As I sat next to six of our travelers who were watching three thousand Native American dancers on the floor of the University of New Mexico football stadium, I couldn’t help but think what a wonderful opportunity New Directions gives to our participants. There were fifteen thousand people in attendance at this largest Pow Wow in the world-- and there we were!! We had an amazing trip to Santa Fe. As I always do I asked our travelers what they had heard about and what they wanted to do or see. Neil said, “The Santa Fe trail and the Capitol building.” We walked on the trail and the Capitol grounds. We also saw the Governors House, and the Cathedral and ate blue corn pancakes with pinion nuts! “Fulfilling dreams is really what we do,” I thought, but who would have dreamed that we just happened upon this world’s largest pow wow!
Jeff is blind and we weren’t sure he could appreciate the colorful costumes of the dancers. Well maybe he couldn’t appreciate that, but he COULD and DID appreciate the drums and chanting. He clapped along, bobbed his head up and down and was still chanting when we got back in the van! In addition to our Santa Fe adventures and the Pow Wow, we also went to Bandelier National monument. Bandelier is home to many Indian ruins including cliff dwellings. We had three people using wheelchairs to make the hike, but hike we did, and our two ambulatory clients even climbed up the ancient ladders to look into the dwellings.
Our travelers loved this trip! Randy said he was going to come back to New Mexico next time and I can only hope there will be a next time because this glimpse into an area and a culture so different from our own was such a special experience for our travelers. I so appreciate getting to be a tour guide and opening the world to our travelers. Thank you. Jane Sbragia - Tour Leader, Santa Fe, NM Tour
“It’s always the highlight of my year to travel with New Directions.” Barbara M. - traveler Disneyland HH
"I was very happy and didn’t want to see the tour end.” Mollie B. - traveler
“I was able to travel, which is hard to do on my own. I liked discovering new places. It was nice to be with people during the holidays.” Robert F. - traveler SF HH
“The guides were very kind to Scott. He was afraid to fly, but they made him feel comfortable.” Beatrice G. - care provider
“I enjoy being independent. My tour guide was friendly and helpful.” Angela C. – traveler
“It’s wonderful that Regional Center clients have the opportunity to have new adventures and meet new friends and to take vacations as a “typical” person does.”
Sue Martinez, Master Trust of CA
“I can tell by the beautiful pictures of my clients on your website that they had a wonderful time.” Beatrice G , care provider
"My name is Joseph. I would like to say that i really enjoyed the Grand Canyon trip last week because I really like all the travelers and it was just so wonderful and beautifully all around because it was so amazing to look at all these different views in any given way. I thought that this trip was so fun and exciting because we took the train on Wednesday morning and when got to the Grand Canyon we took a free shuttle to places around the Canyon and took different kinds pictures. So once again I would love to take this trip again because I really enjoyed being with nice people on the trip, and I feel very proud overall that I went to the Grand Canyon on seeing amazing views of the Grand Canyon. I would like know what your thoughts are about this trip because I am going to the Rankin Dude Ranch in early September." Joseph A., a traveler on the Grand Canyon by Rail tour
" I’ve used this organization for years! You are terrific!" Patricia M. Bye – Conservator
"I love the fact that Jill can go on a trip without family and I know she is safe."
Mary Mammini – mother
"It is a big break from his usual routine." Arnold – Care Provider
"Excellent overall service. All staff and tour guides were just wonderful – caring and very professional." Lenora – Care Provider
“Brian told me how impressed he was at how organized the Spring Training trip was and he’s already asking for time off from his job so he can go next year.” Beverly Hill - mother
“The photos are always full of joy, smiles, laughter and freedom from everyday stress factors.’ Paula Hess - mother.
"I was so excited for this trip! I marked each day off on my calendar! The trip was amazing – I had fun every minute. It was great being able to go on a vacation separate from my family – all on my own! All the way across the USA!" - David S
“My son Joseph gets so much from these tours. He pays for his own trips and saves up for a long time. He dresses as Patches the clown and makes animal balloons at the Santa Monica Farmers Market to earn the money."
Margaret Mills - mother
I have a lovely 18 year old girl who like any 18 year old enjoys her independence and being social with peers. What makes this challenging is that Liesl has many special needs. She is non-verbal and uses a voice output device, she is intellectually disabled, and she needs help with self care. She is also incredibly social, loves adventures, and likes to experience new things. New Directions allows her to do just that. Liesl began participating in some of the day trips when she turned 18 and now wants to participate in all of them. This summer she has repeatedly grabbed her New Directions name tag to let me know she is ready to go on an adventure immediately! Yesterday she took the New Directions flyer off my bulletin board to peruse the selection of day trips coming up. We are so lucky to have New Directions available to us. It not only gives Liesl the opportunity to have amazing experiences without Mom and Dad around, it also gives her something to look forward to. I don't know when we'll be ready for the overnight trips, but it's wonderful to know that New Directions is there when we are.
Thank you!, Marcie Kjoller
New Directions is a 501(c)(3) not for profit corporation. ALL DONATIONS ARE TAX-DEDUCTIBLE.
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