This past March Break saw three groups of students and teachers travel to three different parts of the world with three very aims and travel itineraries. The destinations of these trips were India, Nepal, and Europe.
After living an amazing adventure, the students who travelled to India in support of Free the Children returned changed people. Everybody was touched by the hardships other human beings face daily in the struggle of survival, but the sadness felt at seeing these challenges was accompanied by a great feeling of satisfaction knowing that they were putting smiles on the faces of the children in a school in Bagad, Rajasthan. Everybody learned so much about the area, the lives and the culture of the people living there, as well as about themselves. Students returned with valuable new leadership skills and with a better appreciation and gratitude for their ways of life here.
Another group of students travelled to Nepal to help build a home for a family in Birtamode, Jhapa. Using sustainable local resources, the Mentor team worked at a vigorous pace for 6 full days, in an effort to complete the home. Tasks performed each day included measuring, cutting, splitting and weaving bamboo as well as mixing cement and plaster. Throughout the build, students also enjoyed meeting and interacting with local community members. The unforgettable experience came to an end with a memorable closing ceremony in which community leaders offered thanks and engaged our students in traditional ceremonial procedures.
Students on the Battlefields of Europe Tour made mife-long memories, too. The battlefields of World War I and II were the focus; Dieppe, Juno Beach, Vimy Ridge and Beaumont Hamel came to life from the stories and pictures of textbooks and lectures. A connection to wartime emotion was made as, unknown to students, parents wrote letters (the old fashioned way) of appreciation and pride in their sons and daughters. In a similar fashion to soldiers on the front lines, letters were handed out and many of our travelers were overcome with emotion hearing from their parents in such an ‘unusual’ manner. All of this led to an experience of a lifetime where history and the sacrifice of others allowed the students to appreciate their position and the lives that they have.