Out of the Comfort Zone



Hailey Capovilla, Staff Writer

    Due to a call of adventure and desire to make a change in the world, a senior at Monte Vista traveled to Africa last summer to build schools and emerge herself in another culture.

Abby Devane has always dreamed of visiting Africa, so when she heard about this trip through Pledge to Humanity, she and her family decided it was time for change of scenery.

    Devane and her family traveled to Africa for 10 days volunteering and building dorms and a primary school for a secondary school.

    The people of the Irrkaat Village were extremely welcoming and appreciative of the arrival of Devane and her volunteer group.

    “We were welcomed by a huge crowd of singing children, adults, teachers, and parents,” Devane said, “They ran up and surrounded us, the kids were grabbing our hands and touching our hair, trying to get as close to us as possible.”

     Devane’s experience in Africa was extremely different from day to day routine in Danville. She learned not to take the things she has for granted.

    Devane also got to learn and understand the everyday experiences and tasks the kids at the village must undergo.

    “Some of the kids had to walk an hour to school, take daily trips to a river to carry buckets of water, and share a two room hut with a family of 8,” Devane said, “I remember how lucky I am and try to view things I normally complain about from a different perspective.”

    Devane was forced to go out of her comfort zone by surviving without running water– she was unable to shower or brush her teeth. She was also challenged to live without a cell phone, unable to contact friends back home. Surprisingly, Devane felt her time spent away from social media was cleansing and gave her an opportunity to embrace life to the fullest.

    Following her time adapting to new country and making her mark in the world, Devane’s favorite part of the trip was the way she felt after. Traveling to Africa was a big eye opening experience and made her appreciate the fact that she has shoes, clean water, and a house to call home.

    “I wanted to be a better person,” Devane said, “and Africa gave me a chance to learn how.”