The Birds and the Bees (and Native Plants) of Maine and Beyond

Originally published in The West End News, July 2019

Heather McCargo of Wild Seed Project at Western Prom Native Plant Garden Tour
Nancy & Kevin Huber -American Gothic members of the Crescent St. Garden

It should be obvious by now that flowers bring me joy. I’m hooked on gardening and my insatiable need to get my hands dirty and learn has led me to new friends I can identify with. This spring I’ve been learning more about the birds and the bees and native plants of Maine. Each needs the other to thrive and survive. 

I’ve met some of Maine’s amazing local ornithologists, apiarists, entomologists, and botanists who have an astonishing combined knowledge base of Maine’s native plants, birds, pollinators, and insects. My mind is buzzing (pardon the pun) with ideas and opportunities to visit gardens near and far.

This summer, right in our backyards, Maine Audubon, Portland Pollinator Partnership, Cultivating Community, Wild Seed Project, Friends of Fort Williams Park, Earth Walkers and others are offering events and working together to spread and share resources.

Resident Yellow Warbler

For starters, the inaugural Rangeley Birding Festival is June 7th to 9th. Get your senses enriched by the remarkable bird life that flourishes in the high peaks of western Maine.

Also on June 7th, Doug Hitchcock from Maine Audubon is leading a walk around Matinicus Rock. With its own lighthouse at the mouth of Penobscot Bay, Matinicus Rock is one of Maine’s most important seabird nesting colonies. It is said that you can spot Atlantic Puffins, Razorbills, Common Murres, Black Guillemots, Arctic and Common Terns, and Laughing Gulls gathering to nest.

Then on June 17th Doug is leading a walk featuring the grassland birds of Kennebunk Plains. Search for Maine’s rare and uncommon species nesting there such as Grasshopper, Vesper, Field, and Savannah Sparrows, Upland Sandpipers, Brown Thrashers, and Eastern Towhees and others.

Arthur Haines
Expert on native plants

Maine Audubon is also working together with The Wild Seed Project. Their mission is “to increase the use of native plants in all landscape settings in order to conserve biodiversity, encourage plant adaptation in the face of climate change, safeguard wildlife habitat, and create pollination and migration corridors for insects and birds.”  

Maine Audubon & Wild Seed Project working together

Southern Maine is home to over 100 species of edible wild plants, many of which are more nutritious and/or flavorful than their cultivated counterparts. On June 12th Russ Cohen will introduce you to at least two dozen species of edible wild plants. Then join renowned research botanist and Mainer Arthur Haines for an entertaining talk about his experiences tracing and conserving native plants in the wilds of Maine at 7 p.m. Both of these events at Gilsland Farm Audubon Center are co-sponsored by Wild Seed Project and Maine Audubon.

What’s the Buzz?

Portland Pollinator Partnership – Plant. Pollinate. Preserve.

“Wild bees and other insects are as crucial to maintaining our flowers, vegetables, and other plants as honey bees. Planting appropriate pollinator and insect-friendly vegetation has many benefits to Portland’s ecology.” So they say at the Portland Pollinator Partnership, where they work to protect and advocate for pollinator habitat and native species in Portland. They are co-sponsoring the following events with Maine Audubon and Cultivating Community:

·         Native Plants Sale & Festival, June 15th at Gilsland Farm. Last year, over 2,000 native plants, grown from seed and managed organically, were sold.

·         Cultivating Community’s Annual Rooftop Garden Tour, July 16th atop the 309 Cumberland Avenue Avesta Building. For more information visit

Red columbine (Aquilegia canadensis) is a beautiful and unique native plant.

Want to learn more about bees? The University of Maine Cooperative Extension in Cumberland County holds beekeeping classes annually at the beginning of the year. Their beginner beekeeping 5-week course is a great opportunity and good option for new beekeepers (prior to their first year) or as a refresher course. Visit

So why write about native plants, bees and birds of Maine in a travel column? We all move around this same mother earth. Birds migrate, bees forage, and seeds travel in any number of ways. Adventure Marketplace is looking ahead to migrate, forage, and buzz around the world as well, visiting gardens near and far.

Planning future Garden Adventures:

My friend Amy Witt of Earth Walkers leads journeys in nature with horticultural and nature-based experiences. My new friend Andrea Southworth is a botany instructor at Maine College of Art and Southern Maine Community College. Andrea also represents Maine Audubon and Friends of Fort Williams Park. Amy and Andrea are naturalist and botany experts. I organize group tours. We are all passionate about gardens. The three of us are putting our heads together to develop and offer day and weekend Garden Tours from Portland as well as longer Garden and Birding adventures.

