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JAffrey

She’s China-bound

Noodle and auction fundraiser to help with expenses

  • Nadia Bhatti 13 years-old, cared for chickens as part of her effort to raise funds for an educational travel program to China.
  • Nadia Bhatti spent days sorting records as she works hard to raise the $7,500 she needs to travel to China with the educational program People to People.
  • By pet sitting, helping people move, selling cotton candy and various other jobs Nadia Bhatti has already raised $1,047 towards her $7,500 goal.

Nadia Bhatti is a 13-year-old, 8th grader at Jaffrey-Rindge Middle School. She isn’t sure what she wants to be when she grows up — maybe a professional chef, maybe an international translator, possibly a ninja — but Bhatti is sure she wants to spend her 14th birthday in China.

Celebrating her July 7 birthday in a foreign country has become a pattern for Bhatti.

Two years ago — when she was 11 — Bhatti raised $5,600 in order to take part in the educational travel program, People to People. That year, she spent her 12th birthday in London.

This year, Bhatti is hoping to take part in another People to People program called: Great Wall and Beyond. The trip will start in Beijing, China, and will run for 17 days. The trip will include such unique experiences as riding in a rickshaw, seeing giant pandas and learning kung fu.

“Travel helps people become more culturally educated, and helps people become more tolerant,” said Bhatti, explaining why she loves travel.

To make this dream a reality she needs to raise $7,500.

So far, through pet sitting, selling cotton candy, organizing record collections, making jewelry, helping people move, and joining “Fund Me” — an online crowd funding site — she has raised $1,047. On March 13, Bhatti plans to host a fundraiser called, “Noodles for Nadia.” Bhatti and her parents will serve Chinese noodles and run an auction. For more information on the fundraiser or on Bhatti’s travel plans go to www.gofundme.com/nadiabchina.

Bhatti’s mother, Brenda Bhatti, said she isn’t nervous about her daughter traveling the world because she trusts the People to People program. The organization is safe, has outstanding accommodations, is well organized, and spends a great deal of time preparing students for their travel experience, she said.

Nadia Bhatti isn’t scared either.

To prepare, she is learning to speak Chinese

“When I think about it, [travel] doesn’t seem that hard because I’ve been doing it all my life, but a lot of my friends haven’t left the U.S. and they think it’s pretty cool that I am,” said Bhatti.

Brenda describes her family as internationally oriented. In addition to traveling to Pakistan — where her husband, Suhail Bhatti, is from — the Bhatti family regularly invites foreign exchange students into their home. Travel, she said, “exposes [children] to the world on a face-to-face level.” For example, Brenda said, “On the news you hear really negative things about Pakistan, but you need to go there and see it, and you will have a different perspective.”

Bhatti thinks everyone should travel. In fact, she is already planning her next trip. “Scotland sounds cool,” she said.

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