Over spring break I traveled with the school to Nepal. Working with buildOn, an organization that builds schools in villages throughout the world with a history of no adequate school structure. So after flying to Nepal and spending our first day touring Kathmandu, we flew to the village. The first day in the village was slightly overwhelming since we were honored with a four hour long welcoming ceremony. We met our host families after the ceremony and spent that first night getting to know them. For the next four days we worked in shifts, building the school or learning from the villagers. I was blown away with the kindness the villagers showed, especially my host family, and how rewarding that relationship was even with the language barrier.
Over spring break I traveled to Jordan on the Arabic trip. While in Jordan we stayed at an Eco Park for two days. The Eco Park was a place where people could stay and learn about techniques to conserve energy and limit the amount of water used. We visited a bird hut that was made out recycled bottles filled with sand and stacked into a structure for bird watchers. While staying there my fellow travelers and I filled as many bottles as we could for the Eco Park to use in building their bird hut. Somehow the service turned into a competition between many of my classmates as everyone tried to fill their bottles with sand first. Employees at the Eco Park would check our finished bottles and beat them against the ground to pack the sand in, before sending us back with the newly exposed extra room. I never imagined it would be so hard to completely fill a bottle with sand but every time I thought I was finished the bottle would be shaken until more space was exposed and I had to go back to the sand pit and fill it up some more. The whole experience was very fun as we all raced to fill as many bottles as we could while Bram, Anna, and Leitzel looked on.