Amy Witt – Director of Earth Walkers

Come see me, Andrea and Amy at the Friends of Fort Williams Park 9th Annual Cape Elizabeth Garden Tour on Saturday July 20th.

Contact Friends of Fort Williams or me for more information: Buy your tickets today!

Happy gardening and birding!

Nancy Dorrans; West End resident is founder, independent travel advisor and group expert at Adventure Marketplace

Why Not Poland?

By Nancy Dorrans

(originally published January 2020 in The West End News)

If someone asked me a few months ago to tailor a trip to Poland, I would have asked… why Poland? However, this past November, I was selected to attend the debut European Travel Agent Forum in Poznan, Poland, to strengthen my travel expertise for Poland and other Central and Eastern European countries… and it did!

Hidden Dwarves in the Venice of Poland  

My adventure began in the capital city of Wrocław, (pronounced Va-RAHTZ-lawf) in the Lower Selesia Province.  Known as the Venice of Poland, Wrocław boasts 130 bridges connecting 12 islands and one of Europe’s most breath-taking market squares!

Hidden around the city there’s a tiny world waiting to be discovered. These are the hundreds of pint-sized dwarves of Wrocław.

“…each statue is actually a nod to the Orange Alternative, a peaceful anti-Soviet resistance movement born in Wrocław that used dwarves as its symbol and helped topple Poland’s oppressive communist regime in the 1980s.” – 

We journeyed away from Wrocław to the southwest region of Lower Selesia. With over 1000 years of history, this rural and mountainous region has been part of Medieval Poland, Bohemia, Austria, Prussia, Germany and as modern Poland after 1945. 

Secrets of The Castle Ksiaz

In Wałbrzyck, we had a delicious roast duck lunch and then toured The Castle Ksiaz. Built in 1288-92 the castle has a dramatic history, over four hundred rooms and hundreds of secrets. It is referred to as the Pearl of Selisia, situated on top of a hill overlooking the Pełcznica River.

In 1941, the castle was confiscated by Nazi authorities. Tunnels were built by prisoners who were worked to death during German occupation of WWII.

St. Martin’s Day in Poznan

After three days of touring Wrocław and Lower Selesia, we traveled to the city of Poznan for our conference. We arrived in time to celebrate 30 years of Polish Independence on November 11th. This is also St. Martin’s Day, named after St. Martin of Tours, a revered European saint who was known for his kindness to strangers. 

St. Martin’s Day Croissants are traditionally savored only on St. Martin’s Day (celebrated throughout Europe). Unlike French croissants, they are crescent-shaped sweet rolls with a poppy seed-almond filling. Our group had the opportunity to help create and enjoy these celebratory delicacies before the parade.

Dizzying Last Days in Warsaw

After two full days of workshops and meetings we were whisked off to explore the cities of Łódź and Warsaw. Our guide in the city of Łódź (pronounced “woodge”) offered an animated walking tour down Piotrkowska Street and a tour of the textile Manufaktura (Museum of the Factory). A few of us enjoyed a late evening of Polish beer tasting and gallivanting. After a morning visit to the Księży Młyn and the Centre of Science & Technology, we headed to Warsaw.

In Warsaw, were treated to a Chopin concert at Frederyk Concert Hall. Fryderyk Chopin is the pride of Warsaw. A talented young woman pianist performed his most famous works from his early, the classical and the late romantic periods. I was mesmerized! 

Our last day was a bit of a blur with a guided tour around Warsaw, including Old Town, Palace of Culture and Science, the ghetto area, Copernicus Science Center, and Lazienki Royal Park, and then an evening visit to the Museum of Life under Communism, the Museum of Warsaw Uprising, and ending with a vodka tasting.

By delving into Poland’s rich culture, heritage, and gastronomical experiences, I now have firsthand experience and a clearer view.  Being there made all the difference. The experience is worth it and an incredible value! What with pierogis, crystal factories, beef cheeks, a vodka museum, castles, duck confit, spas, markets, Wrocław dwarves, underground tunnels, elaborate murals, ski resorts, wild bison, parades, goats, and St. Martin’s Croissants… 

Instead of “Why Poland?” I now ask, “Why not Poland?” This country deserves your attention. You should ask me when, where, what, and how?  Dziękuję Ci (pronounced YenCooYah). Thank you, Poland! You are an amazing, historic country full of energetic and forward-thinking people.

