Ashley McCray

International Experience Country:
Cohort Year:
Home Institution:

University of Pittsburgh | Oakland

Heinz Programming Area:
Children, Youth, and Families
International Experience Summary:

Ashley McCray volunteered in a hospital in Karagwe, Tanzania, for four weeks through the Pitt in Tanzania program. She assisted in the hospital’s maternity and pediatric clinic. She monitored and documented the growth of children from birth to five years old and compared their development to the global scale. The information that she gathered allowed her to complete a research paper about regional impacts on developmental growth. She also gained extensive exposure to ailments uncommon in western medicine, especially Malaria. Ashley learned how to administer HIV/AIDS examinations, neo-natal vaccinations, and properly chart child growth and development. Within a week Ashley became a friendly fixture in the Tanzanian clinic providing reassurance for frightened children and humor for ill mothers. Ashley felt at home right away, partly because she lived on the hospital grounds with the rest of her co-workers so she was at home! She played soccer with the neighborhood children and learned enough new tricks to hold her own against the doctors and lab technicians in a friendly scrimmage game. Ashley’s natural charm was welcomed and led to many long lasting friendships between her and the natives of Karagwe. On the weekends, Ashley attended various social functions including a co-worker’s traditional wedding, the Lutheran Bishop’s Jubilee celebrating 50 years of success, and a guided trip to a wild game park. Her adventures and epic trip did not end in Karagwe. Ashley and a few others from her abroad group went on a safari in three national parks including the world famous, Serengeti. Ashley had an amazing experience and is already planning her return trip to Tanzania to climb Mt. Kilimanjaro and visit her friends in summer 2015!

Community Engagement Experience Summary:

CEE Title: Mythbusters: Africa

When you think about Africa, what comes to mind? Lion King, warm weather, people walking around in tribal clothes? But, Africa is a continent (yes not a country) full of diversity, technology, geographic variation, and climate differences. Thus, my CEE - Mythbusters: Africa began with a game of Family Feud to expose the top 8 misconceptions regarding Africa. Each "Myth" had an educational slide to showcase reality within Africa. In addition to the educational Powerpoint and Family Feud game, there was a hands on relay race that: 

1. Compared traditional toilets vs. westernized toilets 

2. Educated the attendees on Urine Diversion toilets and other technological advancements in Karagwe, Tanzania( where I travelled).

3. Educated the attendees on water usage without pipes

African Mythbusters was done in three Residence Halls on the University of Pittsburgh campus. It was attended by over 50 students. Most importantly, my CEE was able to showcase my global experience while educating the attendees on a different culture and inspired many to want to study abroad.