Tulip and travel talk

Hello all,

Now is an appropriate time as ever to say happy spring! I recently was able to take a short day trip to Skagit Valley, WA to visit Tulip Town, one of the main growers for Skagit Valley’s Tulip Festival. May 1st was the last day for this season of tulips so I’m glad my sudden impulse to go visit the flowers was in time. $7 per person in exchange for a relaxing walk through the tulip fields is definitely worth it! Although it is too late to go visit this season’s blooms here are a couple tips for traveling to visit the flowers in the future:

  • If you plan on taking pictures (which you should) charge your camera!

  • Bring shoes you don’t mind getting dirty, you are in farm land after all

  • Plan bathroom breaks wisely as traffic can get heavy on weekends and there are no places to stop along the two lane road (Read The Stranger’s article for more info)

  • Pack a water bottle and some snacks for the drive

  • Bring cash to avoid that annoying ATM withdrawal fee (I forgot about this one this year)

  • Don’t walk in the flowerbeds, it’ll ruin the flowers - staff have posted reminders all over the fields, so please be courteous

Visiting the tulips has me in the mood for some more adventures and reminded me of our upcoming Travel with Purpose trip to Côte d'Ivoire.

— Katharina

Registration is open now and our Early-Bird pricing ends July 5.

If you are considering going, please stay tuned for an update on our next Travel Webinar series and make your deposit to secure your spot!

We want to hear from you! If you have questions or comments, don’t hesitate to contact us:

info@koneconsulting.com | (855) 981-5663 23632 | Highway 99, Suite F #225 Edmonds, WA 98026

Agency Spotlight: SOS Children’s Villages –meeting the needs of orphans worldwide

Pictured above from left to right is Ladji Koné , the Director of center, and Mr. Kouadio of NGO WELL

Pictured above from left to right is Ladji Koné , the Director of center, and Mr. Kouadio of NGO WELL

As preparations for our Travel With Purpose service project, our Côte d’Ivoire based coordinator, Ladji Koné, has been learning about and visiting organizations which are working every day to improve the lives of Ivoirians.  

This week, Ladji would like to introduce you to SOS Children's Villages - the largest nonprofit in the world dedicated to children who have either lost their parents, or cannot grow up with their biological  families.  

Located not far from Abidjan, the SOS Children’s Village of Abobo was created in 1971 (the international organization originated in Austria in 1949 to serve orphans of World War II). In total, there are three such villages in Côte d’Ivoire, including Abobo, Aboisso, and Yamoussoukro.  

Funded through donations, SOS Villages provide children suffering from tragedies a safe, healthy home offering long-term emotional stability and educational opportunities, including a family framework which includes trained “mothers.” At 18, graduates transition to family homes in the surrounding village, continuing their education or apprenticeships. Alumni have become doctors, started their own businesses, are officers in the military, among other jobs. 

The playground at the center. The children were not photographed for their safety.

The playground at the center. The children were not photographed for their safety.

The Abobo Village orphanage Ladji visited includes a health center which offers vaccinations, a lab, and soon will have a maternity ward, all open to the community; boys’ and girls’ homes which serve 200 children in family-like settings (older children, 14-18+ reside in youth homes); recreation facilities for football (soccer), basketball and handball; and primary and secondary schools complete with computer room, canteen, and schoolyard. In the village surrounding the compound, the center supports over 500 children through a family strengthen program, designed to help prevent child abandonment.  

In a September 2016 Africa 360 media article, the Orphanage Director explained the tragedy of these children, “In this region, for example, it is customary for the tenth child to be considered a bearer of misfortune and to be ‘sacrificed.’ In Aboisso we have (saved) some of these children from death.” 

 Needs: 

“The center faces difficulty training students in the latest technology,” explained Ladji of his visit to the computer room. Although there is some equipment, tablets are in short supply and internet service can be temperamental.  

For more information, to make a donation or sponsor a child’s tuition:  

About SOS Children’s Village Abobo Gare.  

Related: SOS supports girls’ education and vocational training through the Women’s Training and Education Institute.  

Recognitions include the Better Business Bureau (Accredited Charity), Conrad N. Hilton Humanitarian Prize in 2002, among others. 

