MEET THE MUSE: Reflections from Teen Muse Vivian Nye
What inspired you to travel to Zambia?
I knew that I didn’t have much planned for summer, and I had heard a lot about the trip from a few different people, so I decided to apply. I think the idea of getting to work with girls and women was what really interested me.
Did the trip live up to your expectations? Explain.
Honestly, I didn’t have any strong expectations going into the trip, but I definitely had a good time! I felt like I got to have a lot of meaningful conversations as well as make new friends.
One thing that really surprised me was the extent to which certain topics of conversation were taboo for girls in Zambia. It was really shocking to learn that girls my age had rarely (or never) gotten to talk about things like their periods and sexual health.
Please share one or more moments that had an impact on you and why.
Talking with our canoe guides about same-sex relationships made me think a lot more about tolerance. They both expressed strong disagreement with the idea of such relationships but also said that they accept and understand the decisions of others. I was really impressed by their ability to approach such controversial issues with calm and acceptance rather than aggression and would like to learn to do the same.
Why do you feel this sort of travel is important?
I definitely think that trips like these help teach the importance of incorporating service and outreach into travel. I also think that this sort of travel also helps instill cultural awareness and tolerance in both those of us who are traveling and those living in Zambia.
How has the experience changed you or shifted a belief about yourself or the world?
I think it has reinforced the idea that conversation is one of the most powerful catalysts for progress and that creating change in the world doesn’t have to mean spending a lot of money or donating a lot of materials.
How will you utilize what you learned on this trip?
Why should someone else go on this trip?
It’s a trip that will allow you to learn about issues of global importance through simple conversations and interactions. You get to carry out “service” in a way that puts interaction above material aid, which is really cool.
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