A Letter to GEA Allies
Aino had a globetrotter childhood. She was born in Finland but moved often, traveled often, and her home often welcomed visitors from many corners of the world. With them came stories and ideas that were colorful and intriguing to listen to; ideas that helped add to her understanding and respect of the world closer to her, and the richness of the larger world she hadn’t yet visited. She has left a part of her heart in all her “homes”, with the endless woods of Northern Europe being her happiest place.
Paul comes from a small country town on the North Shore of Oahu. The richness of the islands, from the sandy shores, roaring ocean waves, and majestic mountain ranges, are mirrored in the diversity of cultures, languages, and people that make up his island home. Combined, these have had a profound effect on his upbringing, leading to an exceeding curiosity to explore the world beyond his familiar shores, diving deep into the cultures and communities that make each corner of the globe unique.
We have witnessed the many benefits of travel firsthand through our own experience and leading hundreds of teachers on programs throughout the years. These benefits are well-researched and go beyond mere leisure or escapism. Travel has been shown to enrich our lives emotionally, socially, and academically. It enhances motivation for learning, broadening perspectives, and increasing cultural tolerance and global awareness. The experience promotes self-discovery and self-confidence, improving how we understand ourselves as part of a larger society. Travel impacts instructional flexibility, easing one’s ability to tailor learning for diverse students and teaching contexts, and finally, equips individuals with the critical skills and perspectives needed in our interconnected world.
These experiences have forged a fire that still fuels us today and begs us to embark on many investigative learning quests, both at home and far away. It is the same fire that fuels all of us at GEA, as we aim to create meaningful, fun and investigative journeys for you.
Thank you for journeying with us!
Aino and Paul Rama
DIRECTORS AND Staff
BOARD OF ADVISORS
Frances Rivera M.Ed.
Indianapolis, Indiana, US
Puerto Rico Program
Special Programs Finland Fellow