Mountain and Forest Bathing…

Lake George New York,
Adventure Travel Trade Association Elevate Meeting- June, 2019

(originally published February 2020 in The West End News)

Mountain and Forest Bathing…

By Nancy Dorrans

“The clearest way into the Universe is through a forest wilderness. When one tugs at a single thing in nature, he finds it attached to the rest of the world.”  -John Muir

John and I agree, and we are not alone. Being outside in any season is nurturing.

According to the Association of Nature and Forest Therapy, there are many names for the medicine of being in the forest: “Shinrin-yoku or Forest bathing refers to the practice of spending time in forested areas for the purpose of enhancing health, wellness, and happiness.”


Some say they “must” live by the ocean, but it’s the mountains and forests that tug and draw me in. I used to live in the White Mountains. Almost twenty years ago I moved to Portland for a year-round full-time job at an online adventure travel company called

Catalonia, Sept 2019

Away’s slogan was: “Find Yourself…Someplace Else.” I worked there just over a year, but after the tragic events of 9/11 our company lost its funding. The office closed and my co-workers and I had to do just that… “Find ourselves…someplace else!”

I stayed in Portland working as a travel advisor and continued to be lured to mountains near and further away. I have hiked all 48 (4000k+) mountains in New Hampshire and some more than once. I’ve been to the mountains and bathed in the forests of Catalonia, Colombia, the Adirondacks, Tuscan hills, Vietnam, North Carolina, Alaska, Scotland, Wyoming and Montana, Ecuador, the Galapagos, Smoky, Green and Rocky Mountains, Cape Town, Table Mountain, and the Namibian Dunes…

Whitefish, MT Feb 2019

Whether I’m skiing or hiking, the mountains energize, balance, and connect me in a way that a day at the beach never has. The forests’ flora, fauna, nature, and all its wonder add to my love and appreciation for the mountains and our outside world.


The Chinese believe in the five fundamental elements of Wood, Fire, Earth, Metal, and Water. These elements are said to be the fundamental building blocks of everything in the universe. Each of us has all five elements in us. In a workshop I attended a few years ago, I learned that my two strongest elements are Fire (Enthusiasm and Passion) and Earth (Nurturing, Stability, and Security).

Loon, MT

Surprised? It makes a lot of sense to me. Each ski season I make a pilgrimage of sorts to the slopes of Loon Mountain to volunteer for New England Disabled Sports as a ski coach. I help teach people with physical and cognitive disabilities how to ski, utilizing my strong Earth and Fire elements!

Jewell Trail, 2013

With Adventure Marketplace, I feel quite blessed that as an independent business owner, travel advisor, and small group coordinator, I can combine my Fire and Earth elements with my love of the forests and mountains in my group adventures and tours! My favorite adventures are those that include mountains and off the beaten trails, paths, tracks, and wending ways…

Going On Seven Years…

Lunch in the Galapagos Islands – May, 2014

– Originally Published in The West End News, March 2020

Going On Seven Years

Celebrating and sharing successes and blessings…

By Nancy Dorrans

Adventure Marketplace was founded in the spring of 2014 to utilize my decades of travel industry experience (I went to travel school in 1980) and to offer superb personal service along with unique and adventurous itineraries. My courage, creativity, experience, adaptability, and diligence have guided me through these Adventure Marketplace years. There are so many people to thank but I don’t want this to sound like an acceptance speech from the Academy. I am grateful and want to celebrate and share my successes and blessings.

Here’s the reader’s digest view of my adventures over the last six years… Some trips were research and/or educational opportunities. The others were small private group adventures and local bus tours meticulously coordinated and/or escorted. This digest does not include the many individuals, couples, and families I advised and assisted in their efforts to get away and back home again.

