• Ken Baeza

The Beauty of UWC

I recently had the opportunity to visit the Maji Moto Hotsprings in Moshi, Tanzania. It was a student-organized trip, and all I can say is that it's been one of the most wonderful experiences at UWCEA (watch the video of the trip here). But the reason why this trip was such an enjoyable one was not really because of the beauty of the springs... I enjoyed this trip because it reminded me of the beauty of UWC.

During this trip, I witnessed something fascinating. We were singing songs on our way to Maji Moto, and suddenly, a very familiar song starts playing. It's the 2010 World Cup song, "Wavin' Flag". This song reminds me of my childhood in Guatemala. I remember I sang it a thousand times in Spanish with my friends (back then, when I used to like soccer...), I had also heard the Japanese version of the song, and the English one. I remember I was fascinated by the fact that one song was translated into multiple languages. I wondered back then what this song would sound like in languages from the Middle East, or in other European languages... and the waiting was finally over...

Everyone was singing the song in their own language. I was speechless. I was listening the song in Hebrew, Portuguese, Dutch, Spanish, Italian, English, German, and many more languages at the same time. It was truly fascinating to see that everyone grew up singing the same song, in different languages, and 10 years after it came out, we were all in the middle of Africa, singing it together.

I believe this is a very good example of what UWC stands for. This is the perfect example of international and intercultural understanding, and celebration of difference. Back when this song came out, I would have never thought I'd be in Tanzania surrounded by people from all over the world. I'm sure none of us did...

Moments like these are the ones I cherish the most. These are the moments that remind me that I'm part of UWC. These are the moments that remind me that even though we may have many differences that make each one of us unique, we are all the same: we are all young idealists that want to make a difference in this world.

Ken Baeza