Cast B 2014 is on the Road!

Jenn Gifford - Wednesday, August 27, 2014

By Tanya Colton, France

Cast B 2014 has officially started our tour, and we have just finished spending a week in Merrimack Valley, Massachusetts. We arrived on Monday both excited and nervous to meet our host families, and start our first week on the road. After spending time with our host families on Monday evening, we started our Community Impact projects around Merrimack Valley on Tuesday and Wednesday. I had the wonderful opportunity to work with an organization called 'Girls Inc.' 

Girls Inc. is a non-profit that encourages young women to become inspirational, strong and bold. It was great fun to spend time with the girls from this wonderful organization. I got to experience the mission of the organization first hand when I asked one girl what her favorite movie was, and she replied with, "Mulan. Because she's strong, independent and can defend herself." That was truly the highlight of my day and made me appreciate the beauty of Girls Inc. 

Thursday and Friday night were our first two shows on the road, which brought a lot of extra enthusiasm and energy. We were able to come together as a cast and have two incredible performances in the city of Merrimack Valley, Massachusetts. 

We had the pleasure to have one of the girls from Girls Inc. and her mother come watch the second show. She was invited on stage to participate in 'Say Hey'. It was wonderful to see how many people were there to support the cast. But now, we will start heading off to Cumberland, Rhode Island! 

To learn more about Girls, Inc. visit their website at

The Adventure Begins

Jenn Gifford - Tuesday, August 19, 2014

By: TJ from Colorado, USA and Joram from Belgium

More than a month ago we arrived together to meet more than 80 other people from 15 different countries for a life changing experience. We all come from different backgrounds, cultures, habits, ages, and experiences, ready for our Up with People adventure. The first day was really hard: learning all those new names and being tired from long flights. We were all exited to meet our new host families.  The first month of our program was the staging period, and we stayed in Denver, Colorado in the United States.

During the first two weeks we learned the songs and dances for the inspiring Up with People show, Voices. However, it was not only singing and dancing. We also had some workshops about leadership skills, our different culture background, goals, visions for future life, as well as others. A very interesting workshop was about stereotypes. We discussed questions such as "So it is good or bad to organize all people from one region into one big group?" and "How do we see people around us and what impact has it on our behavior when doing so?" The most important question we discussed is that for the next six months we are the ambassadors of our country in USA / Mexico / Cuba / Europe. We must consider how we are going to represent our home country to the people we meet.

Last week was all about putting the individual songs and dances together and start to rehearse the entire show. Friday, August 15, 2014 was THE day! Our first show for a big audience. We were so tired from all the rehearsals and long days, but the adrenaline from knowing that we would perform for an audience of 700 people and the team spirit made us cross our own boundaries. That was an amazing feeling!

After each day in staging, we could look forward to going home to a nice place. Little by little we changed our sentence from: "I’m going to my host family's place" to calling them "my family" and "my new home."

Now we are heading off to the east coast of USA for the start of our tour, so more stories will follow soon!



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