Coober Pedy, Australia, Opal Mine

Kick off – 2014 April: Australia educational tour from Adelaide to Uluru (Ayres Rock) and on to Cape Tribulation… Heading north through the Flinders  Ranges towards Leigh Creek and the residence of Talc-  Alf, we worked our way towards Williams Creek and  stopped for a tromp at salt Lake Eyre… | May: Quito  Ecuador and the Galapagos… private tour for fifteen…  We hiked into a rainforest on the island of Isabela, found pink flamingos in the wetlands, blue footed boobies… and penguins too! We shared breakfast with a local highland family and slugged in the rain up to the rim of Sierra Negra Volcano… | Sept: Local bus tour to the Highland Games at Loon Mountain in Lincoln, NH

NH Highland Games
Loon Mountain

2015 Feb: First Annual Quebec Winter Carnival tour from Portland… | May: Spring weekend in NYC scouting out hotels for future groups… | Sep: Return to  the Highland Games… | Oct: Failte Ireland trade show and tour of Dublin and Belfast with a brief encounter with a man named Van… Fall Foliage day tours to the  White Mountains

Kirstenbosch Nat. Botanical Garden
Cape Town

2016 Feb: Second Annual Quebec Winter Carnival tour… | Apr: NYC Portland Community Chorus travels to sing at Carnegie Hall… | May: Southern Africa Adventure to Capetown, Joburg, Kruger, Victoria Falls, and Zimbabwe… sharing dinner with a local woman who plants peppers in her garden to protect her kale from elephants… | June: Adventure Travel Trade Association (ATTA) Conference in Saguenay, Quebec… | Oct: France Biking/Barge adventure from Dijon, cycling through villages and vineyards… one stunning vista after another plus plenty of wine, cheese, and the colorful tile roofs in Beaune…| Dec: NYC Holiday research tour

Tröllaskagi Peninsula, Iceland

2017 Jan: Historical Women’s March in Washington, D.C. Our less stressful, more civilized tour with 53 women, one husband, and two teenage boys… | Feb: Third Annual Quebec Winter Carnival Tour… | March: Bermuda “Beyond the Beach” educational tour featuring caves, dolphins, and cycling with the Premier… | April: Springtime “Kinky Boots” NYC tour with a group of SMHC employees and friends…  | May: Namibia and Botswana… from the towering dunes of Namibia to the Kalahari Bush and Okavango Delta… Adventure Marketplace loves Africa!… | Sept: Iceland off the beaten path… steaming, boiling, bubbling mud pools, a crater lake, a hike through the Trolls Dimmuborgir village of peculiar lava formations, and the breathtakingly powerful Dettifoss waterfall… | Nov: Pro-Colombia trade show with six-day pre-adventure in the Narino region. Colombia is country full of pride, passion and purpose, utilizing tourism to help promote conservation efforts and sustainable tourism throughout their country… | Dec: NYC Holiday bus tour

2018 Feb: Fourth Annual Quebec Winter Carnival Tour… | April: Cape Cod weekend tour to the Annual Daffodil Festival on Nantucket… | May: Educational cycle tour in Portugal from Porto to Óbidos… | Oct: ATTA World Summit in Montecatini Terme, Italy… | Late Oct: Quebec City and Charlevoix bus tour…  | Nov: Vietnam and Cambodia… almost three weeks of fast paced cultural immersion

Adagio Beach Portugal

2019 Feb: Fifth Annual Quebec Winter Carnival tour…  | May: Women, Walking, and Wine small group adventure to Portugal and the Azores. Each day was stunning, different, full of adventure and spectacular seacoast views from Bispo to Cabo-Verdo Sao-Vincent… the end of the earth… | Early Sept: National Parks of Montana and Wyoming… | Late Sept: Hiking tour of Catalonia, Spain hosted by the tourist board… | Nov: European Travel Agent Forum, Poznan Poland… | Dec: NYC Rockettes Holiday Tour (sold out)

2020 Jan: Kilimanjaro Private Group climb and safari – Happy to report all seven climbers successfully reached the top of Africa…| Feb: Sixth Annual Quebec Winter Carnival tour Feb 7-9th

Looking ahead Sept: Women, Walking and Wine – Part II, Catalonia region of Spain (sold out)… | Oct: Montreal/Eastern Townships Garden Tour – Details on upcoming tours available on

Travel can transform lives and change perspectives, and it allows us to learn through experience. I have been blessed these last six years with adventures that have broadened my sense of place. As travelers, we become part of a global community. I strive to help my clients move outside their comfort zone and explore new destinations so they may learn more about themselves and others…

“Everyone thinks travel is about exclamation points, but travel is about the commas; the comma is where a culture and people express themselves. Commas are where we allow ourselves to breathe, to observe, and that’s the travel that I love.” – TV host Samantha Brown

Special thanks to Tony Zeli and The West End News for allowing me to share my travel stories with you each month!

