Name: Kavitha Rao
from: Michigan, Maryland
Click here to meet Kavitha in video!
What does Kavitha think of the World Trek? (video)
When and where were you born?
Born January 23, 1974 in Milwaukee, Wisconsin
Who did you grow up with?
My parents were divorced, so I mostly grew up with my mom, an
artist and a great cook, and anything but conventional. To balance things out I spent weekends
with my traditional Indian father, who is a meteorologist and oceanographer, and my stepmom who is
the only one in my family who has retained the Hindu practices of our roots. And finally, there's
my older sister Pramila. She's six years older than me and we spent most of our time 'growing up'
fighting and telling on each other, but we're finally over that and are actually good friends
Do you have any pets?
Unfortunately I was cursed with what must be one of the worst
allergies known to man and I'm allergic to most pets - the fun ones at least! I used to have
What do you like to do with your friends?
EAT! We love going out or cooking big meals
together. We also love music.live music, stuff that makes you boogey preferably, although sitting
around listening to some good jazz is nice too.
What things are you afraid of?
I'm afraid of violence.
What is your favorite food?
This could be a long one! I love Thai food, yams, good
guacamole, pumpkin pie, spicy Indian food (but I've got high standards), dark chocolate, and
pretty much anything with a lot of garlic!
What is your advice to young people today?
Turn off the TV!!!
Who or what has had an especially strong influence on the direction of your life?
sister. She was the first person in my life to introduce me to service, travel, and activism
three things which I would say pretty much define my life now. I remember going to volunteer at a
soup kitchen in D.C. with her and how proud I was of her friendships and familiarity with the
homeless who came to eat there. Then there was always the postcard from some remote part of the
world from riding buses in Malaysia, to climbing up Machu Picchu in Peru I couldn't wait to see
what my adventurous sister was up to. Oh yes, I also could never forget when my crazy sister took
me with her to stand outside the Pentagon holding up a peace banner. Who would have thought that
one day I'd be motivating others to make their own banners and march out in the streets when they
see something that is unjust.
What kind of student were you?
I was definitely a procrastinator! The queen of
all-nighters but I'm still convinced that I do my best work the night before! Despite all the
procrastination, I was a hard worker, so although teachers cautioned against my study habits, I
pretty much always pulled through with good grades.
What was your first experience with service?
I volunteered with Student Conservation
Association one summer and spent 3 months living in a cabin with 7 others in the beautiful White
Mountains in New Hampshire, hiking and telling visitors about trails and taking kids on nature
walks. We didn't' make much money, but it was worth it!
What is the country you are most looking forward to visiting?
Peru. The Amazon, Machu
Picchu, the Alti-Plano - I can't wait!
What are you not so good at?
Saying No. There are so many wonderful people, and so
great stuff to do all the time that I often try to do it all, which only ends up wearing me out
and shortchanging the experience. I need to realize that limiting myself to a few things can make
those few things so much more worthwhile.