Time I wrote, as promised, about some of the young people I was privileged to meet in Rapa Nui, people who are doing things to make a difference.
Katleen is European but has traveled all over the world. She is a scientist and after graduating from university she worked in Germany for about 8 years running a lab. She has had several jobs but has spent the last year or so on a spiritual journey, traveling through many countries in Asia, Africa, the middle east, and now South America. Sort of a pilgrimage. She is living in Rapa Nui and has been volunteering with Sonia on her archaeology and reforestation projects. She speaks many languages and can been seen in the picture working with Scott to plant trees on the last Earthwatch expedition day.
Pascal is from Germany. He’s 21 years old and taking time off before university. He spent 4 months working with the Rapa Nui Parks Department and helped Lucy & I communicate with the other workers there. He speaks German, French, Italian, Spanish, English and Rapa Nui. His time here will go towards a university credit along with other jobs he is taking on. He was going to spend several weeks trekking through Patagonia after finishing in Rapa Nui before going on to work in Argentina (if I’m remembering properly) and he hopes to have one more work project in the United States before heading home. What an adventure!
Diane is working on her PHD on the South Pacific culture. She is spending time on Rapa Nui helping Sonia with the programme she is doing in the public school involving children in reforestation and helping them to understand how important it is to their future. She also speaks a number of languages and is a granddaughter of Jacques Cousteau. I guess it helps if an intrepid spirit is part of your heritage!
Do you know young people who are taking time away from school or work to make a difference? Do young people you know even know about opportunities to combine travel with learning about and helping others? I keep asking myself how we can inspire young people to learn about these kinds of opportunities. In my church, we send out many missions teams to places in South and Central America where they help build houses and churches, run children’s Bible programmes, and deliver shoe boxes of items that are essentials that we take for granted. These “missions” occur mostly in the summer but sometimes at other times of the year as well and involve older people as well. What programmes do you know about that can involve young people in projects that take them into the global community? Please tell us about them or about other special young people you know.