Q&A with AG
Here is the inside scoop from one of the crew:
Why did you choose to become a member of Give Back Cincinnati? How did that interest lead to you joining Give Back Beyond Cincinnati? When did you first become a member?
Give Back Beyond trip to New Orleans in 2008 was my first Give Back event ever. A friend of mine, MerryBeth, had heard of the trip, and gathered about 8 or 10 of our group of friends that all wanted to go. Through the months leading to the trip, our group of friends dwindled down due to schedules, finances, job commitments, etc until it was just MerryBeth and me when we boarded the buses to NOLA. I had not known anyone in GiveBack previous to the trip. After a terrific trip to NOLA though, I had about 80 new GiveBack friends, and I joined as an official member soon after.
How many trips have you participated in since your involvement with the group?
5. New Orleans ’08, ’09, ’10. Guatemala in 2009. Romania in 2010.
Had you ever been out of the country before you went on the trip?
Only once. I had taken a 2 week trip through Italy when i was in college. And, when we planned the Beyond trip to Romania, a few of us added a pre-trip visit to Venice into our itinerary, so I was able to visit that italian city again!
What was your favorite part about the trip to Guatemala?
Visiting the street markets, especially in Antigua, and bartering for other people on the trip who didn’t like to do it!
What personal benefits did you gain from the trip?
These trips offer me the chance to visit places around the world that I might not think to visit on my own as a vacation destination. Plus you’re traveling with a fun, like-minded group of peers. The experiences on these trips challenge my values, and offer perspective when i return home.
Why would you suggest that a member of Give Back Cincinnati and Give Back Beyond attend the trip to Guatemala?
You will witness some beautiful countryside and mountains, meet very caring and open people, and learn how people (that aren’t too terribly far away geographically) can live a completely different lifestyle from what you know here in cincinnati and in the United States.
How do you finance your travels with Give Back Beyond?
The entire trip group will participate in a group fundraiser. You can also do your own personal fundraising and ask for donations from family, friends, and co-workers. Some people that i’ve traveled with fund-raised enough to cover pretty much their whole trip.
What was the best/funniest part of the trip for you?
In Guatemala the father of the family whose home we built had an evening job as a waiter / bartender to make some additional income. We were able to visit him at the bar on our last night in town. It was special to see him there and spend a little bit of time with him away from the job site before we left the city.
Any advice for first-time GBB members or trip-goers?
Dive in! If it sounds intimidating to you to travel internationally with a group of ‘strangers’ then i think you’re the perfect candidate. You won’t remain strangers for very long!