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Student going to South America

Staff writer

Joshua Klarmann, of rural Peabody, will spend about one month of his summer in winter.

Klarmann, a 2010 Peabody-Burns High School graduate, is traveling to the South American country of Paraguay, which is experiencing winter now. He will be in Paraguay as part of the Youth Ambassadors program sponsored by the U.S. Department of State.

Klarmann learned about the program from his Spanish teacher, Courtney Dealy. He applied for the program and was accepted about a month ago.

He had to quickly apply for a passport, because he has never been outside the U.S. before.

“I always like new places,” Klarmann said. “It’s like an adventure.”

He will attend training in Washington, D.C., with other participants Sunday through June 23 before leaving for Paraguay. In Washington, he will meet other participants in the program. He knows there are some from Topeka and Lawrence, and many of them are from Minnesota.

“I’m really looking forward to meeting all the new people,” Klarmann said.

He isn’t entirely clear about what he will do while in Paraguay, but he said the program is about volunteering and gaining new skills. He said he is interested in learning more about agriculture and the environment in Paraguay.

Klarmann will stay with a host family in the capital, Asunción, for two to three weeks. He expects the language to be challenging, because the indigenous Guarani language heavily influences the Spanish spoken in Paraguay.

Several people have asked him to give a presentation about his time in Paraguay when he returns July 17. The program requires that he keep a journal, and he plans to take a lot of pictures.

“I bought six rolls of film to take over there,” Klarmann said.

He plans to study math and math education at Kansas State University.

Last modified June 16, 2010

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