As this trip comes to a close, I would like to take some time to share with all of you what I have learned from this amazing experience. I have done a lot in the little time that I had here in Jamaica. From jumping off of a forty foot cliff into a seemingly bottomless ocean to living with four of the greatest kids I could ever meet. But only one of those reasons was why I came here, the people.
In my previous blog post I mentioned Visions Global Empowerment, Amizade’s on-site partner in India. I did not; however, describe Visions as an organization.
Bring on the paint! 13 of us IUP students plus Galloway’s teachers and other community members split up between two classrooms to start painting the walls with fresh yellowish/cream paint. As we were dipping our paint brushes into the buckets of paint and splattering the walls and ourselves we realized how hard we were all working as a group, counting on one another for help.
What comes to mind when you hear someone mention the word “India”? Do you think of unfamiliar settings? Strong religious influence? Spicy food? These were all things I conjured up in my personal pre-departure expectations of the country. I imagined a colorful landscape with crowded streets.
This past July, six students from UCLA spent 10 days with Amizade Global Service-Learning and Amizade’s community partner, Fundação Esperança, traveling along the Trombetas river on a medical boat that provides health services to isolated communities.
We are thrilled to announce that Amizade has been granted Special Consultative Status with the United Nations ECOSOC (Economic and Social Council) on July 27, 2012, making us the first nonprofit organization in Pittsburgh to receive the honor.
Once upon a time, there was a traveller named Mzungu who visited Karagwe, Tanzania. Mzungu did not speak any Kiswahili, but he was full of questions about the area and was curious to explore. Upon arrival, he decided to take a day and tour the town and the surrounding mountains and villages. The landscape was amazing, nothing like he’d ever seen. The hillside sloped down into a river that snaked through the valley. Past the river, the green mountains rolled on into the horizon.
All throughout intermediate and high school, I considered myself a concert rat. At least once a month my friends and I would head down to Mr. Smalls or Club Diesel, usually being the youngest people in the crowd, to see one of the many bands we were infatuated with. These venues usually consisted of shoving crowds, mosh-pits, and crowd surfers. I’ve had my fair share of crazy adventures to faraway shows and completely ridiculous happenings, but none of these memories compare to our recent quest for Tanzania Bongo-Flavor Pop-Sensation: Diamond!
Writing about something that has had such a profound effect on your life – personally, academically, and professionally, is a daunting task. You want your readers to feel, see, and hear the same sights, emotions, and experiences that you felt. You want them to understand the connection you feel to the library, the clinic, your homestay family, and the community as a whole. You want to accurately answer the question you are asked on a regular basis, “Why go back to Ghana?”
One of the many sites Amizade volunteers visit in Petersfield, Jamaica is Roaring River Park – home to beautiful scenery and swimming holes, rich in culture and history, and the site of world-renowned limestone caverns.