Main photo: Some of the members of the HHS Me to We team (back from left) students Sophia Andrew-Joiner, Grace Gaughan, Ava Bijl, Avary Strickland, Lily Koop, and guidance counsellor Nico Byl; (front from left) teacher Vanessa Taylor, Gabby Pennacchioli, Arden Leadston and Rowan Petterson. Missing from photo are: Braxton Bullen, Julia Caswell, Johanna Ferguson, Abby Jones, Caitlin MacInally, Morgan Smith, and Riley Truax.
This spring, Huntsville High School’s Me to We team is heading to Udaipur, India to assist with the build of a school in a small rural community.
The trip marks the 10th Me to We adventure that students of HHS have been on. In past years they’ve gone to Ecuador, China, Arizona, Mexico, Kenya, Nicaragua, Ghana, the Dominican Republic, and the Amazon.
Team India is made up of 15 students led by teachers Vanessa Taylor and Nico Byl.
“The team dynamic is already amazing, I’m so excited already about everyone that’s in this group,” said Taylor. “The energy and passion for this project and the students’ initiative is really strong with this team.”
The team will take a direct 18-hour flight to India, and for almost all of them it will be their first time travelling outside of North America.
The students say that the two things they’re most excited about is experiencing authentic Indian food and seeing all of the different architecture the country has.
The team will be working on a new Me to We project in the country in a community that hasn’t hosted many Western visitors.
“I’m excited to make new memories and new friends with both the team and the children we’ll meet in India,” said student Rowan Petterson.
In addition to the school build, the team will get to experience many cultural activities including daily yoga, visiting temples, and a daily life activity where students are given a set amount of money and go to a local market and see what they could buy for a typical family of five.
“The opportunity to change the world, learn about different cultures, meet new people and eat amazing food, how could I not take part in this amazing adventure of a lifetime?” said team member Braxton Bullen.
The trip will run April 9-18, 2020 and Team India has two fundraisers coming up to raise money to offset their trip costs.
This Saturday, November 9, the team will be at Bullock’s Independent from 10 a.m. to 3 p.m. bagging groceries, and then on Wednesday, December 4 there will be a dinner and auction in the HHS gym. The meal will be cooked by the school’s hospitality students and the auction will be run by Dave and Meredith Hiscox. There are lots of auction items already collected including Toronto Maple Leaf Tickets. Tickets for the dinner are $20 for adults and $10 for kids 10 and under and are available through one of the Team India members or teacher leaders or email HHS.TeamIndia2020@gmail.com.
“Year after year the community has been so generous and supported our students,” said Taylor. “We’re always blown away by the support, it’s incredible.”
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