MEET THE MUSE: Reflections from Teen Muse Charlie Stuermer
What inspired you to travel to Zambia?
My last trip to Africa really opened my eyes to a whole new culture and I really wanted to go back and experience that again.
Did the trip live up to your expectations? Explain.
It not only lived up to my expectations but ended up being my favorite trip I have ever gone on and something I will remember for the rest of my life.
What did you learn about issues affecting girls in rural Zambia?
I learned that in Zambian girls aren’t really accepted as equal when it comes to sports and to be a part of a team with girls in our group playing against the kids in the schools was super cool. The guys were amazed at how well they could play and they really began to accept them as part of the team.
Please share one or more moments that had an impact on you and why.
Playing guitar at the orphanage on the first day is something I will always remember. As soon as I brought out the guitar, kids were circling around me to get a better look. When Christine asked if she could play and I gave her the guitar she started playing and singing songs that even we knew. It proves the point that music is truly a universal language and can bring people from all types of cultures together.
Playing soccer was my favorite part of the trip. After playing for three hours straight earlier in the day I decided to go kick the ball around with a few of the kids on the bigger fields while everyone else was playing volley ball. That kick around quickly became a game and at first I had no idea who everyone was, but after a while they accepted me and I became one of them. I began to know them all by their names and mannerisms and we all felt comfortable laughing and giving each other grief and for me that is something that I hold dear to my heart.
Why do you feel this sort of travel is important?
It really opens your eyes to something that you may not have ever seen. You get to see how other people live and interact and it really makes you cherish what you have. You learn to forget about your differences and allows you to see that we really aren’t much different when it comes down to it.
How has the experience changed you or shifted a belief about yourself or the world?
I really feel like I have a better understanding of the idea that humans can come together and achieve greatness no matter what the background. Once people learn to get over themselves and their selfish ways I feel that anyone can become friends and that is something I learned from this trip that I will always remember.
I just feel like this experience has made me a better person as a whole. Being friendly and outgoing is truly something that can get you far in life and this trip really made me realize that.
Why should someone else go on this trip?
Why not? If you are looking to have an experience that will change your life forever and you will always hold dear to your heart, then this is a no brainer.
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