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Submitted by La Mesa Sunrise Rotary

August 14, 2015 (La Mesa) --Ivan Alba, Elena Lujan-Alba, Isabel Alba and Lily Alba are four Allied Gardens residents who are going on an amazing journey at the end of August.  Read on and learn about their upcoming travels around the world.  All four of them are members of the La Mesa Sunrise Rotary Club.

Have you ever just wanted to travel the world for a year without anything to do but help people in need?  Have you ever just wanted to sell your cars, rent out the house, and take an eastbound flight visiting new and exotic cultures and enjoying the fellowship of service for a year?  Well, one of the local Allied Gardens families has decided to undertake this very thing.  Ivan Alba, his wife Elena, and daughters Isabel and Lily (who are 9 and 11 during the trip) are planning their journey from August of 2015-June of 2016 which they are calling their Rotary Year of Service.

Ten years ago, Ivan and Elena were not Rotarians, but their love of travel inspired them to plan the journey of a lifetime when their newborn, Isabel, would be about 11 years old (Lily soon followed and became part of the plan).  Elena had been on a Rotary Teacher Exchange in 2000 and encouraged Ivan to join Rotary in 2010.  She later joined, and so did their two girls.  Currently, Isabel and Lily go to every club meeting, run their own projects, have earned their own awards and accolades, and are official “Rotar-Kidz” in the Rotary Club of La Mesa Sunrise in San Diego, California.  Ivan is the past president of that club.

Together, the family will travel around the globe starting in Spain, France, Germany, Italy, Greece and Turkey.  From there, their travels will take them through Jordan and Israel, then moving on to Kenya and Zimbabwe.  From that point, they will venture to India and China before moving south to southeast Asia and the Philippines.  After going to Hawaii, they will round out their trip to Peru and Ecuador before returning to San Diego to restart their lives.  Throughout their time away from home, they will work on Rotary charity projects, train teachers, and explore new reaches of the world while educating their daughters.

Ivan is an educational consultant in leadership and mathematics who trains teachers nationally and internationally on “best practices” to help teachers, parents, and students make sense of math.  Elena trains teachers in helping students learn English as a new language as well as literacy strategies. Isabel and Lily are wonderful with other children and embody the Rotary spirit of service wherever they travel.

The Alba family is always looking for projects in all areas of charity service around the world that they can engage in while traveling over the next year.  They are happy to go to schools in countries that need help and have projects on which to work, or to train teachers and administrators pro-bono if there is no project currently available.  They plan to spend about a month in each country they visit, stay in apartments and with Rotary families when possible, and are willing to “rough” it if necessary.  Please contact them to wish them luck and follow their blog as they represent their community around the world. Their blog is registered as: albaworldtour.wordpress.com. Their email is "albaworldtour@gmail.com".

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