Spontaneous Moments with Strangers

Spontaneous Moments with Strangers

By Nancy Dorrans – Originally published October, 2020 – The West End News

Samantha Brown, host of several Travel Channel shows said this recently on a Facebook live broadcast: “…What I miss the most is spontaneous moments with strangers…That spontaneous moment of just meeting someone who you have never met before and you will never see again but you have a moment together.”

Like many of you, I’ve had to cancel travel plans this year. And like Samantha, one of the things I’ve missed most are making connections with people while traveling and taking something from these experiences.  When this happens, I feel more a part of the moment, community and connected. It can happen to you too, you just have to have an open mind.  I’ve experienced so many amazing, heartwarming, astonishing, hilarious spontaneous moments with strangers.

Costa Rica – 1989

In November 1989, I was in Costa Rica to explore and go on a rafting trip with a few travel agents and a group of North American white-water raft guides.  The first evening a few of us went out in San Jose for dinner. As we were leaving the establishment a large Costa Rican man at the bar dressed in a stylin’ stonewashed jacket and matching jeans stopped me. He chose his words carefully and slowly. With a smile he said “Good – night – my – friend”.  I remember the moment because it was spontaneous and his smile and words warmed my heart. I remember the date because it was the week the Berlin Wall fell down. We didn’t hear about that news until we got back home.

More spontaneous moments

Robert Shaw – Jaws Monologue

Several years ago while out on Star Island in the Isles of Shoals, I met an older Navy veteran wearing a hat with the name of the ship he was stationed on in WWII. I casually asked him where his ship sailed. He said “Well…for one thing, we delivered the atom bomb. It was a secret mission. Our ship was torpedoed and I spent five days in the water…”  It was THAT ship, the USS Indianapolis. I was breathless. He shared his experience, evoking Robert Shaw’s chilling monologue in the movie Jaws!

I met a young female pilot at a ranch in South Australia that was herding cattle with her plane. Her first job (after moving from South Africa) was as a shark patroller, protecting the beach goers of Adelaide.

Once in Geneva my travel agent friend Joyce and I decided to stay in town after dinner rather than head back to our hotel (by the airport) with the rest of the group.  We got off the train as the doors shut and ventured out on the town. A few of the locals heard us speaking in English and started talking to us about their American high school exchange experiences. We ended up staying out very late.  We went back to the train station and met one of the employees from the United Nations as he was walking out. He told us the trains and busses had stopped running for the night. He was in a uniform, told us his brother lived in NY and showed us his family photos. We figured it was okay. He offered to give us a ride back to the hotel. It was spontaneous and okay!

Whoopie in Sister’s Act

In 1994 in Zimbabwe on the way to Chimanimani, my friend and I stayed with the Bishop of Mutare. After dinner he asked us if we wanted to watch a movie.  “Do you know of Whoopie Goldberg?” He said.  “I have the funniest movie we can watch. Sisters’ Act!

I just love that Whoopie”!

Last spring I escorted a small group to Portugal for the first Women Walking and Wine Adventure.  We visited a pottery factory and were mesmerized by the potter and his wheel. Then there was the jolly Frenchman traveling with his 90+ year old mother. We made it to “The Point” in Cabo da Roca (Cape Roca), the westernmost point of continental Europe.  There was quite a line to take a photo at the marker. A woman we don’t know is in our group shot. The photo captures the moment when my friend Roxanne says “Who are you?”  She was standing with us because she wanted to be “next” to get her photo taken.

At Cabo da Roca, The photo captures the moment when Nancy’s friend Roxanne says “Who are you?”  to the stranger standing among the group.

By now you know I have a love of travel.  I consider myself a traveler, not a tourist. What makes the difference between a traveler and a tourist?   A tourist has a list of popular sites, restaurants and activities they want to see and experience.  They may be hesitant to leave the resort or talk to the locals.

A traveler digs deeper. They make an effort to go off the beaten path and meet and engage with the locals.  They want to experience secret spots, hear live music, dine on specialties and hear stories that are not in the travel guides. Anyone can be a tourist. To be a traveler, you need an open mind and a willingness to step out of your comfort zone. This is the difference.  

One of the beautiful women of Botswana!

Can I compare travelers and tourists with donkeys and elephants, conservatives and liberals?  I think so. Education, experiences with strangers and open minds are the key differences for me.

