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Judy "Abeja" Hummel

  • Graduate of the College of William and Mary in "Interdisciplinary Studies" and Pre-medical Studies

  • Certified Emergency Medical Technician (EMT)

  • Certified Massage Therapist (CMT)

"Abeja" is the Spanish word for "honeybee," and an appropriate nickname for this busy and multi-faceted woman. As a child, her family infected her with the travel bug with trips to Spain and Morocco, England and France, and Mexico. In high school she left her home of Dearborn, Michigan to study as an exchange student in Spain and also spent a summer studying in Jordan. Since then she has traveled to Kuwait as a student, and adventured by bike, backpack, and bus through the US, Canada, Mexico, Guatemala, Belize, and Jamaica.

Before departing on the trek, Abeja worked in San Rafael, California with an afterschool program called "Trips For Kids," where she taught bicycle repair and environmental studies, and led mountain and road bike journeys. She also studied massage and worked as a massage therapist, which will surely be appreciated on the trek.

A strong concern for social and environmental justice has shaped Abeja's activities. She has volunteered at a battered women's shelter, been an EMT and ambulance driver on the Rescue Squad, and spent time living in the ancient redwoods of Humbolt County, California as a forest defender. Other work has included an internship at the National Council on U.S.-Arab Relations in Washington, DC, and teaching rock climbing, backpacking, and rafting as a summer camp counselor.

A belief in the power of strong communities and self-reliance keeps Abeja involved in intentional communities. She has visited several communities around the US, and lived at Twin Oaks Community, an egalitarian, income-sharing group of about 100 people in rural Virginia. There, she worked in child care, construction, beekeeping, and milking the cows.

Abeja can often be caught singing or dancing, even in the midst of work. She also enjoys reading, writing poetry, backpacking, wildcrafting edible and medicinal plants, bicycling, and generally playing and having fun.

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