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Leum Dtaa

Leum Dtaa is a phrase in Thai that means “to open ones eyes”.

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Jessica Rodriguez-Soto


I am Jessica Soto. I am an animal lover, nature lover and vegetarian! If I were to describe myself I would say; compassionate, honest and sensitive. I am a Pisces so that makes sense... Anyhow, I applied to Carpe Mundi because I was not accepted last year so I crossed my fingers and tried again. Now I am in! I hope to expand my knowledge, world and cultural perspective, meet new wonderful souls, connect with others, taste amazing food and step away from my everyday life routine in America. I want to be able to get a sense of a different world and develop skills that will benefit me on my journey to success. Overall create little moments that I will be proud and grateful to live and enjoy them. Carpe Mundi will allow me to cherish this upcoming experience for the rest of my life.

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Nolan Slay

Hi, my name’s Nolan! I’m studying film at PSU, I make coffee for people at Posies Cafe, and I’m usually on the move. I love the way rain sounds on a tin roof, going to the theater by myself, and asking people I just met personal questions.

I was born in Alabama but raised in Portland, and I’ve been to 10 different schools from kindergarten to college, PSU being the tenth.

I’ve never been out of the country, and I’m excited that my first non-American experience is going to be so vastly different. I’m curious just to see how people act in different cultures and how the social norms differ.

Like most people, I love to eat, and Thai is probably my favorite genre of food. I’m so ready to experience it in Thailand, and I wonder how different it is from the Thai food here. I wonder how many times I can say the word Thai before it loses meaning.

I have one tattoo of a film camera on my right forearm, and it’s probably the only one I’m going to get. My goal is to make a short film about my experiences abroad, and then continue making movies and exploring until I’m too old and weak to get out of bed.


Loida Pat

Hi my name is Loida Pat, I was born and raised in Portland. I am a bit shy when it comes to meeting new people but I hope to overcome it and become close with everyone in our cohort. I love to eat, sleep, and watch dramas while eating ramen. I like being at home of the time but I also like sometimes being outdoors. Well only during fall and winter because I love the cold weather. I graduated from Grant High School this year and will be attending PSU. I am super excited to start a new chapter in my life with the help of Carpe Mundi. I chose to do this program because I wanted to come out of my comfort zone, become independent, and try to find what I truly want to do in life. I feel that going on this Southeast Asia trip will help give me a look at what the world needs and how I can help and make a change. I am excited to make new relationships and eat a lot of spicy food.


Paw Klu Htoo

My name is Paw Klu Htoo. I was born and raised at ban mae surin camp in Thailand. My family moved to Portland in 2010. I graduated from Cleveland High School. I’m currently a full time student at Portland Community College as a Future Connect student. I have a strong passion of travelling, eating different types of food and also learning about different cultures. I love watching Korean dramas and Chinese dramas. I am excited to revisit and explore the land that I grew up in and to make long lasting relationships with my peers and to also welcome new friendships.


Elena Rendon-Mercado

My name is Elena Rendon-Mercado, I am a sophomore at Portland Community College. I graduated Reynolds High School in June 2017. I plan on getting my associates of science in general education and transferring to PSU to get my Bachelors in Political Science. I was born in Fresno, California, but was raised the majority of my life in Portland. I look forward to traveling to Southeast Asia to exploring, learning, and gaining knowledge about the culture. It will be a wonderful experience to come back and share with my community.


Roselin Shwe

Hello, my name is Roselin Shwe. I am 19 years old, born and raised in a refugee camp in Thailand. My family and I moved to Portland when I was 12. I know a couple of languages such as burmese, Karen, Karenni and English. I graduated from Cleveland High School in the summer of 2017, and I’m currently attending Portland Community College. During free time, I enjoy listening to music and watching dramas. Through Carpe Mundi, I hope to meet many new people and experience life in different forms. This is a once in a lifetime chance for me, and I’m very thankful to be apart of this amazing program.

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Davineekaht White Elk

Mike was t goum om, noo neah (Hello, my friends. My name is) Davineekaht White Elk, I'm Blackfoot from the Sisksika Nation in Canada, Northern Ute of the Uncompahgre band from Utah and Carrizo people from Texas. I was born and raised in Portland. I graduated from Madison High School and I will be at Portland Community College this fall. I'm passionate about Healing my community and making it healthy.