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Alumni and Friends Cross-Cultural Tours

We are getting rave reviews about our Alumni and Friends Cross Cultural Trips! Reasonably priced with an EMU flair, these trips promise to be "life changing" in many ways. You won't find this kind of a trip with your typical travel agent. Open to alumni, current and former parents and friends of EMU. Plan now to take one of our upcoming trips:

New Zealand: February 24 - March 15, 2023
(4 openings)

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Join us for an extraordinary adventure as we explore New Zealand’s breathtaking scenery and the history and culture of its indigenous Māori people.  From the lush sub-tropical rainforests and rugged coasts of the North Island to the glaciers and majestic peaks of the Southern Alps, we’ll tour one of the most beautiful and ecological rich countries in the world.  We will explore New Zealand’s endemic bird and animal life, its unique diversity of forests and landscapes, and natural wonders such as glaciers and geothermal hotspots. There will be a wide range of activities no matter your level of adventure, from hiking up a volcano to bird watching to exploring unique cuisine in metropolitan cities or shopping in quaint country villages.  

At the same time, we will also look beyond the tourist havens and adventure sports that New Zealand is famous for to delve into the rich culture of the Māori. Culturally, New Zealand is one of the few developed countries in the world whose indigenous people continue to make a significant impact on all aspects of its society: socially, economically, and environmentally. We will visit Māori communities and hear their stories first hand, providing a deeper upstanding of the unique New Zealand way of life. 

Leader(s): Jim and Kathy Yoder
Travel: The tour will start the morning of Feb. 24 in Auckland but it will take a minimum of two calendar days to travel there. All participants will need to depart from the states on Feb. 22, 2023.
Cost per person: $6,200 double occupancy, $7,050 single occupancy - cost does not include airfare/trip insurance and recommend $350 for a number of suppers and $350 if you participate in all optional activities  
Payment dates (click "Pay For Your Trip" button above): A registration fee of $1,500 is due when you register to hold your spot, the first payment of $2,350 is due August 15, 2022 and the second payment of $2,350 is due November 1, 2022. (single occupancy payments are $2,775)
Difficulty: Moderate with walking more than a mile at a time. You need to be able to carry your own luggage up stairs.

Spain: September 28 - October 13, 2023

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Join us as we travel through both old Spain and new Spain!  We'll walk through medieval cities which were unique in the Middle Ages, where Jewish, Muslim & Christian scholars all intermingled, and each tradition has left their imprint in Spanish culture. We'll learn about the rise of Catholic Spain as we visit Toledo and Madrid, where we'll tour world class art museums such as the Prado, the national palace, the Plaza Mayor and the famous Mercado San Miguel, where you can taste and see some magnificent tapas. New Spain features a unique, innovative tapas tradition, where the custom is to walk from one tapas bar to the next during a leisurely evening, sampling as much variety as you can!  We'll travel on the modern rail system, walk through distinct urban neighborhoods and on scenic mountain paths. Like much of Europe, Spain is an interesting place to learn how a traditionally Catholic/Christian society is becoming a  non-religious/post-Christian culture -- and we'll spend time visiting with Spanish Anabaptist leaders working in the midst of this dynamic.  Expect days and days of sunshine, encountering people whose lives are lived outside on the streets, plazas and tapas bars, and old Spain and new Spain converge on nearly every corner and byway. More details to come once trip details are finalized.

Leader(s): Byron Peachey and Deanna Durham
Cost per person: $3,700 Per Person in Double Room, $850 Single Room Supplement - cost does not include airfare/trip insurance. Extras include optional taxi/Uber trips and a majority of meals/food: Estimate additional between $600-$900.
Payment dates (click "Pay For Your Trip" button above): Registration fee of $500 due when you register to hold your spot, first payment of $1,600 is due March 1 and second payment of $1,600 due May 1.
Difficulty: Lots of walking in urban areas. Need to be able to carry/pull your own luggage upstairs, onto Metro and through streets.

Greek Islands and Rome: October 1 - October 14, 2023 (Six spots left)

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The islands of the Aegean are scattered in the sparkling waters of Greek mythology, legend, culture, and the biblical story from Acts to Revelation. You will be awe-struck by the incredible beauty of the waters of deep blue Aegean, as we sail in the wake of heroes, saints, sinners, crusaders, tyrants, missionaries, prisoners, pirates, and poets. We plan to visit the islands of Samos, Patmos, Kos, Rhodes with their ancient civilization and charming cobblestone streets, restaurants and shops and meet their famous citizens and travelers, like Hippocrates, Pythagoras, Epicurus, Saint Paul, and John the Revelator.

But now it is clear that the plans to use a Turkish gulet for the Greek islands, as we have done in the past, is no longer an option. The Mediterranean Sea, like our world and the future, is unpredictable. There have been political and economic changes in Greece and Turkey. So like Mediterranean sailors have done for thousands of years, we “tack” with an alternative for the Greek islands part of the trip.

Instead of a Turkish gulet, we can visit the very same islands using public ferries, staying in hotels or pensions near the harbors, eating Greek cuisine in waterfront tavernas and restaurants on the islands, and including time in Athens and Corinth!

This learning tour will be led by Linford and Janet Stutzman, prior cross-cultural leaders to the Middle East, and at home on the Mediterranean for 18 sailing seasons. Email to be added to a list of interested people.

Leader(s): Linford and Janet Stutzman
Cost per person: $4,700 Per Person in Double Room, $850 Single Room Supplement - cost does not include airfare/trip insurance.
Payment dates (click "Pay For Your Trip" button above): Registration fee of $500 due when you register to hold your spot, first payment of $2,100 due February 1, second payment of $2,100 due June 1. If you want a single room, you also need to pay $850 at the time of the last payment.
Difficulty: Lots of walking on uneven ground. Need to be able to carry your own luggage up stairs. 

Cuba: March 2025 

Cuba downtown streetCuba is a country like no other - World Heritage sites, beautiful beaches, old cars, intriguing politics and resilient, friendly people.   Yet, many U.S. citizens have not had the chance to visit Cuba due to the nearly 60-year embargo and current US policy restricting travel. Travel related to activities of educational institutions is still available which makes this 4th EMU Alumni and Friends trip to Cuba possible.  During your time in Cuba, you will have the opportunity to experience a mini-cross culture with time spent in Havana and in the countryside. There will be lectures by Cuban experts, visits to health and education programs, a home stay and several group reflection times.  Most of all, you will experience Cuba’s rich heritage of music, dance, art, food and warm hospitality. Email to be added to a list of interested people.

Leader(s): Elaine and Nathan Zook Barge, veteran Guatemala/Cuba cross-cultural leaders.

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