Rachel Voit traveled to Germany this summer with the Ames High German exchange.

A family watches out for each other. They celebrate each other’s joys and cry for each other’s tragedy. A family sacrifices resources and time in order to support and help the greater good of the group.

Mankind is a family unified by the fact that we are all human. We can all prosper when cooperation, compassion, and understanding are the foundation of our civilization. We must learn to work together to accomplish common goals, to stop thinking in pieces but realizing that when we can all come together, so much more can be accomplished.

We should express sympathy and humility when considering the thoughts and actions of others, to use our skills and resources to help those who lack life’s essentials.

We have to seek to understand the reasons of our neighbors so that we may be empathetic to their cause.

We are all members of the human race; A family that is sometimes dysfunctional, but not beyond repair. When we begin to work together, share love, and embrace and accept our differences, we can unify as a family.
-Rachel Voit

Kevin Arritt traveled to Uganda this summer and last summer on the Ames High Uganda Project.

Upon returning home from my first trip to Uganda, all I could think about was how much I wanted to go back, how many unanswered questions I had. I tried to spend as much time as I could on my second trip to learn about what life is really like for Ugandans.

Talking to Ugandans about their hardships, I learned that the problems of Ugandans are many of the same problems we face in America; Alcoholism, drug addictions, corruption in government, food distribution, and abusive relationships, to name a few. As people, we must feel a sense of solidarity, not of charity.

I can safely say that going to Africa twice completely changed my views on the world. I realized that the hardships faced by all humans are quite similar. I could laugh and joke with people who barely knew my language, and I could empathize with people who had lost loved ones. This experience has made me realize what Tolstoy really meant when he wrote “I know that my unity with all people cannot be destroyed by national boundaries and government orders.” We are humans, we are united.
-Kevin Arritt

Sarah studied theater and art in Bulgaria for a month this summer.

How can we transform our world of divided people into a world of unity
and peace?

This summer I studied theater in Bulgaria with students from around the globe. Not all of us spoke the same language. But by collaborating on projects, we were able to gain an insightful understanding of each other’s wildly different cultures. Unity can be achieved through diplomacy and politics, through the far reaching power of world leaders; but true unity begins when people sit down together and actually get to know one another. The collaborative nature in the creation of art is one way to achieve unity.

This summer, I discovered that the globalization of the art and theater world not only produces art that contains richer concepts, but a people that understand one another- because the making of art cannot be stopped by language barriers or differing customs. All that art needs to become a reality is a spark of creativity and a group of open minded people who are willing to turn that spark into a wild fire.

Rachel Voit, Junior | Kevin Arritt, Senior | Sarah, Senior
Ames High School