Maine nurse uses vacation time to volunteer around the world

Geneva Sides has spent the last 20 years using her vacation time to volunteer around the globe. For the last three years, she’s been doing work for Operation Smile.

ST ALBANS, Maine — Many people recognize the importance of volunteering but few would use their vacation days to do it. For the last two decades, that is exactly what nurse Geneva Sides from St. Albans has been doing. For the last three years, Sides has been one of only three Mainers traveling to remote parts of the world to volunteer with Operation Smile. 

Operation Smile, founded in 1982, travels the world with the help of volunteer surgeons, nurses, medical record keepers, and others to repair cleft palates. Over the last four decades, the organization has repaired more than 300,000 people’s faces. 

Sides says the surgeries help children and adults, many of whom have been ostracized because of their deformity, be

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Why now is a great time to book a future cruise

We’re facing a long, cold winter with surging COVID-19 cases, but there is a bright spot for those longing for a vacation on the world’s waterways.

a boat sitting next to a palm tree: Michelle Fee, CEO and founder of franchise operator Cruise Planners, said advisers are briskly booking summer 2021 voyages. (Dreamstime/TNS)

© Provided by Boston Herald
Michelle Fee, CEO and founder of franchise operator Cruise Planners, said advisers are briskly booking summer 2021 voyages. (Dreamstime/TNS)

It’s a great time to book a cruise vacation. No, probably not for February or spring break, but maybe for summer, early fall or later.

Of course, exactly when cruising will resume with a vengeance depends on the rise and fall of the coronavirus. But by booking now, you’ll miss the onslaught of pent-up demand that will be unleashed at some point, likely when testing becomes routine and/or vaccines are available.

There’s also something to be said for the anticipation of a vacation after a yearlong drought — looking forward to a trip can lift spirits during dark days —

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Tune In for CHICKEN OF THE SEA at Adventure Theatre’s Story Time

Tune In for CHICKEN OF THE SEA at Adventure Theatre's Story Time

This Sunday, December 6, StoryTime welcomes Pulitzer Prize winning author Viet Thanh Nguyen and award-winning illustrator Thi Bui who will read from their whimsical children’s book Chicken of the Sea and discuss with Artistic Director Chil Kong what inspired them to write this intrepid chicken journey. Adventure Theatre MTC’s Storytimes are Sundays at 2PM ET free on Facebook Live.

A whimsical and unexpected adventure tale, Chicken of the Sea originated in the five-year-old mind of Ellison Nguyen, son of Pulitzer Prize-winning novelist Viet Thanh Nguyen; father and son committed the story to the page, then enlisted the artistic talents of Caldecott Honor winner Thi Bui and her thirteen-year-old son, Hien Bui-Stafford, to illustrate it. This unique collaboration between two generations of artists and storytellers invites you aboard for adventure, even if you’re chicken. Maybe especially if you’re chicken.

In the adventure, a band of intrepid chickens leave behind the boredom

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Chinatown: Time Travel Through a New York Gem

The On Leong Tong building, designed by the Chinese American architect Poy Gum Lee, on November 16th, 2020.

Critic’s Notebook

Photographs by Alex Lau for The New York Times

Manhattan’s Chinatown and its roughly 100,000 residents took a triple hit from Covid-19 this spring. On top of the virus, the White House stoked xenophobia, and the neighborhood’s traditional charms suddenly turned into liabilities with the challenge of social distancing in cramped restaurants and shops and on narrow streets. Ordinarily, millions of visitors a year pack those streets. They all but vanished.

Nancy Yao Maasbach is president of Chinatown’s Museum of Chinese in America. She grew up in Flushing, Queens, after her family failed to win the lottery for an apartment at Confucius Plaza, the Mitchell-Lama housing project on the Bowery, which, since the 1970s, has been home to thousands of Chinatown residents. “Flushing was still predominantly Italian and Jewish back

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Singapore and Hong Kong push back their travel bubble again, this time beyond 2020

  • Singapore and Hong Kong have delayed the start of their bilateral “travel bubble” beyond 2020, authorities from both cities said on Tuesday.

A closed departure hall at Hong Kong International Airport terminal.

© Provided by CNBC
A closed departure hall at Hong Kong International Airport terminal.

SINGAPORE — Singapore and Hong Kong have delayed the start of their bilateral “travel bubble” again — deferring the plan beyond 2020, authorities from both cities said on Tuesday.


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The latest postponement followed an earlier decision to push back the launch of the air travel bubble by two weeks after Hong Kong reported a resurgence in new Covid-19 cases. Inaugural flights under the arrangement — which initially allowed travelers to skip quarantine — was supposed to start on Nov. 22.

