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Chico State's independent student newspaper

The Orion

Chico State's independent student newspaper

The Orion

Chico State's independent student newspaper

The Orion

Future teacher embarks upon African adventure

Jeanette Adame, junior history major, taught English to young children in the Zanzibar region of Africa. Photo courtesy of Jeanette Adame.

Jeanette Adame taught English to students and climbed one of the highest mountains in the world during a three-week trip to Africa last summer.

With the goal of becoming a teacher, she experienced the ups and downs that many of the locals frequently encounter in and out of the classroom.

As part of the volunteer organization Growth International Volunteer Excursions she and other group members have opportunities to travel to parts of various countries that are in need of assistance in areas such as education and construction.

Adame, a junior history major, had always wanted to visit Africa and her involvement in the organization gave her the opportunity she needed, she said.

She spent two weeks volunteering at a school in Zanzibar, Africa, a semi-autonomous island region located off the coast of Tanzania in the Indian Ocean.

“We flew into Tanzania and took a 12-hour bus ride to the capital, Dodoma,” Adame said, “and eventually took a ferry to Zanzibar.”

Adame spent her two weeks in a school teaching English to students ranging in age from 5 to 18. The volunteer-constructed school lacked resources such as textbooks and notebooks but still managed to provide students with English-learning classes.

Residents of Zanzibar speak Kiswahili, and Adame’s experience teaching there was difficult at times, she said.

“It was interesting to me that we were not taught some Kiswahili before teaching the students English, and that made things frustrating at times,” Adame said. “Overall though, the experience solidified my goal of becoming a teacher in the future.”

The third and final week of her trip, she and 24 others hiked one of the tallest mountains in the world, Mount Kilimanjaro.

“It took us five days to hike the entire mountain, and on the fifth night at midnight we reached the summit, following with a two-day trip back down,” she said.

Climbing Mount Kilimanjaro was one of many memories made by Adame and her group. On weekends, she and the others participated in various nautical and cultural activities.

“We went swimming with dolphins in the warm Indian Ocean water and expected to go to a historic town there called Stone Town,” Adame said. “Unfortunately, the day of the trip we received a call that a bomb had been set off in Stone Town the previous night, so we found something else to do.”

Instead of the trip to the historic town, the group participated in a bonfire on the beach with the natives of Zanzibar and danced with the locals under the full moon.

Aside from her volunteer work, Adame is also part of the Chico State choir. The 60-member group performs in multiple forms, such as a capella and instrument-accompanied music.

This semester in particular, the choir is performing a gospel-like form of music known as spirituals. The choir is currently preparing for its fall semester concert.

Dedicated to choir and her goals of teaching, Adame is continuously working towards the future. However, when she occasionally looks at her past, she always thinks about her amazing experiences abroad, she said.

“The trip to Africa was the most amazing thing I have ever experienced,” Adame said.

Blaine Ball can be reached at [email protected] or @BlaineHBall on Twitter.

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