Redefining Retirement: Giving Back Globally

Redefining Retirement

After retiring from CPS in 2007 after a wonderful 17 years of
teaching English at Whitney M. Young Magnet High School, Dory
Domanowski took some time to sit back and enjoy reading,
woodworking, knitting, and spending time with family. She even
became a volunteer driver for the Ageing and Disability Resource
Center, but wanted to do more. Like many retirees, travel was on
her retirement bucket list, but she also wanted to travel with a
sense of purpose.

Dory found the opportunity she was looking for through Worldwide
Friends, an organization which offers volunteer opportunities
with local communities and non-profit organizations and
associations located in Iceland. She spent two weeks working in
Hveragerdi, Iceland, at the NLFI Rehabilitation and Health
Clinic, run by the Natural Health Association of Iceland. Every
year approximately 2,000 patients and other guests enjoy their
diverse rehabilitation programs.

Hveragerdi is in an area of intense geothermal activity that
includes bubbling geysers and hissing steam vents. The geothermal
activity makes greenhouse gardening possible and is the main
industry in the region. Volunteers from Worldwide
Friends help grow vegetables which are sold to help fund
programming at the clinic. Completely out of her comfort zone,
Dory was the only American on her mission and working in the
greenhouse was something new for her – it proved both physically
demanding and rewarding. She also had a week to explore the
natural beautify of Iceland – an experience of a lifetime.

Dory said, “retirement brings you face to face with yourself and
there is no reason you aren’t doing what is most important to
you.” Her sage advice for retirees is to get out there and
explore your passions (she suggests travel), right away.

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