By Chris Goldberg
Phillylacrosse.com, Posted 8/12/10
Recent Friends’ Central graduate Emily Brodsky (midfielder) will play Division III lacrosse at national power Hamilton College (N.Y.).
And when Brodsky reports to the upstate New York campus today for her first day of freshman orientation, she will have a unique perspective on college dormitory life.
Brodsky, an Academic All-American for the Friends Schools League champion Phoenix, recently returned from a 17-day service trip with Habitat for Humanity to the Ethiopian city of Debre Berhan.
Brodsky, who went on the trip with her older sister, Sarah, 21, and mother, Carrie, helped build 14 homes for natives, all of whom come from low-income backgrounds.
“It was really neat working side-by-side with the homeowners and the people who were going to live in the houses,” Brodsky said. “We had to dig foundation walls made out of sticks and cover them in mud inside and outside.
“We used chika – a mixture of water and straw for the walls. The roof was made of tin.”
Brodsky said the homes were typically for families that had a single mother and about four children.
“It was really obvious how grateful they were,” she said. “It was a little hard to communicate because of the language barrier. (They spoke native Amharic.) We had a guide with us who could translate and we picked up on a few words.
“I loved it. I think it gives me lot of perspective. I think our dorm rooms are not so bad compared to what we saw. It was a unique situation that I’d not normally find myself in. I got a broader view and a better understanding of different cultures, which is very important.”
Brodsky said she is truly fortunate to have found Hamilton, which last year fell to Salisbury in the NCAA championship game and won the crown in 2008 while reaching the semifinals in 2009. She plans to major in science and study abroad and was impressed with the Hamilton lacrosse program under coach Patty Kloidt.
“I loved their open curriculum,” said Brodsky, who will join Lower Merion graduate Rebecca Green (senior midfielder) at Hamilton. “It allows you to have no restrictions. You study what interests you. I also liked the small school feel there. It definitely has the community feel – and then there’s the good lacrosse program.”
Brodsky was a First Team Friends Schools League pick in the spring when she collected
69 goals, 44 assists, 41 draw control and 24 forced turnovers. The Phoenix claimed the league crown by defeating defending champion Germantown Friends, 13-2, in the title game.
Brodsky, who played club lacrosse for Ultimate Goal and was a member of the Cum La
ude Society, said her mother had been to Africa six times and suggested to her daughters to make the Habitat for Humanity trip a family experience.
Last year Brodsky traveled to Ecuador to pave roads for a service trip. She said the home
s she helped build this year had two rooms – about 14 feet by 10 feet – and a fairly primitive bathroom. The homes did not initially have electricity or running water unless the families could afford to pay for them as add-ons.
Yet, the families, who formerly lived in even smaller homes for rent, were thrilled for their new dwellings.
“I got to visit where they were living before,” said Brodsky. “At the end of the stay they had a dedication ceremony and there was a lot of emotion. They were very thankful.”
Tags: Friends' Central