"Africa gets in your blood! The people here are the best part of the experience. I am impressed by how hardworking, proud, kind, and beautiful they are. Their desire to learn and improve is contagious. I loved getting to be part of their village. The second you join the kids – HAPPY! They find joy in the smallest simple pleasures. I love the goals of the CHOICE group– to empower the villagers to lift themselves. It is a privilege to be a small part of the process.
January 2020 - National Parks Expedition in Kenya
"I must admit that I had much apprehension when my daughter suggested that we take this journey together ...it’s too far...it’s too expensive...it’s during the Christmas holiday...I’m too “senior” for it...the list goes on. Having experienced these past few days with such beautiful people – both the Nepalis and my fellow travelers – I owe my daughter much for encouraging me to take this trip. I’m in awe of the warm, generous, loving nature of the villagers who went to such great effort to make our visit safe, comfortable, and memorable. I have learned much from this trip and for this I am so grateful for the CHOICE team and the residents in Tinpiple. As Hillary Clinton once said, “It takes a village.” She must have visited Nepal, as they have truly embraced the concepts of selflessness, sacrifice, and love your neighbor. I look forward to using these lessons learned to make some shifts in my own busy, sometimes selfish life, and to love my life more like these amazing people."
December 2019 - Christmas in Nepal
My Heart is so full right now. We were welcomed into the village today and itwas immediate love for the people of Nepal. I was in tears walking in feeling so grateful for this amazing opportunity. After the opening ceremony, we got to hang out with the village and get to know them. Everyone is so kind and welcoming. They want to know everything about us as well as tell us all about their country. It’s only day one and I already feel this experience is going to be life changing. I can’t wait to see what the rest of the week will hold. I’ll be crying when we leave.
2020 Nepal - Heidi
This morning was our first day of work at the job site. It was amazing to see how hard EVERYONE worked, especially the villagers. I loved learning how you make adobe style bricks--starting with barefoot mud mixing. My favorite moment was when a village elder handed me a shovel, observed my digging, and gave me a big smile. I also have to say this group of CHOICE expeditioners is such a fun, kind, humble, and hard-working group of friends!
2019 Peru - Amy
It always is sad to leave Pucara, to waive goodbye to the wonderful people. But it brings me joy to know that this will not be my last time here in this beautiful part of Ecuador. I leave a better person. I leave with more gratitude for my blessings with more love in my heart for both the people in Ecuador and the ASEA family. We are blessed to be surrounded by caring and hard working people. It is easy to feel that alone, I don’t make much of an impact, but I leave knowing that we do. However when we join together we make dreams come true! We have brought hope into the lives of these sweet people and we will not stop until there are students wearing at Intacara! They are part of the ASEA family.
2018 Ecuador - Kim
WOW! I love Guatemala so much and I never want to go home. Everything here is so beautiful. The people are so pure. I love going on the trips to the village and interacting with the people. It’s so fun to learn their names and ages and even though we don’t speak the same language we can still come together over something. Instead of being different fromeach other because we live in different countries, eat different food, live in different types of houses, wear different types of clothes, etc. We still came together and became united.
2018 Guatemala - Hailee
My favorite moment of the day was the excitement and willingness of the villagers. It was amazing to see although it was not working to be connected to their homes, they were helping in any way they could. The villagers pushed us to continue when we were tired, rather the other way round.
2018 Bolivia - Hannah
On our journey, I’m continually amazed at the inspiring wonderful people around me. I’ve wondered where all of these people are hidden in the world, only to realize they are all around us. If I ever doubt about reaching out, It’s almost certain that if I reach out someone somewhere is reaching out too. It’s very pleasant to be among so many gems of the world and know there is a treasure chest of people.
2019 Nepal - Joy
Today, we painted nails. As simple as this may sound, it seemed like a really transformative experience for some of the girls here in Rangrayo. I noticed each girl flipping her hair, or straightening her clothes after. I don’t even think it was about them feeling pretty, but about them feeling seen. That personal “you are important” time with each little girl did wonders for their self-esteem (at least for the day).
2019 Peru - Kaycee
These people are absolutely amazing. They don’t have much, and yet they are some of the happiest people I have ever met. They’re welcoming, non-assuming, and so friendly. I’ve realized that although we live thousands of miles away, we actually all have so much in common. I already love these people so much!
2020 Nepal - Jaycee
I'm so happy the village’s goal is education. It’s like you don’t know what you don’t know. I hope their children can get a higher education and return to the village to raise it out of poverty so they can create long term goals, instead of day to day wondering how to survive. I love the CHOICE model of changing mentality to be proactive to solve their own problems and to use the locals. It’s sustainable. I really enjoyed my time here.
2020 Kenya – Sarah
So much fun to finally be able to get to work on the medical clinic. This work has always been a dream of mine to help build medical clinics in foreign countries. I feel so grateful to be able to assist in this work. Today a few of us helped make mud for the bricks & mortar. We followed the examples of the villagers by removing our shoes & socks, rolling up our pants, & using our feet to stomp & mix mud. Mother Earth (Pachamama) felt so amazing on my feet, and I felt connected to this land in a unique & spiritual way. A truly organic Peruvian pedicure!
Peru 2019 -Kate
Being here in El Porvenir has been such a blessing for me and my family. I truly am amazed at these people and how they make things work and get by with so little. I have fallen in love with them. I am humbled by them. Working side by side with them and our CHOICE team on the stoves and gardens has been an amazing experience for me. One I will never forget. I’ve loved our CHOICE team and wish we could do it again with them. They are all wonderful people! I’m changed in so many ways after being here in Peru and can’t wait for our next expedition with CHOICE.
Ecuador 2018 - Kerrie and Kim
The first day, not long after we began digging the trench, the sun was getting higher and hence it was getting warmer. At that moment I noticed a dozen or more Nepalis walking toward us. Most were women, dressed in traditional Nepali clothing. I thought, “Oh great, these nice people have brought brownies and lemonade!” I was mistaken. Instead, they brought shovels and picks. They worked shoulder to shoulder with us for the remainder of the day! And, frankly, they worked harder than almost any of us! I marveled at the women especially. They certainly are not a stranger to hard work. What a joy it was to labor alongside these good people!
Nepal 2017 - Mike