MEET THE MUSE: A Conversation with Teen Muse Baronie Pardue
What inspired you to travel to Zambia?
I think what inspired me to go to Africa was that I really wanted to learn and experience a new culture. I’ve traveled around the world and I’ve seen so many place but never one quite like Africa.
Did the trip live up to your expectations?
The trip totally exceeded my expectations… I went with low expectations just ready to go with whatever happened and was prepared for the worst. But I never really felt uncomfortable or scared or anything. The whole thing was magical and a wonderful experience.
What did you learn about issues affecting girls in rural Zambia?
I think a problem is the absence of a proper sex education. I think that it’s really important to learn about you’re body so that you can be comfortable and these girls just didn’t really have that. And most of them also didn’t really have a parental figure to talk to and there was no one with a good knowledge to answer they’re important and basic questions.
Please share one or more moments that had an impact on you and why.
It was really shocking to me that some of the questions the girls asked were just basic knowledge of period and our body. It just made me realize how important it is to get this education and how much we take it for granted here.
Why do you feel this sort of travel is important?
It’s not only important for us to go to places like Africa and give them what we can and teach them what we can, but it’s also important to go there and be open to learning. Learning about other cultures and their similarities and differences to ours. I think that there are some really important messages and ideas that we can take back and apply in our own lives.
How has the experience changed you or shifted a belief about yourself or the world?
It really made me realize that material things don’t bring you joy, we shouldn’t be focused on what we have or don’t have. We should be focused on our relationship towards the world and others around us. Our important relationships are going to outlast our material possessions.
How will you utilize what you learned on this trip?
I’m trying to focus less on what I have or don’t have and focus more on the people around me and finding happiness in them not my possessions.
I think someone should go on this trip to gain a new perspective and a new experience. I think it’s important to learn all we can about the world and other cultures to help us interact in a better way.
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