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Tanzania: Travel with a Purpose vBy Aimee Huntley This summer held more adventure than usual for the six Yankton High School students and their teacher, Mrs. Kaiti Ladwig. They traveled to Tanzania for a service learning trip that began June 10 and ended on June 20th. The Yankton ladies flew out of Sioux Falls airport, and met up with another high school group from the Island Pacific Academy of Hawaii in Amsterdam. The combined party of Americans then landed at Kilimanjaro International airport in Tanzania and travelled by bus to the community they would be working with in the Arusha Region at the base of Mount Meru. With Kaiti Ladwig in the lead, the participating students were Grace Liebig, Chloe Reardon, Kelsie Faulk, Milena Nedved, Leola Felton, and Sawyer Marts. The girls held fundraising activities throughout the year to help generate the money needed for the trip. These included a car wash, Valentine’s Day Grams and candy sales. Most of the students needed family financial support also. Kaiti has a well inked passport with stamps from Haiti, Cambodia, and the Dominican Republic. She has lived abroad in London, and visited forty-six of the United States states. This was the first time out of the country for almost all the students however, and the first experience flying in an airplane for two of the girls. During the school year, Kaiti held monthly meetings to teach the group about Africa and what to expect on their journeys. This is Kaiti’s third service trip, she’s had prior experience on others while attending high school and as a college student at USD. Church based mission trips and educational service trips both focus on helping underdeveloped countries in a personal way. They both foster friendships and directly help communities in sustainable ways, but there are definite differences between a mission trip and an educational service trip. Traditionally mission trips have always been faith based, with a primary focus on spreading religious education. Kaiti says that, “We were a service trip and it’s all about community involvement and providing a helping hand to the direct needs of a particular community. A mission trip is faith based and provides service, but we go beyond that. We are taught lessons, challenged to be a part of the community, and we focus more on global presence and becoming an ambassadors for global awareness. This is a hands up, not a hand out.” Tanzania is located in East Africa, and is about twice as large as the state of California. It’s next to the the Indian Ocean to the east, and has borders with eight other surrounding African countries. True to its exotic name, Tanzania has a diverse population of over 49 million people with varying cultures, religions, and languages. There are 120 ethnic groups, and each has their own dialect. The two official languages are English and Swahili. The local children were much more proficient in English than their elders, and had endless questions for the Americans. Some were personal. They were astonished that Kaiti’s husband and the girls’ families allowed them to go on such an adventure unchaperoned. They also wanted to know why the male teacher from Hawaii was unmarried and had no children. They asked him what was wrong with him, the Americans could only chuckle in response. The Americans lived in large, green, canvas tents and slept on metal cots with blankets (called shukas) and sheets. The teachers and group leaders had individual private tents. Kaiti strongly encouraged her students to disconnect from their cell phones, and be completely present for the experience instead. The group woke up early every morning at seven thirty and ate breakfast at eight o’clock. The girls shared that the food was very good with a lot of rice, fruit and

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