Eastern Mennonite University students on the fall 2021 southeast Asia pose for a photo in Phuket, Thailand. (Photos by Grace Harder and Isaac Andreas)

EMU intercultural shares southeast Asia adventures

EMU’s fall intercultural group returned from their southeast Asia travels. Watch a recording of their Dec. 15 convocation presentation on EMU’s FacebookLive page. [You do not need a Facebook account to view.]

Enjoy a Flickr album of photos taken by the travelers. Read more at the intercultural program blog.

The group is co-led by Daniel Showalter, professor of mathematics, and Myrrl Byler, executive director of Mennonite Partners in China. Among other travels, the group based at the Chiang Mai YMCA for a month and trekked out from there to visit villages, natural areas, historic sites and even an elephant sanctuary.

Lindsey White writes about feeling a cosmic connection with a “familiar stranger” as she passes by and grapples with the question of how to “bring adventure with us” when back in the familiar context of the Shenandoah Valley.

Kate Szambecki synthesizes learnings and what it means to make a new place into “home”:

We’ve now been at the YMCA for exactly a month. We have visited a myriad of temples, a couple of villages, elephants, museums and MANY restaurants. We’ve learned about Thai cooking, Thai language, issues of deforestation, human trafficking, gender and sexuality, Thai ethnic groups and culture, and Chinese history (thanks, Myrrl!). Tomorrow we learn about Thai boxing… This place is beginning to feel like a kind of home. I feel comfortable going out in our free time to explore, and I have familiar places that I have already grown to love…

Though the pandemic has caused challenges and a brief hiatus, EMU’s overseas intercultural programs resumed with summer travel in Lithuania. The Washington Community Scholars’ Center has continued programming; read about their fall internships.

Spring 2022 schedules include Guatemala with Laura Glick Yoder and Washington Community Scholars’ Center.

Summer 2022 has groups going to New Zealand, with Jim and Kathy Yoder; Spain with Deanna Durham and Byron Peachey; Ghana Year of Return with Talibah Aquil and Celeste Thomas; A Women’s West with Kimberly Schmidt and Su Flickinger; Washington Community Scholars’ Center; and Local Context with Debbi DeGennaro.

EMU’s Alumni and Friends Travel is also starting up again with spring and summer 2022 trips to Cuba, Ireland, and more on the schedule.

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