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I learned much more that GCN is about the process of building long term relationships with communities, not necessarily about the process of "building!" It was truly priceless to be allowed to be on the 'construction site' with a bunch of indigenous people in Mexico. Tourists DO NOT get that opportunity-nor should they. We all believed WE TRULY MADE A DIFFERENCE IN THE LIVES OF OTHERS.

- Diana

Coming to America... and to GCN ~ My Own Story! (3nd Installment)

Dear readers,

In the last installment, we visited a memorable day in my elementary school days as part of our journey to my village and my little life growing up. Today, I'll like for us to swerve a little from the sun refusing to shine and take an up-close look at my encounter with technology and also what being foreign meant to us children growing up at the ends of the world, if you may. Here is an excerpt:

Memories from my Childhood

Coming to America... and to GCN ~ My Own Story! (2nd Installment)

To better understand how far apart our worlds are - literally and metaphorically, I've often used the breadth of the Atlantic Ocean that separates Minnesota from Cameroon to make the point. In the last installment, we left off with the image of squirrels scurrying about freely and nonchalantly. The pain of childhood troubles that such waste of good food conjured in me made me decide to share with you an excerpt from my memoire. A day like no other when I was in elementary school.

Coming to America... and to GCN ~ My Own Story!

Let's start my American immersion experience from the beginning. I was born in an obscure village known as Ndzeru in the Savannah grass fields of Cameroon. As the first boy in a family of eight, my father took me trapping and hunting rodents and taught me how to tap palm wine (a sap from a type of palm known as raffia) before I turned ten. As kids, we loved Sundays because it was the one day that missionaries would risk the dangerous contours of our roads and arrive for church services in a four- wheel locomotive. We used to gather around it and examine it in wonder.

Money Magazine's article on GCN!

GCN recently was interviewed by Money Magazine's writer, Carolyn Bigda. Check out what she had to say about our family trips! You can see the PDF of the article here.

GCN's feature:

A volunteer vacation may sound like an ideal family getaway, but many trips are limited to kids 16 and older. And let's say you do find one that allows rugrats: Most organizers charge per person which adds up quickly when you bring the brood. 

Food, Friendship and Fascination

It has been a little over a month since I returned from Peru with the American Youth Leadership Program, and my 21 travel companions.  Now that I'm generally caught up on sleep, work (well, as much as I will ever truly be caught up) and processing the trip, I would like to share my reflections on the progr

"I think I want to study abroad but I'm feeling...


It was a word I heard a lot during my recent tour of college and university study abroad fairs.  With so many options of destinations, lengths of travel, activities and fields of study, it is not surprising that students were feeling a bit overwhelmed, puzzled or unsure how to go abroad during college.

That is why I am so excited to have students join GCN this year for their travel experience!  Let me offer a few reasons why GCN meets the needs of university and college students:

“Becoming a global citizen does not happen unfacilitated”

cul·ture shock (noun)- the feeling of disorientation experienced by someone who is suddenly subjected to an unfamiliar culture, way of life or set of attributes. 

The benefits of team travel for students

Going on a study abroad or an international service-learning program is an important aspect of a student's learning journey.  Often times, students are placed individually in volunteer positions or exchange programs in another country.  For many, travelling alone can become overwhelming, inciting feelings of loneliness, confusion and fear.  A student may not understand his or her place in the foreign culture or how to process what he or she is observing.

A continual reflection on my own learning and growth to support the work of GCN

Without reflection, we go blindly on our way, creating more unintended consequences, and failing to achieve anything useful.
Margaret J. Wheatley