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Chasewater Railway Industrial Gala this weekend

Chasewater Railway Industrial Gala This Weekend

Looks like a great event! I note Chasewater Railway have a Mixed Steam and Diesel Industrial Gala this weekend (Saturday 5th and Sunday 6th March 2016), with special engines and a much busier running timetable than normal. This event will be well worth a look the Railway is one of our hidden gems, situated at Chasewater Country Park[1], and is well worth a visit. There will be stuff there for all the family, so please do wander down if you can.

Chasewater Railway had this to say about the event[2]:

Don t forget everyone it s our start of season gala in March! (5th & 6th) Why not come along and joins us to kick off the 2016 running season in style, as usual there will be plenty to see and do with an intensive freight and passenger service and brake van rides. Our heritage centre and museum, oo scale model railway, gift and model shop and The Sidings tea room will be open at Brownhills West. Then at Chasewater Heaths you will find the G scale model railway, gift & model shop and The Station Caf . Mabel s Vintage Carriage will also be open both at Brownhills West station Gates normally open around 9am with the first train movements happening around 10am.

Ticket prices (day rover) 7.95 Adult 3.95 Child (Under 3 free) Family of 4 19.95. Non working members 3. No passes/vouchers valid for gala.

Chasewater Railway Industrial Gala This Weekend

Looks like a great event! I note Chasewater Railway have a Mixed Steam and Diesel Industrial Gala this weekend (Saturday 5th and Sunday 6th March 2016), with special engines and a much busier running timetable than normal. This event will be well worth a look the Railway is one of our hidden gems, situated at Chasewater Country Park[3], and is well worth a visit. There will be stuff there for all the family, so please do wander down if you can.


  1. ^ Railway is one of our hidden gems, situated at Chasewater Country Park (www.chasewaterrailway.co.uk)
  2. ^ had this to say about the event (www.chasewaterrailway.co.uk)
  3. ^ Railway is one of our hidden gems, situated at Chasewater Country Park (www.chasewaterrailway.co.uk)

Page 69 challenge: DEBT, New Adult/ Sports Romance by …

Page 69 Challenge: DEBT, New Adult/ Sports Romance By ...

That was Marshall McLuhan s advice anyway. I invite readers to submit their own or other works (pg. 69 only of course!) via the Contact Form here.[1]

Today I m excited to present page 69 excerpts from two very different forms of the fantasy genre.


Debt by Rachel Dunning

Genres: New-Adult Romance/Sports Romance

Page 69 Challenge: DEBT, New Adult/ Sports Romance By ...The Debt Collector

I pay my debts, and I expect others to.

I was raised in the slums of London, I knew nothing of privilege. My father was murdered when I was seventeen. Morty figured my father s passing meant I would automatically take on dad s debts. I refused.

And I paid for that refusal.

So did my sister.

So now I fight. All I know how to do is fight. The best cash is in the states, so that s where I am now. A big fish called Vito came along offering me a favor when I arrived.

Another debt.

I paid for that one too.

I knew Kyla Hensley would be trouble when I met her. But I wanted her. I could see through the falsehood of her wannabe-slutty clothes and her sexy legs. So I chased her.

Besides, trouble is my middle name.

Kyla Hensley

I was brought up in privilege, but I lacked everything else. My father is a business tycoon who buys and sells and doesn t care who gets rolled over in the process.

I never knew my mother, and all I have of her is a photo with a note scrawled on the back in French saying I m sorry. The only Female Figure I had growing up is my dad s wife who is a bleach blond with seven boob jobs. We never bonded.

I drink. I party. I meet guys.

But I wasn t always like that.

I ve had a string of lovers in the last few years, the worst and most recent of which was Vince Somerset. My best friend Vera was dating a guy called Rory Cansoom who is the opposite of Vince in so many ways, and yet so the same.

She and I hit the road for the summer, getting away from the two college psychos and just trying to have some fun.

But there s a funny thing about trouble, the more you run from it, the more it finds you.

Which is when I met the Debt Collector.

It was only supposed to be sex. He made that clear. I made that clear.

That s all it was supposed to be.

I never expected to fall in love. I never expected to fall so deeply, madly, uncomfortably in love with a man who is wrong,so wrong for me.

And yet so unbelievably right.

Content Warning

Not intended for readers under the age of seventeen.

Page 69 of Debt

Page 69 Challenge: DEBT, New Adult/ Sports Romance By ...


Page 69 Challenge: DEBT, New Adult/ Sports Romance By ...

