Meet the Climbers – Rachel McBride

For this spotlight, we are featuring the first of four NIU alumni that will traveling to Tanzania to climb Mount Kilimanjaro with us. Rachel participated in the 2013 TDS Study Abroad trip and worked with Nyegina Secondary School administrators on her service learning project. Her recommendation included rearranging the meals that are given to children so they are consuming higher amounts of protein in the morning, which is great for learning!

Rachel McBride during the 2013 Study Abroad Trip

Q: Who are you?

A: Rachel McBride

Q: What do you do?

A: I serve on the Navajo Nation as a Registered Dietitian for the U.S. Public Health Service by helping people manage their Type 2 Diabetes, among other health issues, with nutrition education and behavior change.

Q: Do you have any hobbies? Of course you do! What are they?

A: Exploring – by foot, by flight or by Jeep! I also enjoy playing organized sports – basketball being a favorite. 

Q: What makes you want to climb Mount Kilimanjaro?

A: The seed to climb Kili was planted while on the 2013 study abroad trip. Since then, I have really enjoyed hiking around the southwest and look forward to summiting the highest peak of Africa while raising funds for the school. 

Q: How are you preparing to hike to the top of a 19,341 footmountain?

A: I am looking forward to a few backpacking trips in Arizona (Havasupai, Navajo Mountain, GC Rim to Rim) prior to the Kili climb and enjoy being active on a daily basis. 

Q: What animal do you want to see on Safari?

A: I’d like to see a leopard – but totally love simba (lion) and tembo (elephant) and twiga (giraffes) too!!

Q: Do you have any past experience with TDS? If yes, please explain. 

A: 2013 study abroad trip 

Q: How important is reading and writing to you on a daily basis?

A: Reading and writing is incredibly important to develop one’s self – to see the world from a different perspect or just to learn something totally new. With long commutes from city to city, I’ve recently developed a love for audiobooks.  

Q: What is your favorite book?

A: The Alchemist by Paulo Coehlo

Q: What is your favorite memory from school? 

A: Hard to narrow it down…in general it would be the feeling of stepping out of my comfort zone and pushing myself to do things I was uncomfortable or unfamiliar with.  An example would be interning with the UN’s Food and Agriculture Organization in Italy in 2015.

Q: What about traveling to Tanzania are you most excited for? What are you most nervous about?

A: I’m excited for each step of the journey,seeing beautiful things and meeting beautiful people. I’m most nervous about – the unpredictable and hanging out at elevation J

Q: Why is it important that your friends, family, or acquaintances donate to your personal fundraising goal?

A: To help advance the education of children in Tanzania.

You can support Rachel’s fundraising goal by visiting her 2019 Kilimanjaro Climb profile. You can also keep up with Rachel on her adventure by regularly checking our blog between May 31 and June 15, or following Tanzania Development Support on Facebook.

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