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Shaina Adams '05

It’s a Wonderful Life

By Donna Parker

Shaina Adams ’05 is all about community outreach – it’s just that her outreach takes place in the High Atlas Mountains of Morocco in the small town of Tazadoute.   Shaina, as part of the Education and Solidarity Association, works alongside the village teachers instructing the children in English language skills. 

            “As soon as I walk outside in the morning, I am greeted by the children at the school.  I enjoy the mutual relationship I share with people in the village.  They are the ones teaching me about life, rural development, and living a rural lifestyle.  It is my hope to return the favor by helping them in some small way,” says this adventurous woman who graduated just two short years ago.

            “I am a new person from the girl who lived most of her life in Corpus Christi, Texas.  Now, I’ve traveled the world and enjoyed many different experiences.  My time in Morocco is really changing things for me, so that at this point in my life, I live simply and just breathe slowly, which is very refreshing!”

            “The children and I exchange games and songs and I’m really enjoying ‘Ahawaje’ which is a traditional song and dance of the Berber people.  It includes giant drums, homemade instruments, and Berber women singing and dancing.”

            Shaina says her year spent as an AmeriCorps VISTA volunteer opened many doors for her and helped her network with people with similar interests in the non-profit world.

            “Trinity really was the start of my preparation for this because there were opportunities to be involved and serve in a leadership role, which builds organizational and financial skills.   My time as a leader with TMN (Trinity Multicultural Network) became a fixed part of my life for four years with such events as Cultural Awareness Week and conversations at Dialogues on Race and Religion.”

            Lest you get the idea that Shaina is strictly the serious type, she also shares having fun with her campus friends and the giant blow-up kangaroo she brought home from her junior year abroad in Australia.

            “He is life-sized and my friends and I would ride around him in the hall.  You’d always catch someone shaking his paw or talking to him!”

            Shaina also spent many hours talking with professors, such as Meredith McGuire, department of sociology and anthropology.

            “I took at least four of her classes and really admire her experience in working and traveling abroad.  Her courses were always engaging because they dealt with things in the context of real life.  Much of what I learned in her Sociology of Health and Illness class is coming into play in my work here in Morocco.  Best of all, I could always turn to her for advice and still find myself e-mailing her often to stay in touch.”

            “Right now, I’m proud of setting goals and following through with them. The best part about being abroad is that every day, I learn new things about myself and the world around me.”

You can email Shaina at:
Shaina.adams@gmail.com