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Our Return To Quishurani

During our group reflection last night we shared our thoughts on our first week in Quishurani and everyone expressed excitement to return to this mountain village where we had begun forming relationships with community members and establishing a sense of place. We look forward to continued work with this community that welcomed us with warm…

Working Our Way Home

[vc_row][vc_column][vc_column_text letter_spacing=””]The past few days have been hectic. After finishing our project on the 5th, we swiftly departed from Yoloshi and headed for Dora again. Upon arriving in Dora, we finally had the privilege of taking showers—after 5 days in the middle of nowhere, the hot water was much appreciated. When we were all clean,…

What does it mean to complete a project?

What does it mean to complete a project? Does it mean creating an object, or does it mean something much more? For us, it means something much more. This past couple of days we have been putting in a lot of work. We decided, as a team, that we could do more to help the…

Creating New Friendships and Growing as People

Hello! My name is Eleanor and I am journal girl for the day. Our day started with an early morning breakfast that would prepare us for our first day of work at Tiriji eco enter. Our goal by the end of the trip is to create a gazebo for IPI to use for gatherings and…

Wacintaka (fortitude)

[vc_row][vc_column][vc_column_text letter_spacing=””]After most of the girls toughed out a cold night in the tipi, we woke up at around 7, and helped the women in the kitchen serve breakfast and clean up. We then played with the children and some of the boys from the Young Men’s camp (volleyball, soccer, games, etc.). After we had…

Compassion

We started off on day 3 waking up to cool weather and breakfast prepared by the Lakota women. During the day the boys in the coming-of-age camp built a magnificent tipi in the center of the camp, while we observed and learned from the elders. We learned that the poles used to build the tipi…

Working Shoulder-to-Shoulder With Common Ground Relief

[vc_row][vc_column][vc_column_text letter_spacing=””]Today was hot. And humid. We worked hard and managed to see plenty of wildlife (or critters) without leaving the nursery. I pulled weeds and moved rotten wooden pallets that had been eaten by termites. There was a lot of watering plants too for some kids and it took most of the time we…

Final Day in Detroit: From Peaks to a Mountain Range

Today marked our last full day in Detroit. We started the day by going to a local bagel place (Detroit Institute of Bagels) for breakfast where we got our fill of rosemary olive oil bagels before heading to a park for our last group learning activities. We spent nearly 3 hours discussing nuggets of wisdom,…

Inspiration and Community in Cancha Cancha

We’re finally back home in Urubamba after four nights camping in the high-Andean community, Cancha Cancha. After getting dirty and working hard in the community, the whole group is not only satisfied with the work we have accomplished but also more inspired than ever by the people we worked with. One of the most impactful…

Compassion

[vc_row][vc_column][vc_column_text letter_spacing=””]Compassion encompasses our entire trip; it is present in our group and in the Lakota people. The twelve of us were brought together by a common feeling of compassion for the Lakota. The healing camp and Anpo Wicahpi (Morning Star) Pine Ridge Girl’s School would not be possible without the endless compassion of the…

The Sky is the Limit

[vc_row][vc_column][vc_column_text letter_spacing=””]Alex Saadé When I was young, I was told that I could be anything. “The sky is the limit” my Mom would say. I knew this to be true. My teachers always said the same thing to my classmates and me. It was that culture of optimism and ambition that had reinforced all of…

Esprit de Corps

[vc_row][vc_column][vc_column_text letter_spacing=””]Esprit de Corps is a phrase that most people know the meaning of, but few know the name itself. It is defined as “a feeling of pride, fellowship, and common loyalty shared by the members of a particular group.” Today we talked as a group about examples of this within the Lakota culture and…

My Hope for Children Everywhere

[vc_row][vc_column][vc_column_text letter_spacing=””]From the very first day of school, Fernanda was my favorite. An energetic and yet contemplative 7-year-old, she had stolen my heart as well as most of my pencils. She was a star student and a little bit of a diva; her English skills were rivaled only by her confidence. The yellow clips she…

Meaningful Mountains

Today we travelled to Chincero, Moray, and Ollantaytambo to explore ancient Incan ruins. Our group experienced a different side of Peru, getting a taste of this country’s rich history and also seeing a much more touristy side of the Sacred Valley. Fortunately, our trusty pal Augustine from the Llama Pack Project joined us and helped…

Tenacity

[vc_row][vc_column][vc_column_text letter_spacing=””]“Every great dream begins with a dreamer. Always remember, you have within you the strength, the patience, and the passion to reach for the stars to change the world.”-Harriet Tubman As mentioned in the last post, we learned that one of the six poles of the tipi structure stands for fortitude. We’ve learned throughout…