Rachel Dunning hit the scene in August 2013 and is the author of the highly praised Naive Mistakes Series, Truthful Lies Trilogy,Johnny Series and the paranormal romance series, Mind Games.
A prolific writer, she sticks to stories where Alpha Males aren t pricks and where women have guts.
She s lived on two different continents, speaks three different languages, and met the love of her life on the internet. In other words, romance is in her blood.

I had him in a necklock, my leg slamming up against his ribs, trying to crack them. But all his muscle made it difficult. He was tired, and I was using that to my advantage. His neck squirmed and writhed as he tried to ease himself from my grip, but I was relentless. He wouldn t get out of it. This was going to be it. One more hit, and he d be down. And then there she was. Goddamnit

I had seen flashes of her outside the cage throughout the fight, but I couldn t tell if it was really her. And, really, what the fuck does it matter? I m in a goddamn cage where a dude can break my neck if I m not alert. But my eyes kept darting toward her, idiotically, like a fool.

And still, I wasn t sure. Until now now, with Kaiser s threat minimized, standing near the edge, the glare of lights softened there she is. Damn it I d recognize that hair anywhere, that strawberry-shaped face. It distracted me for a second. One second would have been OK. But then I saw the hand on her leg, his hand, the guy in the baseball cap and the parka, sliding up, sliding way up and I saw her push the hand away, and the man s hand stayed there. She fought it off again, and he kept it there. I lost focus.

My grip loosened just a fraction from Kaiser s neck. It was a fraction too much. The blow which hit me was a freight train.

There was a moment when I thought I had reached Nirvana. The cage spun around me, sounds went hazy, my vision blurred. It felt like I was in a dream. I knew I had been hit, but I didn t realize I was in the cage anymore. It felt like a mountain had tumbled onto me. I was somewhere else, at home, in London, and the guy in front of me was Morty. And then the pain began, even before I hit the canvas.

I don t remember going down. I don t remember hitting the floor. But I remember waking up. I remember a headache like a meteorite hit me. I remember people standing above me. Someone counting. Three fingers in front of my face. Or is it two ? And here she is, above me, inside the cage, slapping my face, eyes so goddamn blue I could freaking drown in them. She s screaming at me, but I hear nothing, nothing at all. Wake up. Is that what she s saying? Her hair s a mess. Fuck me, it looks like she and I have just tumbled in the hay. Is that what she looks like after sex? Slapping my face, slapping

A tremendous feeling of warmth swallows me

I remember


Whiteness. Blank. Empty.

When I wake up, I m in a hospital.

And she s here.

Sounds good? Get more information or pre-order your copy of debt from:

US: http://www.amazon.com/dp/B01A02LNLC[2]

Amazon UK: http://www.amazon.co.uk/dp/B01A02LNLC[3]

Amazon Canada: http://www.amazon.ca/dp/B01A02LNLC[4]

Amazon Australia: http://www.amazon.com.au/dp/B01A02LNLC[5]

iTunes: https://itunes.apple.com/us/book/debt/id1071559413?mt=11[6]
Nook / B&N:

Smashwords: https://www.smashwords.com/books/view/603988[8]

Goodreads: https://www.goodreads.com/book/show/28400056-debt[9]

I would really love to feature your Page 69! Use Contact Form here[10] to submit your favorite Pg 69 (your own or other s work)


  1. ^ Contact Form here. (barbtaub.com)
  2. ^ http://www.amazon.com/dp/B01A02LNLC (www.google.com)
  3. ^ http://www.amazon.co.uk/dp/B01A02LNLC (www.google.com)
  4. ^ http://www.amazon.ca/dp/B01A02LNLC (www.google.com)
  5. ^ http://www.amazon.com.au/dp/B01A02LNLC (www.google.com)
  6. ^ https://itunes.apple.com/us/book/debt/id1071559413?mt=11 (www.google.com)
  7. ^ http://www.barnesandnoble.com/w/debt-rachel-dunning/1123196983?ean=2940152548570 (www.google.com)
  8. ^ https://www.smashwords.com/books/view/603988 (www.google.com)
  9. ^ https://www.goodreads.com/book/show/28400056-debt (www.google.com)
  10. ^ Contact Form here (barbtaub.com)