I’m a traveler. I have an open mind and a willingness to step out of my comfort zone. I’m also a lifelong folk singing non-competitive right-brained creative democrat.  I love elephants, just not when I vote.

Nancy Dorrans is an independent entrepreneur, volunteer, painter, outdoor enthusiast, traveler, democrat and travel advisor at Adventure Marketplace in Portland, Maine.

Please VOTE!!

Out of Our Comfort Zone

Out of Our Comfort Zone…

Originally published in The West End News – February, 2021

Adventure Marketplace small group in 2016 above Victoria Falls at Dusk;
Kathleen, Paula, Elaine, Bernie, Anne, Bruce and Nancy.

As a travel counselor, I strive to navigate my clients on authentic experiences, safely out of their comfort zone and into an appreciation of other cultures, landscapes, traditions, food, music and people.

In the spring of 2016, I organized and traveled to Southern Africa with a small group of adventurous friends. We journeyed from Capetown to the game parks of Kruger and Karongwe.

We flew to Zimbabwe and walked along the side of Victoria Falls where the mist made its own rainbow. We cruised above “The Falls” at sunset with cocktails and crocodiles. We hurried across the bridge over “The Falls” (border of Zambia/Zimbabwe) before dark because the elephants sometimes use the same path at dusk. My friend Bruce and I ventured down the steep valley to the banks of the Mighty Zambezi River for an exhilarating rafting adventure.  A few others took helicopter tours. We had experienced “The Falls” from all sides…

While experiencing “The Falls” and also tracking, photographing and being near the wild animals in the game preserves was breathtaking, it was the people we met, the schools we visited, the history, the personal stories we listened to, and friendships we made that made this trip one of my favorite all time adventures.

With my travel business on hold due to the pandemic, I have stepped safely out of my own comfort zone and found myself back in school four days a week as a “dedicated substitute” teacher at Deering High School in Portland.

PORTLAND, Maine — April 3, 2018 —
Deering High School in Portland, Maine. (Seth Koenig | BDN)

Since early October, I’ve developed a keen appreciation of education, diversity, cultural, linguistic and academic differences.  Deering students “speak over fifty home languages and come from more than thirty countries on five different continents.  It is the only high school in the state of Maine to offer Mandarin, Arabic, French, and Spanish classes.”  

While I’ve covered for the Earth Science, Art, Gym, Algebra, English, Special Education classes and the librarian, most days I am immersed as a one-on-one assistant in the English Language Learners classroom.  My mornings are full of the voices, questions, languages and smiles behind the masks of teenagers from around the world.  They represent Angola, Guatemala, Republic of Congo, Kenya, Honduras, Egypt, Afghanistan and The Democratic Republic of the Congo (formerly Zaire).  

Banner hanging in the Deering High School Cafeteria

Where does our comfort zone come from and how and why/how does it change?   Are we born with a narrow or broad comfort zone?  Does it develop over time with experience? I say the latter. Travel takes you away from your home and outside your “comfort zone”. quoted from Nancy’s Pecha Kucha presentation – July, 2016

I have traveled far & away from my home and out of my comfort zone many times…and always by choice.  

These students I’m getting to know have traveled out of their comfort zone too, but not necessarily by choice.  They have a lot to learn and share.  Many of these students speak three or more languages. They have been on the move, have missed years of school and/or have started school in one country in one language and then moved along to a different country or countries, schools and languages. I am humbled. I regret I never did learn another language. I wish I could speak and understand Portuguese, Spanish or French. These kids are quick and resilient and patient with me.  Google translate is our friend!

New friend in Southern Africa

I have said this before. I have a strong sense of adventure that is accompanied by fearlessness.  Not much scares me, especially strangers.  My lack of fear scared my mother and it often scares my friends and family. For me though, intrigue trumps fear. I am driven to meet and immerse myself in different cultures over and over again. 

The more unique and authentic the interactions, the more comfortable and engaged and at home I become.  It is this intrigue that compels me and my work as a travel counselor.  And now it is this same intrigue that serves me well as a dedicated substitute teacher.

I feel quite blessed to have landed in such an amazingly welcoming and diverse world of Deering High School right here in Portland, Maine.

I didn’t even need to pack a bag, get on a plane or, use my passport! 

My husband and I just enjoyed a wonderful weekend trip to Quebec City’s Winter Carnival. Nancy organized the trip and it could not have been any better!

- Martha Field

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