Kira Tosi, a Year 9 student, joined a group of 12 other 13- to 14-year-olds working with the service and travel organization Overland Summers, heading to the island on July 20 for two weeks of working on a local farm, spending time with local children in need and exploring the island’s culture.
“I went on this trip all alone, but by the end of it I left with 13 new friends,” said Tosi.
Tosi and her fellow group members stayed at two different spots on the island during their two-week visit. At Ridge to Reef Farm she learned about the work it takes to maintain the land, picking mangos, bananas, star fruit and other exotic treats helping to clear farm land for new crops and buildings.
The second week of the trip brought Tosi to the local Boys and Girls Club each day, where she spent time with and read to children ages 5 to 9 and also got to know some local children her age.
When they weren't offering a helping hand to local residents, Tosi and the rest of the group did some exploring, going scuba diving and swimming and learning about the history of the island.
Tosi said the trip was a lot of fun, but that, more importantly, she learned some very important lessons.
“This was my first service trip ever, and I really wanted to do it because I love doing community service,” she said. “It makes me feel like I’ve accomplished something and made someone’s life better...Not only that, it turns out I love service more than I thought I did.”