Journey through the Pass

Wednesday – July 5th Our 17th day in Nepal started with a breakfast of potatoes with curry,and chick peas and poori (fried dough). It gave us much needed energy for our impending 9 hour trek. We left the village of Kinja around 8:30am and started our journey by crossing two suspension bridges situated above a…

Humility

[vc_row][vc_column][vc_column_text letter_spacing=””]On our second day in the Black Hills, we had many exciting cultural experiences. One of which was building a traditional tipi. The men built a tipi first, followed by the women. The tipi is considered a woman’s place and her responsibility. The young Lakota women and the girls on our trip learned that…

From strangers to family

[vc_row][vc_column][vc_column_text letter_spacing=””]Today our group awoke back at the Shechen Guest House where we first started our trip in Nepal. Although the stay in this hotel is luxurious with hot showers and delicious food, it is also bitter sweet as it is the near end of our trip. Following a breakfast of pancakes and eggs, Shawn…

Communication and connections

It’s amazing how we find different ways to communicate with each other. While some students in our group speak Spanish very well, others just know the basics. As a non-Spanish speaker and someone who has not taken a Spanish class since the 6th grade, I can honestly say that it was nerve wracking going to…

Proximity

Opportunity. While this word does have an objective definition, I see it as more of a subjective concept. I embarked on this trip because I wanted to create opportunities for people who were less fortunate than myself. After being in Nicaragua for a little over a week, I realized that I’m not here to create…

Curiosity

[vc_row][vc_column][vc_column_text letter_spacing=””]As Albert Einstein once said, “The important thing is to not stop questioning. Curiosity has its own reasons for existing.” Ten of us from all over the country arrived having many different feelings about the journey we were about to embark on. Perhaps the foremost feeling among us was that of curiosity; curiosity about…

Kwaheri Tuonene Tena

[vc_row][vc_column][vc_column_text letter_spacing=””]The hardest part of travel is not surviving the stress of airports or adapting to new environments. It is not learning a new language or eating new food. In my opinion, the hardest part lies in the goodbyes. As we said our goodbyes to everyone at KACH, I had time to reflect on all…

A Smile And A Watermelon

[vc_row][vc_column][vc_column_text letter_spacing=””]After classes end and the kids are ready to go home, we get into groups and the kids point us to which side of the island they live on. Today I walked Cristal and Johari home, they live to the left of Hacienda Merida. A LOT to the left. With no street names, it’s…

Nerves, Laughs, Learning, and Paint!

[vc_row][vc_column][vc_column_text letter_spacing=””]A very busy day as we had students at the school this morning eager to learn about mountain ecosystems. The teacher strike is still on but students from the mountain communities trekked down to school (some for 2hrs) to learn from our group of dedicated SStS “strike breakers.” Our group had many great discussions…

Our first day teaching

Today was our first day with the cutest bundles of joy I have ever met. I learned many new things whether they had to do with Spanish or how different our lives are. To start off, when I arrived to the bottle-built school, I noticed the lack of doors. All of the wonderful classrooms are…

Service and Strikes

We awoke this morning on a mission to complete day one of service work at the school. We filled our stomachs with delicious mysterious milk, pita bread, and local fruit. Leaving the house with packs full of sunscreen and toilet paper, we boarded a bus and drove 20 minutes to the school. Unfortunately, the teachers…

Lesson Planning and Touring Urubamba

Day 3! After getting hardly any sleep following a full 24 hours of travel, day 2 was a bit of a blur. Today sort of felt like day 1. I’d like to start by recognizing just how amazing the food is here. Our cooks have yet to give us a meal that wasn’t enjoyed by…

Last Day In New Orleans

We spent our last day in NOLA planting bullrush along the shoreline of Lake Maurepas. We woke up early this morning to drive to the swamp where we were met by our new friends Blaise, T. John, Jeremy, and Mr. Steve. We took a pontoon ride through the swamp to get to the lake; passing…

Rain Date: Tomorrow

Today it rained for most of the day. We drove a hour and 15 min to get to the boat launch at Lake Maurepas, but ended up not being able to work due to the weather. Instead we went to Mr. Steve’s house to unload the plants that we were suppose to use. Mr. Steve…

Our Muddy Adventure

[vc_row][vc_column][vc_column_text letter_spacing=””]Today we woke up at 6:30 to take off the training wheels and go to the marsh. Unlike the canals from Tuesday, we were working in the mushy dead plant matter that had collected on the bottom of the marsh. As soon as we hopped off the boat we sunk into the muck past…

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