Tuesday, October 21, 2014

GO! and Set the World on Fire

The Global Outreach program here at Fordham gives students the opportunity to go on cultural immersion and service trips during winter, spring, and summer break.  These trips are based around the four pillars of community, simple living, social justice, and spirituality.  The projects take place in approximately thirty locations, including both domestic and international destinations.  Students have traveled throughout the United States as well as countries in Asia, Africa, Latin America, and Europe.  Each trip involves partnering with a different organization, working to support them in their efforts.  Last spring break, I spent the week with my GO! Waynesburg team helping with Habitat for Humanity in Greene County, PA.

My team on a hike in Waynesburg
Our main project was working on a house that was being renovated for a local family.  We worked on both the interior and exterior of the home, from painting walls to using power tools on the deck outside.  Working with this organization, we really got to learn about its mission of ensuring adequate and affordable housing for everyone.  One day we also helped transport roof shingles from a construction site to the Habitat for Humanity warehouse.  In addition to manual labor, the trip was also an immersion experience.  One woman whose house was built by a past Fordham team had us over for dinner one night.  It was so awesome to see the finished product of a past trip and realize the difference we can make.

Starting to prime the walls

We were housed at a Methodist church, and the community welcomed us with open arms.  One night they came over to host a dinner party for us, and they even invited us to a fish fry in the neighborhood.  Meeting so many members of the community really made us feel at home in this rural environment, so different from what we are used to at Fordham.  Embracing this different setting, we visited the Lippencott Alpaca Farm and learned all about the animals.  We also spent a day in Pittsburgh, exploring the Carnegie Science Center and the surrounding area.  My Global Outreach trip was such an eye opening experience, and I truly recommend all Fordham students to do one during their time here!

Feeding alpacas at the Lippencott Farm

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