Alumni Spotlight: Cassidy Rappaport

Cassidy Rappaport is from Chicago, Illinois, 19 years old and currently studying Human Rights and Cultural Anthropology at Hampshire College. She enjoys traveling, learning about people, baking, and meeting people from all over the world.

Why did you decide to volunteer with Rustic Pathways in Burma?

Burma Monastery

Cassidy: I wanted to go somewhere I thought I would never go. I wanted to experience a world unlike any other. I wanted to learn as much as possible. And I wanted to get the taste of something so different that I would go home with new perspectives. All of these were accomplished.

Describe your day to day activities as a volunteer.

Cassidy: Day to day on the trips in Burma, there is not as much hands on volunteering as it is difficult to do so in Burma at this point in time. However, we would wake up and spend the entire day out exploring in various ways across the country.

We would go to local villages and play with the kids. We would ride boats across Inle Lake and enter the most far off monasteries. We were taught about the culture, history, and people of Burma.

What made this experience unique and special?

Cassidy: This experience was unique because it was a happy marriage of tourism with exploration and fun. We were able to tour and yet because the staff are local, we were constantly pushed to learn more and ask more about Burma.

How has this experience impacted your future?

Cassidy: I am currently studying Human Rights and Cultural Anthropology as a direct result of traveling in Burma. I am also studying Burmese at the Southeast Asian Studies Summer Institute as I want to continue to be involved and work in Burma as I continue forward.

I also have an interest in working with refugees after I learned about the issues happening in Burma. These few weeks I spent in Burma with Rustic Pathways have curved the line of my life in ways that would have never happened if I had never stepped off that plane in Yangon 3 years ago.