“Singapore and Hong Kong have further reviewed the COVID-19 situation in Hong Kong, and given that local unlinked cases are still high, both parties have decided to defer the commencement of the

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The CDC Says Now Is Not the Time to Take a Cruise

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Diseases can spread quickly on a cruise ship. Rossella Terranegra/EyeEm/Getty Images
  • The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) is advising travelers to avoid cruising for quite a while. The agency rates cruise travel a Level 4: Very High Level of COVID-19.
  • COVID-19 continues to surge in the United States, where more than 267,000 people have died.
  • If you have a cruise trip coming up, it’s best to postpone it.

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) has recommended travelers to avoid cruise ships for the foreseeable future due to a very high risk of COVID-19 transmission.

This advisory comes on the heels of the CDC lifting an order on Nov. 1 that had previously prevented cruise ships of at least 250 passengers in waters subject to U.S. jurisdiction.

Despite lifting the order, the CDC is now advising travelers to avoid cruising for quite a while.

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Rockefeller Tree 2020 in New York City has new rules, sets 5 minute time limit for viewers during holidays because of COVID 19

NEW YORK CITY — There are new changes in place if you want to check out the Rockefeller Center Christmas Tree this holiday season.

Additionally, don’t expect a long visit. There’s a five-minute viewing limit.

The Rockefeller Center Christmas Tree is traditionally one of the city’s most popular holiday attractions, drawing huge crowds throughout December.

This year, because of the COVID-19 pandemic, the crowds are going to be controlled and severely limited.

The 2020/21 Rockefeller Center Christmas Tree viewing guidelines, approved by New York State and New York City, will follow social distancing and capacity control protocols. The guidelines were released on Monday morning.

“This is what we need to do to protect everyone,” said Mayor de Blasio. “It’s a different approach but it’s an approach that will keep people safe.”

The Rockefeller Center Christmas Tree lighting ceremony on Wednesday, December 2 will be closed to the public. The tree

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There’s no better time to have a backyard vacation

As well as COVID restrictions easing this Tuesday, we will also officially welcome in summer. Usually that means the festive entertaining season – and bushfire season – has arrived. Whether we will continue to entertain to the usual extent this summer, is yet to be known, but either way, it’s time to spruce up your outdoor zone because these summer holidays, it’s the only guaranteed place you will be visiting.

Vacay at home

Forget about the beach house you have booked this summer (and may still have to cancel) and turn your backyard into the holiday oasis it should be. That’s the advice from Early Settler furniture buyer, Monica Porter.

“With so many travel restrictions in place, Australians can’t get away as they used to right now, so they’re prioritising making beautiful outdoor spaces to enjoy their weekends and holiday time from the safety of home,” she says.

Early Settler’s

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Pulkit Samrat goes camping again, but girlfriend Kriti Kharbanda is missing this time

Pulkit Samrat headed out to camp with his friends once again. However, this time, his partner Kriti Kharbanda was missing. The last time the duo went on a camping trip, Pulkit Samrat and Kriti Kharbanda shared an adorable picture of them together. This time, however, Pulkit and his group of friends weren’t accompanied by Kriti.

Pulkit Samrat goes camping without girlfriend Kriti Kharbanda

Also Read | Pulkit Samrat Shares An Adorable Selfie With Kriti Kharbanda, Fans Exclaim ‘super Couple!’

A recent post on Pulkit Samrat’s Instagram showed a group of friends circling Pulkit as he prepares food on the barbecue. The actor is surrounded by all his friends whom he tagged in the post. Captioning the image, Pulkit wrote, “Winter is Coming”. The group seemed to have a good time as they were enjoying their time in the cold and blissful weather amid the mountains. A beautiful background surrounded them

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Only 5 online tickets for adults, 3 for kids for Taj at a time | Agra News

Agra: Visitors to the Taj Mahal can now book only five tickets for adults and three for children at a time after a new rule was implemented by the Archeological Survey of India (ASI) on Saturday to curb black-marketing of tickets, which had become routine after re-opening of the monument. Earlier, a person could book 20 tickets online for the historical building at a time.
Confirming this, superintending archeologist in ASI (Agra circle) Vasant Swarnkar said that the entry of children under 15 years would continue to be free. He added the restrictions on purchase of tickets will be applicable to other monuments across Agra, including Fatehpur Sikri and Agra Fort.
He added that all visitors’ identities will be printed on each ticket, which was earlier available but had stopped last year after travel agents and tour operators urged the ministry to remove the cumbersome process of filling the name

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