Safe Passage in Guatemala City, Guatemala

LOCATION: Antigua & Guatemala City, Guatemala
WHAT VOLUNTEERS CAN DO: Work as teachers assistants in pre-school through adult classes; Teach English classes to impoverished youth; Work in a school s gardens or kitchen
COSTS: Volunteering- one-time US$50 donation and US$25 application fee; accommodations not included (budget US$150-200 per month)
MINIMUM REQUIREMENTS: Five-week time commitment, 18+ years old, Intermediate Spanish (lessons available), Medical insurance
WEBSITE: www.safepassage.org[1], Facebook[2]
CONTACT: Kelsy Yeargain (Volunteer Coordinator), [email protected][3], +502 7832 8428 (Antigua), +502 2440 4388 (Guatemala City), +1 207 846 1188 (U.S. office)

Safe Passage (SP) serves families in Guatemala City s poorest neighborhood, in the area surrounding Central America s largest garbage dump. Here, many families make their living picking through the sea of trash, looking for recyclable materials they can resell cardboard, plastic, glass, scrap metals anything with value. The conditions in the dump are beyond imagination. Toxic materials, human waste, used needles they re all in there. The people who work at the dump, predominantly migrants from the countryside, are called guajeros, or recyclers. Most are illiterate, and without proper educations their children grow up to be illiterate as well, leaving few options but to also become garbage pickers. One remarkable girl saw this tragic cycle of poverty and created SP to do something about it. The organization s beginnings were humble, but dedicated. Through years of selflessness this amazing young woman was able to build a ladder out of the dump s shantytowns. Today, her impressively well-organized project, with smart management and high expectations for volunteers, educates hundreds of children and adults annually.

SP s facilities are located in Guatemala City s Zone 7, which is only slightly nicer than adjacent Zone 3 (home to the dump). Most volunteers live in Antigua, making the hour-long commute each morning and afternoon. The long ride on SP s private commuter bus is shared by dozens of volunteers and staff, so it doesn t take long for new volunteers to make friends and settle into the SP community.

At 40 acres, Guatemala City s dump is the largest in Central America. It s the final resting place of one-third of the country s garbage. Because there are no dumping regulations, all kinds of horrible things end up there toxic waste, chemical processing byproducts, human waste, and worse. The guajeros who work in the dump are constantly sick. Frequent landslides and sinkholes created by methane from rotting trash don t help. And for all the risks they take and long hours they put in, guajeros make less than Q50 per day. It s difficult to imagine a group of people more in need of fresh opportunities.


SP was founded by Hanley Denning, a young social worker and early child educator from the United States. Hanley came to Guatemala in 1997 to learn Spanish so she could communicate with the Spanish-speaking populations she d been helping back home. In Guatemala, Hanley began working in small communities around Antigua, providing social work services while learning the language. She had only planned to stay one year, but that quickly turned into two. As she prepared to finally return home, a friend begged her to visit the slums adjacent to the Guatemala City dump. What she saw there changed her life. After witnessing children pick through trash in the toxic dump, Hanley knew she could never leave. She had her parents sell her car and laptop and used the resulting US$5,000 to start the small day center that eventually became Safe Passage. Before SP, the children in this impoverished neighborhood weren t in school at all. Today, SP runs an impressive set of facilities, including a pre-school, adult learning center, and enormous educational reinforcement center for school-aged children. It is able to pay the education costs of all the program s participants, including their school fees, uniforms, supplies, and transportation. With a staff of seven social workers, SP is able to select only the most needy and committed to participate in its programs. The organization has come a long way since its humble beginnings. Today it has about 100 Guatemalan staff and the support of 20-55 volunteers at any given time.

Tragically, Hanley was killed in a car accident in Guatemala on January 18th, 2007. The incident was a horrible loss, but SP has gone on to continue her dream, providing educations to over 500 children and adults each year.


SP offers three main volunteer tracks: the reinforcement center, the early childhood center, and the adult education/entrepreneurship program. You can make your preferences known, but which program you are placed in ultimately depends on SP s needs at the time.

The reinforcement center provides additional instruction and class time for children on top of their regular school day. The concept is a familiar one in Central America, where public school lasts only half the day and leaves students without the support and one-on-one coaching they need to succeed academically. Children bring their homework to the center and receive extra instruction and tutoring on the topics they ve just learned in public school. Students who finish their work get to take elective classes like art, music, or computers. Each student also receives 30 minutes of English lessons daily. The reinforcement center hosts roughly 250 children in each morning and afternoon session. Class sizes hover around 18 and are divided by grade level, from kindergarten through high school. Classes, with the exception of English, are taught by Guatemalan teachers. Volunteers are assigned to a specific teacher and classroom. They serve as assistants to help with homework, tutoring, lesson reinforcement, and activities. Volunteers can choose to work in academics or help out in one of the art, music, or sports classes. Both have advantages. Academic classes have set rosters so volunteers get the chance to really bond with their students. The extracurricular classes are obviously a lot of fun but host rotating sets of children, which makes bonding more difficult.

