JC students headed for KenyaJamestown College students from four states and many majors - including communications, education, radiology and more - are preparing for their upcoming service learning trip to Chogoria, Kenya.
By: Kari Lucin, The Jamestown Sun
Jamestown College students from four states and many majors - including communications, education, radiology and more - are preparing for their upcoming service learning trip to Chogoria, Kenya.
“I think it helps you grow as a person to experience other cultures … it just opens your eyes to another perspective on life,” said Hannah Cotton, of Little Falls, Minn., the radiology major of the bunch.
The trip doesn’t begin until May 12, but preparations have been under way for a long time.
The group of seven students has already shared a Kenyan meal, spoken to people who have visited Kenya, shopped for Kenya-friendly clothes such as long skirts, and received vaccinations for typhoid, polio, meningitis, yellow fever, tetanus, diphtheria and pertussis and two forms of hepatitis.
They have plotted out the schedules for their malaria pills and they are working diligently on the songs they will perform for the Kenyans, who in the past have often asked JC groups to sing.
They are also excited about the trip, which will have some of them volunteering at Village Hopecore International, which does microlending, as well as the local elementary schools and a family resource center with a day care and food program.
They will depart May 12 and return June 2.
Nursing groups from JC have been traveling to Chogoria for years, but this group, all students in the Window on Kenya class, will only be the second multidisciplinary group to go.
And it is very multidisciplinary. No student has the exact same major as any of the others. Darla Dewald, of Steele, N.D., is an accounting major.
Morgan Bossman, of Sturgis, S.D., is a business administration major who wants hands-on experience in nonprofit work.
Jacie Fabro, of Woodbury, Minn., a communications major, said plenty of her coursework involved diversity, but she had been shielded from “the extreme reality of the world.” Fabro wants to get out of her comfort zone and see that reality for herself.
“I’m really excited to get into the schools,” said Abby Heilman, of Jamestown, a teacher education major. “We’ll have just about two full weeks in the classroom.”
Heilman believes she’ll take less for granted after her trip, and she also expects children in Chogoria to be more disciplined than their American counterparts.
Amy Frederiksen, a psychology major from Ames, Iowa, will also be working with elementary school students.
Beth Ryan, a freshman mass communications major, hails from the town of Ray, in northwest North Dakota, which had a population of about 600 people at the last census.
“This is already opening up my mind,” Ryan said of her experience so far in the Window on Kenya course. “It will help me, especially in college, to figure out who I am and what I want to be in my life.”
The trip is costing each student $2,700, but all received financial support from local churches, families and friends as well as grants and at least one scholarship.
As the mass communications major of the group, Ryan is spearheading the group’s blogging efforts at journeytochogoria.blogspot.com and writing pieces for The Jamestown Sun before, during and after the trip.
Posting to a blog in Chogoria involves either purchasing a cellular modem and using a cellular network or else using dial-up, said Chris Hoke, an instructor and network systems administrator at Jamestown College.
It’s all about connecting with the world beyond, said professor Cindy Ault, the other faculty member heading to Kenya with the students. Ault visited Kenya in 1987, and has always wanted to return.
“I’m really excited about the opportunity to do something useful along with the tourist things,” Ault said.
Sun reporter Kari Lucin can be reached at 701-952-8453 or by email at firstname.lastname@example.org