|Family Visits and Travel Top List of Students' Winter Break Plans
December 13, 2011
by Cathryn Westra
Over winter break, Davidson students will disperse near and far, traveling the world and enjoying family traditions. From shooting hoops to seeing the world, basketball player Clay Tormey '14, activist educator Caitlin Allen '12, and international student Lionel Adabayeri '14 shared their plans for the holiday season.
Lionel Adabayeri '14 will make a 15-hour flight home to Accra, Ghana. "I'm looking forward to telling my mom about life at Davidson," Adabayeri said. "I talk to her frequently, but haven't seen her since she helped me move in freshman year."
He's also looking forward to participating in Ghanaian holiday traditions. "On Christmas Day, relatives get together and go to church dressed in white boubous," he explained. "Everyone wears white, but each family has a unique style that sets it apart. After ceremonies, our whole family-aunties, uncles, cousins-go to my grandparents' house for the holiday meal-chicken, rice, and sweet plantains. There are about 25 of us."
Following a day of eating and family time, the Adabayeris exchange gifts on Boxing Day, December 26. "For New Year's we also go to church," said Adabayeri. "It isn't much different from holidays in the states, except the weather is warm, and there is a lot of church time."
Tormey said he and other members of the men's basketball team have just four days off for winter break. "Winter break is actually one of our more rigorous training periods," he explained. "We get to spend just a little time with family before returning for a home game December 29. The team will play seven games over Winter Break-four away and three at home."
Tormey will visit his mom, dad, brother and sister-in-law in Chicago, then will spend the remainder of the break in a Davidson-area hotel with his teammates. When not practicing or competing, they'll bond over meals and video games. "Our favorite restaurants include House of Taipei and Iron Grill," Tormey said. "And we definitely grow closer doing our fair share of gaming. I look forward to that time with teammates and, of course, to our games."
Caitlin Allen '12 will also be involved in sport over the break, but in a very different context. Allen is traveling to Amman, Jordan, to introduce athletics to female Iraqi refugees. She will be working with Reclaim Childhood, a non-profit that focuses on empowering vulnerable young women.
Allen explained, "Many women I'll work with have never participated in sport, and they view it as an exclusively male activity. This program is an effort to empower girls through play, teamwork, and collaboration, and establish a sense of normalcy for individuals who have experienced unstable childhoods."
Allen is doing an independent study project on the meaning of service through the anthropology department, and her project investigates the use of sport as service for social change.
She continued, "While in Jordan, I hope to teach older Iraqi girls how to coach and mentor. That way they can continue to bring sport to the community after we leave."
Allen is funding her trip with grants from the Dean Rusk International Studies Program and the Abernethy Grant program, and through donations from friends and family. She will post updates about research and travels to her blog.
Spring semester classes begin on Tuesday, January 17.
Davidson is a highly selective independent liberal arts college for 1,900 students located 20 minutes north of Charlotte in Davidson, N.C. Since its establishment in 1837 by Presbyterians, the college has graduated 23 Rhodes Scholars and is consistently regarded as one of the top liberal arts colleges in the country. Through The Davidson Trust, the college became the first liberal arts institution in the nation to replace loans with grants in all financial aid packages, giving all students the opportunity to graduate debt-free. Davidson competes in NCAA athletics at the Division I level, and a longstanding Honor Code is central to student life at the college.