Thank you!

My volunteer trip would not have been actionable without the amazing support of my friends and family. 

Dozens of people contributed funds to Cross-Cultural Solutions (CCS) to make this work a reality and I cannot THANK YOU enough!


Volunteering abroad provides people with an opportunity to unite the world, to give back, and to expand ones knowledge and understanding of other peoples’ cultures. Almost a decade ago my mother gave me the greatest present in the world, an opportunity to teach English in Trang, Thailand with Cross Cultural Solutions (CCS). Only 16 at the time, I learned more during my month in Thailand than I did throughout my entire high school education.

My drive and desire to help others only grew with time, as I founded the UC Santa Cruz Chapter of Global Brigades, providing micro-loans to rural communities throughout Honduras.

The combination of learning and being understanding of others’ cultures and providing assistance with that basis of understanding is, as CCS puts it, a game changer. We need to collectively educate, build, and strengthen as one global community, and CCS allows people like myself to do that.


In June, I will be spending two weeks volunteering in an orphanage in Kilimanjaro, Tanzania. I will be teaching English, educating youth on hygiene and nutrition, but most importantly I will be providing one-on-one attention and love. As put by CCS, “In Kilimanjaro, many children have been orphaned due to HIV/AIDS. Many have been abused or abandoned, and their families struggle to provide for their most basic needs. The youngest generations are forced to grow up too quickly.” My goal will be to help these children to recapture and share the joy of childhood while assisting them with their growth and development.

As Princess Diana once said: “the biggest disease the world suffers from in this day and age is the disease of people feeling unloved. I know that I can give love…I am very happy to do that, I want to do that.”


Climbing Mt. Kilimanjaro

From June 28th – July 3rd I am going to attempt to climb the Machame route up Mt. Kilimo, also commonly referred to the Whiskey Route.

Here is a general overview of my climbing schedule for Mt. Kilimo:

Day 1: Machame Gate /Machame Campsite.
Elevation: 1200m to 1700m to 3000m (3,600 feet to 5,100 feet to 9,000 feet).
Distance: 13 km.
Hiking time: 5-7 hours.
Habitat: Montane forest.
After breakfast our vehicle will transport you from the hotel drive to Machame gate. Here you will do the required registration procedures then you will start the trek through the rainforest to Machame camp where you will find the tents are already setup for you. Dinner and overnight at the campsite.

Day 2: Machame Hut Campsite to Shira Campsite
Elevation: 3000m to 3800m (9,000 feet to 11,400 feet)
Distance: 9km
Hiking time: 6-7 hours
Habitat: Moorland.
After breakfast leave the glades of rainforest and continue ascending by crossing little valleys and steep rocky ridge covering with heather plants to the western side of the mountain where the camp is situated. At this camp you will able get the spectacular view of Mount Meru, Shira Plateau, Kibo Peak and sunset; then dinner and overnight.

Day 3: Shira campsite to Barranco campsite
Elevation: 3800m to 3950m. (11,400 feet to 11,850 feet)
Distance: 13km
Hiking time: 5-7 hours
Habitat: Moorland.
This is long and important acclimatization day so you will be having an early breakfast then continue trekking east to a junction leading to Lava tower rock 4600m for acclimatization. Afterwards you will continue down to Barranco camp. The camp location is in the bottom valley of Barranco wall where you will stop for dinner and overnight.

Day 4: Barranco campsite to Karanga campsite
Elevation: 3950m to 3900m (11,850 feet to 11,700 feet)
Distance: 6 km
Hiking time: 4-5 hours.
Habitat: Moorland
Today is short day walk. In the morning you will start climbing Barranco wall and reach 4200m for acclimatization and continue crossing ridges and valleys to Karanga campsite for hot lunch. After lunch you will have a bit of rest and get another acclimatization of trekking up the scree slopes towards the southern ice field. You will then return to the camp for supper and overnight.
On the 6 day itinerary, after lunch on Day 4 the itinerary omits the afternoon acclimitization trek and continues to include the Day 5 trek, with dinner and overnight at Barafu Camp.

Day 5: Karanga Campsite to Barafu Campsite
Elevation: 3900m to 4620m. (11,700 feet to 13,860 feet)
Distance: 8 km.
Hiking time: 3-4 hours.
Habitat: Alpine Desert.
On this day, the trek up to the Barafu ridge campsite is tough because of altitude. The walk take few hours because of the short distance but is steep needing a slow pace to avoid fatique. You will trek across an alpine desert. Chances are that a strong, cold wind will be blowing from Kibo peak and its ice. You will have an early dinner at 1700hrs then rest until midnight when we you will attack the summit.

Day 6: Barafu Camp/ Uhuru Peak/ Mweka Camp

Elevation: 4620m to 5895m to 3100m (13,860 feet to 17,685 feet to 9,300 feet)
Distance: 15km
Hiking time: 10 – 12 hours
Habitat: Desert and ice.
Wake at midnight to a light breakfast and then prepare for your summit ascent. The goal is to climb before dawn so that you can reach Uhuru Peak shortly before or after sunrise. The trails is a series of switchbacks up steep scree or possibly snow, and reach Stella Point on the crater rim at 5,861 m/18,640 ft between 4 and 5 AM. At this point you will be having the views of the fabled crater and its glaciers facing you. Then after 1 hour of hiking along the Kibo crater rim near the celebrated snows takes you to Kilimanjaro true summit, Uhuru Peak. Here you will spend some times for taking photo’s but it will depend on how you feel. After your summit activities done, you will descend back to the Barafu campsite, for lunch, rest, collect your equipment, and continue down through moorland and heath zone to Mweka campsite. Dinner and overnight at Mweka campsite.

Day 7: Mweka campsite to Mweka gate.
Elevation: 3100m to 1700m (9,300 feet to 5,100 feet)
Distance: 9km
Descending time: 3-4 hours
Habitat: Montane forest.
Today is your last day on the mountain. After breakfast you will descend down to Mweka park gate walking across Montane forest. This descent will take 3-4 hours.

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Moshi, Tanzania

I will be spending two weeks volunteering at an orphanage in Moshi, Tanzania with the Chagga community.


Landscape: waterfalls, coffee plantations, banana fields

Average June Temperature: 61 F – 77 F (89% humidity)

Population: 184,292 (2012 census)

Elevation: 2,300 – 3,100 feet

Language: Swahili & English

National Food: Ugali (similar to cornmeal – water, salt, white cornmeal)

Currency: Shilling ($1 USD = 1,856.6 Shilling)

Establishment: Germany established a military camp in Moshi in August 1893 and Moshi became a town in 1956. Currently, Moshi is still in its application process with the government to be established as a city.

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