Almost 30 faces returned to the pool of Goshen students yesterday after a semester’s worth of traveling for Study-Service Term. Fifteen students safely returned from Tanzania and 14 returned from Peru.
The Tanzania group arrived Wednesday afternoon around 3 p.m. The 7 remaining students of the group either traveled afterward or flew directly home.
Tanzania 2011 was led by Ryan and Donna Sensenig with their two children, Mara and Isaac. The group spent the first six weeks of the term in the capitol, Dar es Salaam, studying Swahili and Tanzania’s culture.
For the second half of the semester, students were sent to different regions of Tanzania for service assignments. Several assignments were teaching English in a Secondary School, working in a non-profit organization promoting AIDS awareness, volunteering at a dentist office and initiating a tree-planting project.
Annika Miller, a second-year, spent her service term in the town of Murangi teaching English at a Secondary School.
"No matter what service each person was on, it was the relationships with our families and communities that made it meaningful. It was becoming a part of their lives and knowing they'll always be a part of me," said Miller.
The Peru group arrived Wednesday night around 11 p.m. Peru 2011 was led by Kevin and Heather Gary. The study term was spent in Lima, Peru’s capitol, where students studied Spanish and Peruvian culture.
For service term, students were sent to Arequipa, Ayacucho and Chimbote, three Peruvian cities. Students serving in Arequipa taught in a kindergarten, researched language resources for a Bible study organization and taught Sunday school. Students serving in Ayacucho taught English and worked as a Public Relations manager. In Chimbote, students worked in an after-school program and a children’s nursery.
Ashley Fehlberg, a third-year, worked in a physical therapist's office during service. The office provides care for low-income patients, many of them children.
"[They had] the most determination and most genuine smiles I’ve ever seen,” said Fehlberg.
The next Peru SST unit will leave this May and return in August. Tanzania SST will not run again for at least two years.