on a tree branch during a shore excursion and lost consciousness. Yoga dance studio An interpreter had accompanied the hearing-impaired cruiser. Kula yoga center The Wicks had to juggle conversations in English, Spanish and sign language. Benefits of meditation reddit On Saturday, the couple helped a German woman and her partner, who suffered a stroke aboard their sailboat. Pilates ballston On Sunday, a crewman with a broken tooth arrived. Yoga for beginners weight loss So did Adelson.

“It was very frightening. Dahn yoga center union square I can’t imagine if I had been left in a strange country and couldn’t speak the language,” said Barbara Adelson, his wife. What is meditation mean “It was such a relief knowing that there was someone to help us.”

During his hospitalization, the Wicks provided Barbara Adelson with an internet phone, so that she could converse with her children in the States. Basic yoga poses images They compiled a cheat sheet of essential Spanish words and phrases for Richard, including tengo sed (thirsty), dolor (pain) and pato (bed pan). Yoga forum australia They confabbed with doctors about his condition and translated their diagnoses. Yoga for surfers manly And they called the Adelsons’ travel-insurance company numerous times, updating the agents on his recovery and submitting the information required for reimbursement. Yoga for your eyes They also invited the family (son Brian later flew down from Philadelphia) to bunk at their four-bedroom condominium. Be yoga milano porta romana Amenities included hot showers, home-cooked meals and fast friends, including Sue and Rosemary, who were also guests.

On Monday night, the hosts and their visitors gathered around the dining table on the balcony. Yoga international magazine promo code The air was warm, and the harbor shimmered under the city lights. Free yoga videos intermediate Dan Wick said grace. Yoga journal videos youtube Everyone uttered, “Amen.” Then they dug into the spread of salmon, salad and mashed potatoes, and drained a bottle of wine.

On average, the Wicks tend to about 60 impaired travelers a year. Yoga during pregnancy first trimester video About two-thirds are American, and nearly half stay with them. Yoga poses and names They still remember their first case from about eight years ago. Yoga freedom A young woman ran out of money. Yoga for concentration and memory video They visited her at her hostel while she waited for a government loan to fund her trip home. Yoga journal conference san diego Over the years, as more cruise lines have added Cartagena to their itineraries, the number of cases has ballooned. Yoga poses for abs and thighs with pictures When the couple moved to town, about a dozen ships docked here; now a staggered parade of 225 vessels marches over from October to May. Pregnancy yoga poses second trimester Back then, they didn’t know much about medical procedures or the mechanics of travel insurance. Yoga postures yoga pictures Not so now.

On the day the hospital released Richard Adelson, the Wicks submitted a fit-to-fly form to the insurance company. Yoga moves for beginners They explained to the Adelsons that the company would arrange and cover their travel expenses to Philadelphia. Yoga poses intermediate However, the process could take several days. Yoga chair pose variations A second option: Pay out of pocket and fly back tomorrow.

Though cruisers surged through town, there were no calamities or crises. Maha yoga center bridgewater I stopped by Adriana Michele’s jewelry shop, which was thick with tourists ogling emeralds. Yoga teacher salary She invited me into her office, tucked behind the maze of glass cases.

Michele and Hortensia de la Rosa, her Colombian assistant and an honorary warden, receive three to four calls from the embassy a year. Sadhana yoga boston One oft-repeated story involved a mentally unstable mother who threatened to jump off a building. Yoga and weight loss before and after Another involved a bipolar man who succumbed to the darker elements of the city.

De la Rosa joined the conversation and shared a tragic tale about a young man and his uncle, who had taken him on a male-bonding trip. Bihar school of yoga yoga nidra The 20-year-old, who had cocaine in his system, toppled off a 14th-floor balcony. Bikram yoga benefits for skin His parents and grandparents flew down when he was in a coma. Nada yoga training De la Rosa helped them at the hospital, and later with repatriating the body of their loved one.

The attachments tug in both directions. Bikram yoga san jose groupon Earlier in the week, she had told me about a family from New York who were traveling in a van to Barranquilla when it crashed. Yoga pants on the street The husband’s rib pierced his lung. Face yoga exercises for double chin Over the Christmas holiday weekend, de la Rosa and Michele tracked down a doctor who could operate on him immediately. Advanced yoga poses youtube During surgery, de la Rosa held his wallet and clothes while waiting. Pilates ball ab exercises Later that evening, she peered through the window of the recovery room. Basic yoga poses and their names The American gave her a thumbs-up.

She paused the story and reached into her purse. Yoga poses for sleep and relaxation She pulled out a crumpled letter. Anti gravity yoga ri The typed note was from the American to the U.S. Yoga tv shows inhale yoga ambassador to Colombia. Yoga chair pose flow She pressed a tissue to her eyes as we read the note together. What is meditation like He wrote that de la Rosa “was there to help my family in any way she could.” He proceeded to list those ways. Bikram yoga dubai marina He concluded with: “That relationship produced real results for us. Charm city yoga severna park We will never forget.”

On my last full day in Cartagena, I took a break from the hospital visits to explore Old Town, a walled labyrinth of Spanish colonial buildings and festive plazas. Sivananda yoga centre kerala When I left the medical center, the Wicks had been translating pre-op instructions for the German sailor and were trying to locate a Mandarin speaker for a Chinese crewman in the intensive care unit. Yoga beneficios para a saude I felt a twinge of guilt as I wandered in and out of shops and drank cup after cup of Colombian coffee. Yoga moves for kids In the early evening, I received a text from the Wicks that they were finally leaving the hospital.

We met for dinner at an Italian restaurant in Getsemani, a spirited neighborhood emerging from a tawdry period. Postnatal yoga poses to avoid Over pasta and wine, we reviewed the patients of the week. Yoga software reviews Dan Wick showed me an email from Sue Wright, who thanked the couple for their help and hospitality. Yoga in daily life buford He shared a message from Brian Adelson, who wrote that he didn’t know how his parents would have managed without them. Bikram yoga adelaide timetable Dan and Berit Wick were touched by the gratitude, but they didn’t linger long on the events. Baby yoga exercises They knew that as each case closes, another one opens.

The next afternoon, they were planning on visiting a cruiser in a Barranquilla hospital. Bikram yoga perth joondalup The man had pneumonia and no money. Ryan giggs yoga youtube That was all the information they knew and, for their mission, all they needed to know.

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