Regardless of the class, communication is always a challenge. The different cultures and languages can create disconnects, confusion, and often frustration. Additionally, working with an at-risk community comes with its own set of issues. The children have a lot of problems, and the teenagers can be rude. But the teachers are good with discipline and classroom management. They set the tone for volunteers to follow.

SP has a center for pre-school aged children called the Guardaria. About 80 very young children attend class at the incredibly well outfitted facility down the street from the reinforcement center. Just as in the reinforcement center, volunteers are assigned to specific teachers and classrooms. Throughout the day, the children rotate though fun activities like playing with sand or blocks, doing art projects, and playing in the Guardaria s impressively equipped playground. Volunteers support classroom logistics and help the children tap into their creative talents. Essentially, the volunteer s job is to have fun! The Guardaria is not in a nice or safe area. If you climb to the top of the jungle gym and look over the wall you can see just how different the neighborhood is from SP s well-appointed facilities. To keep everyone safe, walking alone between the reinforcement center and the Guardaria is prohibited. Volunteers must ask a staff member to accompany them on the three-minute walk.

SP offers a free adult education program to family members (mostly mothers) of the children who attend the reinforcement center and the Guardaria. This program helps over 60 adults at a time obtain sixth grade diplomas and offers scholarships for continued learning which many of its students take advantage of. Classes are taught throughout the day for women and in the evenings for men (who typically work during the day). The classroom doesn t have a lot of structure, and there are no specific start or end times. It s more of a self-guided tutoring environment where students decide which days they come and how long they stay. Most trickle in during the afternoon. SP has coordinated the adult learning program with the Guatemalan government, which provides the curriculum, exams, and official diplomas. Most students complete the program in three years. Volunteers help students move through the material at their own pace. Students in their first year usually need the most help. For a lot of them, this is the first exposure they ve ever had to reading, writing, and math. The adult education program also has a vocational component. SP helps the women attend classes with a cooperative business that sells jewelry made from recycled materials. The program has been tremendously successful with students making as much as Q800 per month which goes a long way toward getting their families out of the dump. Volunteers assist with all aspects of the business, from finding customers to sourcing materials and building business relationships.

An unstated requirement of volunteering in the adult learning program is a sympathetic ear. Volunteers and the Guatemalan teachers who work in this program are often the only people the students have to talk to about their problems. They come in and pour out their stories, which can be extremely disturbing and upsetting. Adult education always has a big need for volunteers. It s a challenging post that s best suited for people with excellent Spanish skills. Splitting time between the adult and children s programs is allowed.

There are opportunities to work in supporting roles that do not directly involve working with students. These are great options for individuals who aren t comfortable around young children or who don t speak Spanish well enough to communicate confidently. Volunteers in support roles can help care for the grounds or assist the kitchen staff. Many people actually love working in the kitchen, as it s a very low stress way to contribute.


Formal orientation takes place on the first and third Mondays of every month. Ideally, volunteers should plan to arrive a few days prior to settle in. SP offers a walking tour of Antigua on Fridays before orientation to help incoming volunteers learn their way around. SP s orientation is extensive. On the first Monday you will spend half the day listening to presentations on the basics: policies, processes, and expectations. SP also uses this time to introduce volunteers to some of the cultural differences they are likely to encounter. The other half of the day (and sometimes all of the next) are spent shadowing other volunteers to get a feel for the work. On the second or third day, volunteers start working with their assigned teacher, who often provides additional orientation to the specifics of the classroom and students.

Oversight is available only if you want it. There are weekly volunteer meetings, and the volunteer coordinator is accessible by email or cell phone 24/7. Volunteers typically work out their responsibilities individually with the teacher they support. Goals are self-defined, and there are no formal work plans.

The morning bus from Antigua departs at 7:30 a.m., dropping volunteers off an hour later. School starts at 9 a.m. and lasts until the afternoon bus back to Antigua leaves at 4:45 p.m. Volunteers work Monday through Friday.

