Tong, a PSE student from China, recently returned to his PSE home in Colorado from a two week school trip to Tanzania. Tong was one of 20 students who participated in the volunteer trip, during which they helped residents of a village build a water tank.

Tong web 1The experience was rewarding and eye-opening for Tong.

“The first day, I was very tired but then I recovered my energy and started enjoying the experience. The village was very poor and it was very sad to see that. I was shocked by the poverty level. They have nothing, but I have to say that they look very happy!” says Tong.

During his time there, Tong helped children carry water five kilometers to their village. He recalls, “I was so impressed with the kids carrying those gallons of water for such a long distance, so I started to help them. I made many friends there once I shared experiences with them.”Tong web 3

Tong’s local coordinator, Brenda, claims that the experience was life-changing for him, and is impressed at how well he adjusted to the experience. She states, “He proved to be tender and gentle. He took the initiative to be an active participant in this experience, which is something to be very proud of!”

Tong himself was impressed with the experience and learned a lot by seeing how people live in place where minimum needs are covered. He is appreciative of the experience and all that it offered him.

“This experience has made me grow and be more appreciative for my life. Experience is not learned in books, it is learned in person,” he says.

Tong web 4Tong is appreciative for many experiences he has had while on the PSE program. He had the opportunity to go to Panama to learn about the United Nations, as well as to New York to study the financial crisis. Though this school year has been more challenging for him than last year, he is happy with his results.

“My experience with PSE has been very good. I appreciate that my local coordinator is always there for me. The school is awesome, and I really love my host family and will miss them when I go to college next year.”

Tong plans to graduate this spring and will attend college on the East Coast to study business.

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