Who I am: Hi my name is Jonah Trudeau and I’m an almost 16 year-old sophomore in Austin, Texas.
Since I was five I’ve been interested in global affairs and social justice and I have always wanted to travel the world and learn about other cultures. For two years I have been active in Model United Nations and I am in a program called Global Peace and Conflict Studies where I learn about the the things going on in the world around me. Since 6th grade, I’ve been a part of our Community Leaders Program where I help make my community the best it can be. Additionally, I’m a jazz pianist, in my school’s advanced Jazz Band, I am an honor roll student, a member of the National Honor Society and I like to play soccer, skateboard and run around with my rescue dog, Rico. I am excited to have been accepted by the World Learning Institute and the Experiment in International Living to be a part of the Tanzania: African Cultures & Landscape program for a 5 week service project during the summer of 2018.
Why I want to go: My hope is to go to Tanzania to help benefit my homestay villages through community service projects, to learn and speak Swahili, to learn about the challenges, culture and the beauty of the country and to bring this learning home to others. I particularly want to go to Tanzania because that part of the world calls to me as I am very interested in global affairs and I have never been outside of the United States, much less a third world country. I think it is important for me to travel to another country so that I can gain perspective and learn about both culture and the world around on a personal level. I think this would be a life changing experience that would help me grow and become the person I want to be. I also think this trip would have a huge impact on what I want to do with my life, college and even my career. Immersion is one of the best ways to learn a language (Swahili) and about another culture. I hope to make people’s lives easier and better in this 3rd world country by teaching English, helping families and building a school.
My journey: My African experience will start in Tanzania’s capital, Dar es Salaam, where I will explore the city on a bike tour with visits to markets, coffee brewers, food vendors, and artists. I will get to witness the country’s changing landscapes through a trip to Arusha for a safari to look for elephants, lions, giraffes, hippos, and baboons in their natural habitat and I will learn about traditional African culture and arts while meeting with educators, artists, and musicians. I will learn basic Swahili language skills and practice with my host family and local Tanzanians. I will participate in a series of community service projects aimed at improving the livelihoods of the villagers, such as teaching English, renovating a school or planting 500 cashew trees, one of the local cash crops. I will experience the vast differences between urban and rural Tanzania as well as the country’s diverse ethnic communities. During my first homestay in the coastal city of Tanga, I will learn about the role of Islam in Tanzanian culture and sail in a traditional dhow along the beach. A Maasai tribe will welcome me into its community as I camp in a group of mud huts, known as boma. In the morning, I’ll hike to Mount Kilimanjaro, the highest mountain in Africa, then, in the evening, sit under the stars around a campfire discussing important issues that impact indigenous communities. I’ll complete my journey as I spot more African wildlife on a final safari at the Ngorongoro Conservation Area, a UNESCO World Heritage Site. Known for being the best place to see animal migration, I can expect to see myriad wildlife as my Experiment comes to a close.
Trip cost & how I will pay for this: The total cost of the trip is $8000 including airfare. I am working throughout the school year at a local Thai restaurant to earn and save $2000 for this trip. My parents are contributing $2,000 and I hope to earn $4,000 through the Go Fund Me Campaign. Any donations of any amount are highly appreciated. I am very excited about this opportunity and I hope you decide to donate to support my dream.
How I will share this experience with others: Once I come home I plan on sharing my experience with my Model United Nations and Global Peace and Conflict Studies programs, through an all-school presentation to MS and HS students, with middle and elementary school students in Austin, and I would love to be an Austin ambassador for Tanzania and the program once I come back. Also if any of my donors would like for me to give a presentation to their school or community about what I learned I would be more than happy to do so.
What is The Experiment? Founded in the 1930’s, The Experiment in International Living is the nation’s oldest and most respected provider of international education and experiential learning for high school students. Often called the “Peace Corps for high school students,” the Experiment believes in creating profound, lasting educational experiences that positively impact both students and the communities they visit and aims to change worldviews. Each year, hundreds of students come away from The Experiment with invaluable cultural, leadership, language, and college prep skills that help them thrive in diverse environments. The Experiment is the flagship program of World Learning (worldlearning.org), a nonprofit organization working to empower people and communities, and strengthen institutions around the world through education, sustainable development, and exchange programs. Over more than eight decades, World Learning has built on The Experiment’s success to become a thriving global nonprofit organization with sustainable programs impacting 150 countries. World Learning is part of the World Learning Inc. family, which also includes the School for International Training (SIT), offering accredited undergraduate study abroad programs through SIT Study Abroad, and globally focused master’s degrees through SIT Graduate Institute.
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