MIT Societo por Esperanto
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16 Months of Cultural Immersion in 16 Countries

a presentation by Amanda Higley

Tuesday, March 20th, 2001
Room 4-237

After graduating from college, Amanda Higley decided to spend one month in France using Esperanto and Pasporta Servo. Pasporta Servo is a network of Esperanto-speakers around the world who host visiting Esperantists in their homes, often providing their guests with meals and showing them around the town at no cost. Amanda wrote to several hosts in France and planned out her trip before leaving, but after one month she was having so much fun -- and had so much money left, since she didn't have to pay for lodging or meals -- that she continued to travel in Europe for 16 months, visiting 16 different countries and staying with over 100 hosts! Travelling this way was not only inexpensive, it was also a wonderful way for Amanda to get to know the peoples and cultures of the countries she visited, in a way that she never could have if she had travelled as just another American tourist using English. Amanda shared in the daily lives of her hosts, living in their homes, helping them prepare meals, and speaking with real people about real issues.

Now Amanda is back in the US, travelling through her own country on a lecture tour, hoping to make other college students excited to learn about other cultures and maybe take a trip like hers!

Amanda will talk about her incredible voyage and the countries she visited -- she might play some Hungarian folk music or teach someone from the audience to do a traditional Breton dance. She will speak about how to travel for that long: what to take when you can only take what you can carry on your back, how to keep from getting sick, what to do when you're a vegetarian and your hosts only eat meat! And of course she'll talk about how Esperanto made it possible. Bring your questions, too, as Amanda is excited to speak with students after her presentation.

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