Backstory of a Challenger!

11 04 2012

One day in the fall of my freshman year I said to my parents, “My history teacher is going to Africa with a bunch of kids in two summers. Can I go?”  They gave each other  bemused, looks and said, “What?”.

After a detailed explanation of World Challenge at the informational meeting, and seeing how infatuated I was with the safaris, indigenous cultures, Mt. Kilimanjaro, and volunteering at a school of adorable Tanzanian children, they agreed.

The girls on our World Challenge team one day's hike from the summit of Kili (I'm on the far left)

The trip gave me many more experiences than I’d expected. I knew there was a level of independence and courage involved in spending four weeks halfway around the world, but I didn’t know how much. I learned to pack light, shop on a budget in grocery stores stocked with items I wasn’t familiar with, shower infrequently, barter for a better prices in markets, and keep all of my possessions in sight!

A Maasai market where we learned to barter for goods

Now at home, I do many of the same things I did before the trip. I run cross-country and track and I’m still in the same two volunteering clubs as I was before, and now there’s a third, fundraising to buy a photocopier for the primary school we visited on expedition.

And as for the future? I loved Tanzania and  I want to keep traveling and continue seeing the world, and proving that I can explore it independently and effectively, even when unshowered – Sarah

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