Newsletter No1

 

Introduction

Welcome to our Armenian GV team! This is the first of several (three or four) electronic newsletters that I will be sending you over the next several weeks to share information, guidance, advice and tips to help prepare for our adventure. Thank you for choosing to go on a service trip with me!

Orientation Materials

Thank you for submitting your $350 deposit. As soon as your deposit is processed, the Global Village office at Habitat headquarters will send you an orientation package. Perhaps the most important item in the package is the Global Village Orientation Handbook. It contains a wealth of general information about the GV program, international travel and the work of building houses in other countries. Please take the time to read the entire handbook!  If you have submitted your deposit but have not received this handbook, please let me know so I can get one written out to you.

 Passport/Visa Guidance

Is your passport ready for our trip? Please check your passport to make sure that it meets the following

requirements:

• Expiration date more than six months from the date you return home.

• At least two blank pages remaining.

If your passport doesn’t meet these requirements, you will need to renew it or have more pages added to prevent any problems with Passport Control agencies while traveling. You don’t want to find this out at the last minute! Passport application forms are available at all U.S. Post Offices.

 Visa requirements: U.S. citizens need a visa to enter Armenia.  You can currently obtain a visa upon arrival at the airport, the cost is less than the e-visa but may leave you in some long lines.  The e-visa is issued within 180 days of travel.  An e-visa can be obtained online, please see the Armenian Foreign Ministry webpage for more details: http://www.armeniaforeignministry.am/eVisa/

 

Airline Reservations

Make sure that the name on the ticket matches the name in your passport, i.e., no nicknames.

We will not be booking group airfare. However, if you are looking for a travel agent you may contact  Sidon Travel. They are located in Los Angeles, CA and can be reached at 1-800-826-7960 number. Hours Of  Operation: Mon – Fri 9am – 5pm, Saturday: 10am – 2pm.   

Feel free to use your own travel agent or look into booking flights online.

Plan to book your flight to arrive at the Zvartnots International Airport (EVN) departing from your home country on Sunday, May 19, 2013 ; departing Thursday, May 30, 2013. If you are planning additional travel outside of the Habitat trip, I will be able to help you share information with other trip participants who may want to join you, but please be aware this additional transportation is not included in the trip cost and is not planned by Global Village.

Note: It is recommended that you not book flights through Moscow.  In the past, GV team members with connections through Moscow have sometimes not been able to get the necessary transit visa. 

If you have any questions or doubts, please check with me before making a nonchangeable/nonrefundable reservation. Once you have confirmed your reservations, please e-mail your entire flight itinerary to gvarmenia2013@gmail.com.

 Travel Advisories

Following is a synopsis of information compiled from the Centers for Disease Control Web site (www. cdc.gov/travel; for Eastern Europe specifically go to http://wwwnc.cdc.gov/travel/regions/eastern-europe-northern-asia.aspx ) and the Department of State travel Web site (http://travel.state.gov). Both sites list much more information than we can include here, so we encourage you to take the time to check them out online.

 Required Vaccinations

Recommendations/comments can be found on the CDC Web site listed above. Discuss your travel plans and personal health with a health care provider to determine which vaccines you will need.

 Fundraising and Trip Payment

As you should already know, the cost of our trip is US$1,890, excluding airfare. This will cover all meals, lodging, ground transportation, local cultural excursions, travel medical insurance, and donation to the local program. The remaining balance ($1,540) is due by April 6, 2013. We encourage everyone to make this payment online, but it can be mailed to the GV office at Habitat headquarters. NOTE: Please remember to use your eight-digit Habitat ID number and our event code (GV13402) when making your payment!

Are you interested in raising funds to cover your trip costs? Many GV participants choose this option. You can set up your own Web site and invite family, friends or other organizations (such as churches) to make a donation toward your trip. Go to the following address to set up your own Web page: www.habitat.org/gv/create.html . No technical skill is required. You may then advertise your Web address and challenge others to support your GV trip. If you plan to do this, please tell us, so that we can assist you and monitor your progress.

 Who You Are

If you have not already, please write up a brief biography and send it me us with a photo of yourself by March 30. I will share it with the rest of the team in our next newsletter.   

Your Team Leader

Contact Information:

Lana Moore

207 South Lee St. Apt. G

Americus, GA 31709

Phone: (706) 604 -8823 E-mail: gvarmenia2013@gmail.com

 

Conclusion

I recommend that you save this and other newsletters for future reference. You might want to keep them with your Global Village Orientation Handbook. Our next newsletter will focus on information about our team members and our Armenian hosts. Stay tuned!

 Action Items

Here are some things that you should do prior to our next newsletter:

  • Ensure your passport is current and has enough blank pages for our trip;
  • Book your plane tickets
  • Look into applying for your visa
  • Read the Global Village Orientation Handbook;
  • Finalize your air travel arrangements, then e-mail the itinerary to the team leader;
  • Write a brief biographical sketch (two to three paragraphs) about yourself and e-mail it to me.
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