Youth International

September 14-December 13 I will be backpacking through Asia!
In case you’re interested in reading about this program and what I will be doing, this is the website:
The three countries I will be going to are Thailand, India and Nepal. Along with visiting popular tourist attractions, I will be going to stay in villages with families helping with community projects. I can not wait to experiences these cultures first hand by living and doing as they do. 
There is a group of 14-15 people who I will be travelling with, but I won’t meet them until I arrive in Colorado for the orientation. I bet these people are going to be really incredible people. 
This is the book that I have been given in regards to preparation of this trip. All the vaccinations required, the clothing and supplies that are required, books that I should read etc. I could read this book over and over again and notice something new each time. I knew that going backpacking would be a big deal, but there really truly is so much that needs to be done. 
I went shopping with my parents yesterday to look at gear for the first time. The book says to have a backpack that is 85L. My tiny body (110 lbs and about 5’5″) can hardly handle a 60L! The 60L is what I will have to be going with though, but that means I’ll have to be packing extremely lightly. There are so many tricks to picking a backpack. It needs to fit you the right way, be a good price, hold what you need. Basically, it’s extremely overwhelming. Especially when you put it all together with the sleeping bag you need, quick dry clothes, water purifier, etc. So much to do, and so little time!
Currently, I am reading a book called ‘Little Princes’ written by Connor Grennan. This is an incredible story about child trafficking during the Civil War in Nepal (which altogether lasted from 1996-2006). Connor went there for 3 months (origionally) to volunteer at an orphanage and ended up staying for a whole lot longer to connect these lost children of Nepal to their families. He founded the Next Generation Nepal organization, which you can read about here:
 http://www.nextgenerationnepal.org/Why_I_Wrote_Little_Princes
Reading this book makes me realize that there are so many different kinds of love and heartbreak. I can only imagine the stories I will hear, and the families and children that I will meet. I think educating myself by reading these stories is an excellent way to prepare myself for the culture and an easy and interesting way to learn about the history. I am thrilled that I will be able to travel to a place where there is such an intense past! Along with all of this, reading these books is really upping my excitement!
59 days!!!!

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