Living near the project in Guatemala City is not recommended. Nearly all volunteers live in Antigua because it s much safer and friendlier. SP employs a bus that shuttles volunteers back and forth to the office daily. SP does not provide accommodations. However, there are a lot of good options in Antigua and SP can arrange a comfortable homestay for about US$70-80 per week. Homestay costs include three meals daily (except on Sundays) and most can accommodate dietary restrictions. While the specifics of each homestay situation vary, most are quite comfortable. Some charge extra for perks like laundry and Internet. SP can work with you to pick the right home. Some long-term positions (6+ months) include a housing allowance. These typically require that volunteers bring excellent Spanish skills and teaching experience to the table.

Volunteers are welcome to eat breakfast, lunch, and a snack with the students every day. The menu is basic but nutritious (to help the children grow). While vegetarians can find something on the menu most days, the kitchen is unable to accommodate special requests. Those who have restrictions on what they can eat will need to bring their own food or make use of the rundown little stores across the street. Volunteers are on their own for dinners and weekend meals unless they are living in a homestay.

Antigua is a happening place with plenty of interesting bars, tasty restaurants, live music, and wild dancing. Most volunteers gravitate to the same venues without even planning it. There s always a Salsa night or a screening of the latest blockbuster to keep you busy. Volunteers often use weekends to explore the rest of Guatemala.

SP is located in one of the poorest neighborhoods of Guatemala City. It s not a nice area and it s not very safe. But SP takes the safety of its staff and volunteers extremely seriously. That s why nobody is allowed to walk by themselves anywhere except the 100 steps between the office and reinforcement center. Even then they prefer you do it with a buddy. Volunteers stick to the buses for other transportation. To date, there has never been an incident.

SP has a medical clinic that s sponsored by the American NGO Shared Beat (www.sharedbeat.org). It s small but staffs a full-time nurse and doctor. Shared Beat also sends down medical teams to provide additional support twice annually. Volunteers are welcome to make use of the facility free of charge. Head lice is the most common ailment and can be easily remedied with medicated shampoo.


The Guatemalan school year runs from January to mid-October. SP follows the same schedule, meaning there is no work for volunteers in December and January. However, it does run a fun summer camp that volunteers can support during the first two weeks of November. SP also closes for Semana Santa (Easter Week) and on Guatemalan national holidays. SP s peak volunteer months are June, July, October, and November (for summer camp). The months that attract the fewest volunteers are April, May, and September. If you can t meet all the volunteer requirements, these are good times to go. When short on volunteers, SP is more likely to bend the rules.


The minimum time commitment for volunteering at SP is five weeks. Any time you re dealing with an at-risk community you have to build trust. It takes some time for the kids to warm up to volunteers they have been let down a lot. The minimum age is 18 and SP asks volunteers to carry medical insurance. While SP prefers that volunteers speak intermediate Spanish, it accepts people with less proficiency. If you don t speak Spanish well, you can always add a couple weeks to the front end of your trip to study at one of Antigua s many language schools. Or, you can choose to volunteer in a support role where Spanish skills are less important. No experience teaching or working with children is required.


Volunteers are required to make a US$50 donation to the organization on top of the US$25 application fee (which covers processing costs). Volunteers are also expected to pay their own living and transportation costs. If you take the volunteer bus from Antigua, the cost is Q20 per day. Some long-term positions (6+ months) include housing allowances. Donations are happily accepted. There are a number of ways to contribute, including sponsoring a specific child, mother, or classroom. SP will facilitate communication between you and the person or group you sponsor. If you want to put together a fundraising event, SP s office in the United States will be happy to help you with ideas.


SP is located in the Colonia Lativa neighborhood of Guatemala City (Zone 7). But you ll never have to find it on your own. Volunteers are met in Antigua and take SP s bus to the project. If you d like, SP can even arrange for somebody to pick you up at the airport and take you to your hotel or homestay in Antigua for US$30.


Before you apply, spend some time on the SP web site checking out the available volunteer positions under the Get Involved tab. Then download and complete the lengthy application. You ll be asked to sign a handful of waivers and pledges, and provide two references from school or work. Once you ve completed your application, email it as an attachment to SP. The application fee can be paid online through the Donate Now link at the top of their web page. Most applicants hear back in under a week. If you re planning to stay long-term, SP may request a phone interview to make sure you are a good fit. Try to apply at least one month in advance. Faster acceptances are possible when SP is short on volunteers.


  1. ^ www.safepassage.org (www.safepassage.org)
  2. ^ Facebook (www.facebook.com)
  3. ^ [email protected] (barefootatlas.com)

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