In May of 2010, Calvin started The Monsoon Diaries as his personal travel blog where he would post daily updates to let the world (and his mother) know he was okay. As his readership expanded, a following of good people asked if they could join on his adventures.
So what began with a trip for a few friends now has blossomed 5 years later into the popularly recognized travel style known as monsooning, and has been featured on TEDx, The Huffington Post, USA Today, National Geographic, Business Insider, and Rachel Maddow. Every few weeks Calvin himself and his monsooner guides will lead scores of international young-at-heart travelers on their premier expeditions around the world.
While all this was happening, Calvin also begun, then toiled, and eventually graduated from medical school, going on to completing a 4-year residency in Emergency Medicine. During his 8 year journey to become a doctor, Calvin knew that these 2 very different parts of his life would one day come together; this is the organic evolution of a union long overdue.
Take a look at any of the offered volunteer opportunities below and sign up even if you’re just curious about making a difference; we will take care of the rest!
Project Medishare: Haiti
Hospital Bernard Mevs, Haiti
Project Medishare: Haiti
“Project Medishare relies on volunteers to provide medical care to Haitians, and assist in the training and education of Haitian doctors, nurses and other medical staff. Since the January 12, 2010 earthquake, more than 9,000 medical professionals have volunteered with us in Haiti. We are currently seeking licensed medical professionals to volunteer with us at Hospital Bernard Mevs in Port-au-Prince, and our rural public health programs in the Central Plateau.”
It’s been years since our project with One Small House in the winter of 2010 where we could find a suitable, sustainable, ethical program abroad for which to volunteer aid and medical relief. Recently, one of my colleagues in residency Dr. Shazia Rahman, volunteered in the ER at Hospital Bernard Mevs for Project Medishare, and referred this as a viable project for us in the still continuing relief efforts after the devastating 2010 earthquake (we had visited in 2012). Therefore during my elective block in my last month of residency, I’m eyeing a return to Port-Au-Prince, Haiti where we can assist with an understaffed and resource-strapped hospital and learn how we can do more with very little, both back home and elsewhere overseas.
To all my fellow nurses, physicians, surgeons, and physician assistants looking to make a difference abroad: We need you.
If you can’t come volunteer but would still like to donate to our cause: Donate.
How do I pay?
A full down payment is needed to secure your spot on the trip. We accept credit cards, cash (in person), mailed check, PayPal, Chase Quickpay, Square Cash, or Venmo.
What are the requirements?
Currently, space is only available for allied healthcare professionals, including but not limited to physicians, nurses, rehabilitation, radiology techs, biomedical engineers, etc. They are unable to accept medical students due to space limitations. Due to the presence of the Zika virus in Haiti, volunteers who are pregnant are not eligible for deployment as a safety precaution.
What are accommodations like?
On-site hostel located within the guarded hospital compound
What days should I book my flights to arrive?
Tuesday May 22nd before 2pm.
Do you provide flight advice/support to get the cheapest flights?
Yep! We boast expertise in this area and would be happy to assist you in booking the cheapest flights, finding hack fares, or work with loyalty mile programs to getting you free economy, business class, or first class flights.
Can I come alone?
Yes, we usually attract people who come from a range of backgrounds and have different levels of experience with travel.
Will you accommodate food restrictions (vegetarian, kosher, halal, cardiac, diabetic, lactose intolerant, peanut allergies, etc.)?
We can accommodate vegetarians.
Do I need visas?
Depends on your nationality and type of passport. People with USA nationalities do not need visas. Otherwise, we can help you with this if you need any visas. Please ask!
Will someone provide me with a list of tasks I need to complete for visas or pre-entry credentials?
Yes, of course!
Do I need travel insurance?
Up to you! Some credit cards already include some sort of travel insurance (check with them). We tend to find the cheapest ones at: http://www.travelinsurance.com/
Terms and Conditions between The Monsoon Diaries LLC, henceforth called “MD,” and the customer, henceforth called the “customer.” Booking a tour with MD acknowledges customer understanding and agreement to the following terms and conditions.
