Tribal Ambassadorship Gap Year
GAP YEAR (noun) a period, typically an academic year, taken by a student as a break between secondary school and higher education.
Gogi Abroad is pleased to offer this unique 8-month gap year program with the hope of cultivating cultural ambassadors of the world. This gap year program will help you learn about yourself in a profound way, it will give you a deep sense of connection through tribe and it will open your mind to culture developing and fostering a sense of cross-cultural connection. When you arrive and settle into each new culture with its people and landscape, you begin to experience first hand that, at our core, all human beings are the same. We are of one large tribe that has adapted to survive different environments. It is not only possible, but vital, for the future of this world that our youth explore the concepts of tribal identity and to experience connection to our wider, human tribe, across cultural divides.
We need to allow the new to spring up from the compost of the old paradigms of “us” and “them”, to replace the concept of “tolerance” with a sense of humility and appreciation for other cultures. Tolerance assumes there is a difference at the fundamental level between people. The development and fostering of a sense of connection, however, is a more sustainable model. Through world travel and cross-cultural engagement, we develop a more unified perspective through experience of tribal art and social ritual. We can work together as citizens of the earth, to share methods of managing vital resources such as water, as well as methods of farming, animal husbandry and food production for the benefit of all.
Students will travel to four locations on the globe where they will work alongside a tribe. You will live with this tribe for two months and examine four important elements of the culture.
THE FOUR LOCATIONS ON THE GLOBE: Tanzania, Nepal, Peru & Spain
Key Questions to explore during this Tribal Gap Year
How are people of different cultures coming together to manage their resources sustainably? How are communities brought together in farming, and animal husbandry? How are communities brought together in music, and in ritual?
You will begin your Tribal Gap year exploring culture and language with meaningfulness and an enriching experience. You will live with home stay in each location while exploring sustainable farming, ceremonies and rituals, husbandry, art and music of the tribe.
You will live in Longido with a Maasai tribe. Gap year students will work side-by-side with the Maasai people of Tanzania. There are a variety of ways for students to get their hands dirty during their stay ; from building a playground at a village school, to gathering water and milking goats, days will be full and fulfilling. During a weekend excursion, students will experience the raw beauty of Tanzania as they embark on a safari adventure and live with a tribe at their boma. By continuing to go Outwards they will then discover the waterfalls near Mt. Kilimanjaro and experience sustainable practices of farming in the area. Students will have the opportunity to attend a ceremony of some kind (a wedding or a boma gathering of singing and dancing.)
Pokhara and Lukla
In Nepal the student will be staying in two locations during their time. They will begin at Maitreya Pathshala ” Future Buddha’s School” Waldorf inspired School in Pokhara. This community is dedicated to working with the land and the children. They run a biodynamic farm and also a preschool- third grade school. The student will become part of the community working on the land and also in the classrooms. The second half of the time in Nepal will be working with Sherpa Foundation and Himalayan Friends Trekking. The gap year student will learn first hand about Himalayan culture and traditions at the base of Mt. Everest with traditional family. They will work in the fields harvesting potatoes to spend time with monks as well at one of the Monastery that Sherpa Foundations built to soaking up the culture and language in the small village of Lukla, Nepal.
Cusco and Ollantaytambo
You will work with the indigenous community and the Q’ero tribe. This tribe lives high up in the Andean mountains of Cusco. They are a small community of farmers, weavers and medicine people. The Q’ero looked for refuge in “villages in the clouds” following the invasion of Peru by the Spanish Conquistadors almost five hundred years ago and remain there to this day. They were “discovered” in 1949 by the anthropologist Oscar Nunez del Prado, who led the first expedition to the Q’ero villages in 1955.
Los Gitanos de Andalucía – The Gypsies of Andalusia. You will end your Tribal Ambassador gap year experience in a developed country. The contrast is important for the growth and learning; you will learn about the life of Gitanos in Southern Spain, flamenco, music and dance.
ELEMENTS that students will examine in each country:
Ritual and Ceremony
The coming of age, bringing children into the world, assigning them a place in the community, finding place in a new culture, finding identity in your tribe. How people are brought together in ritual, rites of passage, honoring the earth, etc.
Sustainability & Farming
How does the culture grow food? How we work together to be citizens of earth. These practices around the world vary a great deal. Understanding that the western world has the best technology but that it doesn’t mean it has the best ways to grow food. How people are brought together with sustainable issues and sustainable resource management.
How does the culture and people work with animal husbandry and farming in their community and daily lives? An exploratory study on indigenous and modern animal husbandry practices among tribes.
Art and Music
To look at art and how it is expressing the reality that people live in. How the community brought together in music? Create art with the local tribes and see how it brings a new awareness about the culture and people.
There will be a language instructor in each location to facilitate your DYNAMIC CULTURAL COMMUNICATIONS in Spanish, Swahili and Nepalese.
Language is a large part of the curriculum during this Gap Year. Students will describe themselves at the beginning of their stay with a tribe; writing about their feelings, observations and identity at the beginning of their stay, and again at the end of the stay, noting how they may have changed. You will write about how you may (or may not!) identify with each particular tribe. The writing is initially done in English and by the end of the stay is done in the native language as well. Self-awareness is a big component of Gogi Abroad and incorporating the native language of each place greatly enhances this.
Our program emphasis is focused not solely upon the academic language, but the spoken language, the dialect components, and the language of a place and culture. Students will have daily language classes with a teacher from each of the four locations. This tutelage will help students connect and engage more fully with the people, culture and history during each of their stays.
Reflections in Writing
The written component is also important for Gap year students as they are PROCESSING the language, culture and the experience. Gap year students are required to write in a journal and capture their experience and internal growth. The volume of experiential learning during this adventure is so great that taking time to write about it is helpful, and even necessary for processing. Writing centers the mind, and can help make sense of a new and exciting world of exploration. As an artform, writing also allows students to capture their inspirations, insights and ideas. Students will be archiving this growth year and bearing self-witness to the extraordinary evolution occurring within as they explore these cultures of the world.
As Gogi students learn from the oral histories of the tribal communities they will put these stories to paper. Students will capture the unique attributes of each culture as they explore the globe. The written culture of the western world will BRIDGE THE GAP; allowing the history, and cultural traditions to remain alive in the hearts and minds of the students. Perhaps the individual stories created during this Tribal Gap Year will inspire an oral tradition of sharing in our own culture!
For more information contact Liz Jackson at firstname.lastname@example.org