East Henderson graduate to share Senegal “gap year” experience

Maria Morava in Senegal. Photo courtesy of Hendersonville Sister Cities

Press Release from Hendersonville Sister Cities:

HENDERSONVILLE, N.C. (April 29, 2016) – Recently returned from her 9-month stay in Senegal, West Africa, 2015 graduate of East Henderson High School Maria Morava has been invited by Hendersonville Sister Cities to share her “gap year” experience at the Henderson County Public Library on May 11 at 6 p.m.
Bound for freshman year in Fall 2015, Morava said she impulsively decided to step off the beaten path with a program called Global Citizen Year – a premier bridge year program that aims to unlock the potential of future global leaders. Beginning with a pre-departure training in the fall, she left for California before heading to Senegal. Once arriving in-country, she spent a month in training with a cohort of 13 other fellows, afterwards moving to her permanent home stay in the village of Khombole, Senegal.
After 8 months of living with a family, working jobs in various sectors, and immersing into a community of unfamiliar people, Morava describes Khombole as her second home. She said thee bonds she created overseas are “irreplaceable,” and the culture is “something quite unique.”
She hopes to incorporate aspects of Senegalese culture in her life here, one being teranga, or, hospitality. Morava finds great value and privilege in being able to have traveled and made room in herself for another identity to grow, and hopes that her time in Senegal can complement her life in Hendersonville in meaningful ways.
She hopes to encourage a message that, as high school graduates, young people have the ability to experience the world and its cultures. Morava’s experience is something she describes as a “year of radical personal development,” and she is grateful to Global Citizen Year for their guided, intentional, and empathetic approach to her personal development throughout the year.
Before heading off to UNC-Chapel Hill in the fall, Morava is taking the important opportunity to share her story. To attend her talk, visit the Henderson County Public Library at 301 N. Washington Street, Hendersonville, at 6 p.m. on May 11.
About Sister Cities
Hendersonville Sister Cities is part of Sister Cities International – a nonprofit citizen diplomacy network that creates and strengthens partnerships between U.S. and international communities to increase global cooperation. Hendersonville Sister Cities currently has “sister cities” in Verbania, Italy, and Almuñécar, Spain.
About Virginia Daffron
Managing editor, lover of mountains, native of WNC. Follow me @virginiadaffron

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