Last meeting before our big trip!

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kellydresses201505 “Imkeli kaj oondoza ji etele iikulja” => “Peace fattens more than food”

Cinco de Mayo brought more than the typical smell of tacos in the air. Today was the last meeting before we travel across the ocean to Namibia, Africa. The countdown of 20 days has begun and the room was filled with busy questions and eagerness. This year’s University of Wisconsin-Stevens Point special education study aboard trip to Africa consists of seven remarkable students ready to enhance the learning of visually impaired schoolchildren. We were able to answer important questions, finalize rooming situations and learn more about the Namibian culture. In Wisconsin we are afraid of hitting deer, in Africa they are afraid of hitting gazelle.

We greatly appreciate the organization Little Dresses for Africa, Kelly, her mother and surrounding friends in Portage designed 80 beautiful dresses for us to bring with us to the Namibia school. Thank you so much for your creativity and hard work. Students from the Namibia school will definitely look forward to these as well as use them constantly.

kellymoney201505It is difficult to believe that we are leaving in 20 days! I can recall being in high school, applying for schools and realizing how splendid it would be to study abroad somewhere that could use assistance. It was truly a dream when I picked up the loose leaf piece of paper that opened up a very important opportunity to me: The study abroad education trip for Namibia Africa.

Before this month it felt that time traveled slowly; the trip was still a dream that awoke the butterflies in my stomach who kept me up at night. However, now I am less than a month away from impacting students in a magnificent, educational way. This trip means a great deal to me as well as the other students traveling to Africa. After completing my undergrad at the UW-Stevens Point, I hope to continue my education and strengthen curriculum for students with disabilities in developing countries, the experience and impact I receive from this study aboard trip will be essential in my development as a professional and a better human being.

These 20 days are going to go by swiftly. There is much planning and packing to do before the big day.


Kelly Mares, an elementary education and special education major, is blogging about her study abroad experience in Namibia, Africa.