- A 100% deposit is due upon booking confirmation and is non-refundable. The balance of payment is due 4 weeks before the trip commences. Following receipt of deposit customer is required to send relevant details for issuing of relevant permits.
- Failure to send true and correct information may result in refusal of visa, or permit, and thus results in forfeit of deposit.
- Should visa, or permit be refused through no fault of the customer, the customer shall receive a full refund minus associated banking costs.
- In the event of personal injury, or bereavement that prevents the customer taking part on the tour, MD reserve the right to increase the deposit minus associated fees.
Contributions are donation-based and 100% of proceeds will got to Project Medishare. All contributions are non-refundable.
- MD may change these Terms & and Conditions at any time. MD will notify customers if changes to the booking terms and conditions are made.
- It is the responsibility of all customers, regardless of nationality and destination, to check with the consulate of the country they are visiting for current entry requirements. As visa and health requirements are subject to change with-out notice, we recommend that you verify health and visa requirements with the appropriate consulate prior to departure.
- Price quotations are subject to change without notice, until a booking has been confirmed.
- MD fully reserves the right to change or amend all itineraries on a case by case basis depending on the situation on the ground. MD will always provide a suitable replacement for anything cancelled on an itinerary.
- Train, and flight tickets are subject to availability. MD reserve the right to change the mode of transport depending on availability.
- If for any reason, a client does not complete any portion of their tour or abandons their scheduled tour after departure, MD will not grant a partial refund, nor shall there be any credit given towards future travel.
As with all travel there is always a minor chance that a visa will be refused. MD has an excellent track record for visas with a relatively insignificant amount having ever been turned down and all were with good reason.
If the customer has provided accurate information to us and their visa is refused and refunded, MD will in turn grant a full refund of any payments made to MD minus associated transfer fees and costs but will not be held responsible for any costs incurred by the customer in traveling to Beijing, Kuala Lumpur or any other location from which their tour was scheduled to depart. In the event you have intentionally misled us in an attempt to enter a country, we will retain your deposit.
Medical treatment in many destinations is not free, and it is strongly recommended that the customer take out their own travel insurance, AND check with the issuer whether it is valid in the country of the tour. MD does not provide, nor imply provision of health/travel insurance.
- Customers are required to follow local laws and regulations at all times. In the result of a breach of local law, MD will not be held in any way responsible and the customer will take responsibility for any consequences, financial or otherwise, that arise from their actions.
- Customers are required to follow the guidance and company rules of MD at all times. MD reserves the right to expel customers from the tour who do not follow company rules, without refund.
MD reserves the right in extreme cases to refuse service to anyone we deem unsuitable for one of our tours, in the event that MD deems you unsuitable prior to a tour any payment made to MD will be refunded minus associated transfer costs
Minimum Required ContributionMay 22nd - May 29th
- As a volunteer, Project Medishare requires that you contribute at least $500 USD to cover logistics, housing and other expenses related to your trip. You can either donate the full amount yourself or you can create a personal fundraising page and invite your co-workers, friends and family to help you raise the money. If you volunteer for more than one week, there is a fee of $50 for each additional week.
- Any amount you donate or raise above the minimum required fee will support Project Medishare’s work in Haiti, like treating children with severe malnutrition, ensuring pregnant women receive prenatal care and providing rural communities with access to clean water.
Price inclusive of:
- All Accommodation
- Breakfast & Lunch
Price exclusive of:
- International Flights to begin and end the trip
- Personal expenses/souvenirs
- Personal/Optional cab rides, public transportation, and/or Uber rides
- Optional activities/day-tours/excursions
- Travel insurance
- Visa application process & fees
Interested in joining us?
E-mail us at calvin[at]monsoondiaries[dot]com if you want to sign up for updates (replaced bracketed text with appropriate punctuation, obviously).