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NEPAL LEADERS ANNOUNCED, SUMMER 2019!

NEPAL, offering the adventurous traveler an unparalleled opportunity for exploration.

For more than 25 years, our Nepal program has been one of our most beloved and most advanced high school summer programs. Students make the epic 9-day trek to Annapurna Base Camp, navigating through the heart of the Himalayas, followed by two weeks living and serving in their rural Nepalese host community.

This summer, students will be constructing a new building for the rural health clinic that serves thousands of rural villagers. This will be especially helpful for maternity patients and will be used by thousands of local villagers as their primary resource for health care.

Our Highest Priority is Sustaining Excellence in Leadership

Often times our students say our trip leaders are THE best part of their Global Routes experience. Not only do they bring a tremendous amount of immersive travel experience, they are also really dedicated experiential educators. We are thrilled to officially announce the 2019 Nepal Leaders: Jaime Valencik and David Hicks this summer.

2019 Nepal Co-leaders, Jaime & David

JAIME VALENCIK

BS Nutrition, Master of Public Health, Returning Peace Corps Volunteer, CYT, WFR, CPR & 2nd year GR leader (Nepal 2018). Avid adventurer and artist, Jaime has traveled and worked to empower diverse teens through dance/performance arts & cultural exchange for over a decade. As a teen, she danced in two cultural tours in Greece & China-which sparked her passion for cultural connectivity and global wellbeing. Since, she has led service projects in Haiti and served as a Food Security Volunteer in Peace Corps Nepal! She is back for a second GR season in Nepal and can not wait to guide this group to the next level! Jaime can also be found teaching yoga, spinning vinyl, frolicking in nature, biking or birding.

What makes you believe in the power of immersive international travel experiences?
If one is open and embracing of the experience, a side of oneself can emerge through travel that feels closer to reality and more in tune with a sense of purpose. To step out of what we know as reality and trek into a world unknown can enable raw human experiences that foster a greater sense of global connectivity and deeper introspective explorations. Such powerful transformational moments I have, with great honor, witnessed within fellow volunteers, co-leaders, community hosts, diverse students, and myself.

What’s your favorite part about leading these trips? Why do you do it?
My favorite aspect of leading trips abroad is witnessing and being a part of tremendous transformational experiences that occur while being deeply immersed in cross-cultural exchange. Such growth is so profound it can only truly be understood by those people and places who shared the incredible moments with you. Whether it be via an epic Himalayan landscape or rich community homestay, I lead these trips to share and support such raw and insightful moments with students, community members, and the environment.

What’s your superpower?
Detect and deter negative energies!!!

If you could wake up anywhere on earth tomorrow, where would it be?
A most beautiful, warm beach… outside of America… with fresh fruits and rich culture… a surprise as to where exactly, is ideal.

What is one unique item you always bring with you on international journeys?
A jade bear… he likes to see the world too!

What is one piece of advice you have for a Global Routes student?
Be open, and embrace your global adventure; this epic journey will lead you to unforgettable places within yourself and our beautiful world.

DAVID HICKS

BA, Anthropology, University of Vermont. MA, Education, UC Santa Cruz. Most recently finishing three years as the Director of Operations for a bi-lingual school in D.C., David began his career as a  history and English teacher in Oakland, CA. Since then he has led experimental and outdoor education trips, served as a culturally responsive education coach and program director, helped manage part of the DCPS teacher evaluation program and coached principals on teacher evaluation. Originally from Massachusetts, David’s love of adventure and exploration has led him around the country and the world. His passions include music, social justice, motorcycles, fly fishing, board sports, cooking, and anything outside. David is thrilled to return to Nepal, a place he once called home and forever a central part of his being.

Most epic place you’ve ever had breakfast?
On the beach in Kauai

What’s your favorite part about leading these trips? Why do you do it?
I was lucky enough to be able to get outside and experience the world as a youth. My favorite part about leading trips is getting to see the same experiences happen for others.

What makes you believe in the power of immersive international travel experiences?
International experiences have shaped and expanded my understanding of the world and changed my life for the better. I hope to share that experience with the students on our trips.

What’s your superpower?
Ability to listen to music 24/7

If you could wake up anywhere on earth tomorrow, where would it be?
Hanalei, Kauai, Hawaii

What is one unique item you always bring with you on international journeys?
Mini books on Buddhism and meditation

What is one piece of advice you have for a Global Routes student?
Be open to new experiences and don’t be afraid to share what you’re feeling with others.

Lastly, share one quote that resonates with you and is a guiding beacon in your life.
Alone I can go faster, but together we can go farther.


 

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Read more about our phenomenal trip leaders on our Staff Page.

Interested in becoming a trip leader for Global Routes? Start Your Application for Summer 2020.

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