Hello! Mai Mao and Topher here with a pre-departure update from Portland. For the past week we have been planning and organizing our trip with the support of the amazing staff of Carpe Diem Headquarters here in Portland.
We've spent most of the last sunny week at a retreat center in Corbett attending safety workshops, playing games, honing our leadership skills and doing some last minute planning for our trip to Thailand and Cambodia. Some highlights of our time were sharing some laughs beside a beautiful waterfall and building a sweet stick fort in the woods.
Hailing from the Twin Cities in Minnesota, Mai Mao is bringing her years of leadership experience, her passion for social justice and a deep appreciation for almond butter to this PDXchange program. Although she is sad to be leaving her cat IceCube at home for these two months, she is looking forward to sharing some amazing experiences with our unique students. Recently transplanted from the mountains of North Carolina to the rich soil of Oregon, Topher has been working with the Carpe Mundi program and the Hathai student cohort for the past 7 months. He is beyond excited to lead a semester in Southeast Asia for the third time. Topher is looking forward to sharing his knowledge and passion for human connection through music, games, and mindfulness practices.
It's hard to believe that next week, we will finally be all together as a group embarking on a truly incredible adventure. We can’t wait to share the wonder of travel, as we all grow, learn, and transform together.
Mai Mao and Topher