Author Description

About Meagan
Hi! My name is Meagan Grace Franz. I’m 17 years old and I just finished up my junior year of high school at East High School.  I live in Salt Lake City, Utah with my mom and siblings.  Our dad lives just a few blocks away.  I’m the second oldest out of six kids. Courtney is 20, Lexie is 16, Lizzie and Boris are 6, and Sam is 3.  Even though I’m the second oldest, I act as the oldest because Courtney has Down’s syndrome.  Having Court in our lives has had such an impact on our family that my parents decided to adopt Boris, who also has Down’s syndrome, from Russia almost 4 years ago.  My family is very unique and is extremely important to me.
About a year and a half ago my parents got a divorce.  It was hard on everyone, but I took it especially badly.  I gave up on school, and had no drive or will to succeed at anything.  I stopped doing my school and homework, and eventually just stopped going to class altogether.  My once 4.0 grade point average plummeted.  I thought things would get better my junior year, after a summer off to relax and do what I wanted to do.  But my junior year started out the way my sophomore year had ended: badly.
My mom started looking at student travel programs that I might be able to do the following summer.  She thought it might motivate me to do something with my life.  But the programs we looked at weren’t what we wanted.  That is about the time that Teresa called offered me the opportunity of a lifetime.  But I could only do it if I got my act together. And so I did.
And now I’m going on this amazing trip.  Leaving everything I know and love behind for a year to help those less fortunate than me.  It is definitely the experience of a lifetime.  I can’t wait!

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Meagan's Blog

Nyumbani pics1
A Day of Home Visits

I get to tag along with the social workers of Nyumbani Village for a day, meeting and interviewing orphans that might get to come to the village soon!

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Laos Kenya etc14
Sunsets, Stargazing, and Scorpions

Read about some of the surprising (pleasant and unpleasant) aspects of staying at the Nyumbani Village in Kenya.

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Kenya Chapati
Food at the Village

The chefs at the Guest House at the Nyumbani Village make sure we never go hungry! Read to learn what we’re eating day to day in Kenya

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Camel Ride: An Up and Down Experience

Our short camel ride turned out to be an even more unique experience than we had planned for!

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Turkish Bath

Authentic Experience? I’m In! I’m learning to really love experiencing different cultures.  So when Teresa said she’d like to go to a Turkish Bath, I was immediately interested.  After all, what’s more Turkish than a Turkish Bath in Istanbul?  We’d been told it wasn’t like any spa we were used to.   Apparently traditional Turkish Baths […]

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Surprising Similarities: Making Friends Despite Language Barriers

We didn’t speak any Bulgarian. They didn’t speak any English. We could barely communicate, and yet I made friends I will never forget. Turns out, I had more in common with the kids from Maria Theresa then I had expected! And it didn’t take verbal communication to realize it!

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Life At Maria Theresa

One of the things I’ve missed the most since I’ve been gone is my siblings.  I (surprisingly) miss watching “the Littles” (my 3 youngest siblings) a few times a week while Mom was at work.  I miss the little things, like listening to Lizzie read, helping Boris when he wants new batteries in his toys, […]

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Nyumbani Newsletter

I’ve been having a great time on the trip, learning and making memories that will last a lifetime!  But…  I cannot wait to get out of Europe!  As much fun as I’ve had going to all the trendy travel spots, I’m ready to get to the meat of the trip- the volunteering!  I want to […]

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When most people think “Amsterdam” the first things that come to mind are prostitution and marijuana.  In fact, that was all I knew about it prior to our visit there.  That’s one of the reasons I thought removing it from our itinerary wouldn’t be that big of a deal.  That, and Amsterdam was kind of […]

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Kebab Street

There’s more to Brussels than just waffles and chocolate!

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