In addition to SOS Children’s Village of Abobo, Ladji has met with Côte d’Ivoire’s National Tourism Office’s Director of External Relationships, Yao N’Guessan Grégroire to further explore partnerships for our Travel With Purpose program. 

 

Ring in the new year! 2020 in Côte d’Ivoire

December 27, 2019—January 12, 2020

This Photo  is licensed under  CC BY

This Photo is licensed under CC BY

Join us for a memorable New Year’s Celebration as we kick off 2020 in Côte d’Ivoire! December 31st– New Year’s Eve – is a big night out in Abidjan, with the city transformed by sculptures of light and a spectacular fireworks display which is broadcast live around the country. 

In addition to our Travel With Purpose itinerary during which you’ll be immersed in Ivorian culture and have the opportunity to collaborate with locals on a community project, you’ll party like a local with our entire Koné Consulting Team as we ring in the New Year, Abidjan style! 

Our New Year’s trip is a pilot for future CI excursions, and as such, 

we are offering a “friends and family” rate to our clients.

Interested? We’d like to hear from you.

Travel With Purpose Early Bird Discount Extended until January 31, 2019!

Greetings and Happy New Year from Koné Consulting!

We greatly appreciate the opportunity we had in 2018 to introduce you to our exciting venture to Travel With Purpose - our pilot trip to Côte d’Ivoire in 2019. Travel with Purpose will be a two-week cultural exchange tour with a health and human services focus that is slated to take place September 4-18, 2019. This unique experience will offer a combination of guided tour, volunteer opportunity, and free time for independent exploring. In addition to visiting villages, markets and museums, enjoying beaches and eating local cuisine, you will also roll up your sleeves and participate in a Lean improvement event with a local community organization.

Due to the interest in the trip, we have extended the early bird discount until January 31, 2019! We have also received many questions about the Ivory Coast in general as well as details about the tour. As such, we are happy to offer two 30-minute webinars in the month of January to discuss the country, the tour and our itinerary, as well as to answer any general questions you may have. The first webinar will take place on Monday, January 7 at 12:30 p.m. Pacific. The second webinar will happen on Thursday, January 31 at 10:00 a.m. Pacific. Register now!

Travel With Purpose: Côte d’Ivoire Early Bird Pricing ends December 31st 2018

Join us September 4 – 18, 2019 in Côte d’Ivoire for an unforgettable experience!

Your tour is designed to provide up close and personal connections with the places we visit with opportunities for authentic cultural exchange, a chance to dig deeper into what it means to be Ivorian, how its people are rebuilding infrastructure and services in a post- civil war environment, and the chance to revel in the natural beauty of its landscape.  

Limiting the size of our tour group and offering a ratio of one staff member/guide to every 3-4 travelers, you’ll enjoy some itinerary flexibility and freedom for independent exploration.

With knowledgeable guides including both Western and African perspectives, you’ll have opportunities for authentic cultural exchange, meaningful conversations, and flexibility for independent exploration.

Lean Learning and Community Projects. In addition to all of the above, we are excited to offer Lean community workshops where you will work alongside Ivorians to make a purposeful difference in their community.

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By day 3, having completed your first community collaboration project, you’ll be travelling with friends! 

This tour is meant for you if you:

  • Have an interest in Social Justice

  • Would like to practice French

  • Have an interest in learning and practicing Lean tools

  • Are epicurious – willing to try new flavors and foods

  • Like the idea of having free time to explore on your own

  • Want a customizable itinerary on flex days

  • Prefer a small traveler to guide ratio

  • Are intrigued by a developing country rebuilding from economic instability due to political conflicts

  • Are excited to experience a riot of color, new sounds and unforgettable experiences

Your $500 deposit will allow you to register now at the reduced rate of $4975.00. Price includes round-trip flight from Newark, NY to Abidjan, CI, all on-the-ground group transportation, translation services, full-time guides, hotel/accommodations, and most meals.

After January 1, 2019 the rate will increase.

We treasure Cote d’Ivoire and its people, and are excited to share our home away from home with you. Please contact us if you have any questions or would like to discuss how we may customize your experience.