Change Yourself…Change The World.

Becky Schaffer: A Tribute To A Wonderful Woman
August 14, 2011, 4:28 pm
Filed under: India

This is really hard for me to write, but I’m going to do it anyway. Last Saturday, a bright beam of light was lost to the world.

I met Becky Schaffer on the most amazing experience of my life: my three-month program with Carpe Diem in India. As the history of my life goes, lost and confused at age 19, I decided to go to India to find inspiration. Those three months of my life changed me forever. That experience with Carpe Diem woke me out of a life-long hibernation and to my true purpose in life. It opened my eyes to the world and pushed me to apply to Global College, to travel, and was my inspiration for joining the Peace Corps.

Along on this trip were nine other amazing souls who were all fundamentally changed from this experience. One of these people was Becky Schaffer. We didn’t get along very well at the beginning, but Becky helped me grow to new heights and we came to really respect each other as individuals, and even became friends. As the trip went on, we all came to love one another dearly and see each other as family. After our trip, Becky and I stayed in touch and became closer. I visited her in England while she was in Exeter, and we kept in touch consistently over Facebook. She hooked me up with her friends in Kenya while I was doing my Kiva fellowship. She was there for me when I broke up with my boyfriend. She was there for me when I was going through my antsy phase of waiting to join the Peace Corps. We talked and I provided input on what she wanted to do with her life, and joining WorldTeach. She was applying to the Peace Corps too. I wrote her recommendation.

Becky left for Micronesia three weeks ago for a WorldTeach position. While visiting local waterfalls, Becky slipped on a rock, hit her head, fell into the falls and died. She was 23 years old.

Some things in life don’t make sense. It doesn’t make sense that a beautiful, wonderful person who gave so much to everyone, who touched so many lives, who had so much more to do for the world, tragically died. It doesn’t seem fair that someone so kind-hearted and so invested in other people’s lives should go so young. When I look back on Becky’s life, I am astounded by the things she did and people she touched. She loved children. I remember when we were in India together, EVERY single town we went to she would go out on her own and find local schools to teach English to. For no reason other than being selfless. After she graduated from McGill in 2010, she went to Kenya for 2 months to work at an orphanage, just because she loved the children there. She was always pushing herself to new heights. She pushed herself to climb mountains in India. I remember spending three days together huddled in a tent after climbing the Himalayas. She hiked to the top of Mount Kilimanjaro in Tanzania, the tallest mountain in Africa.

I still can’t believe that she is gone. It is hard to believe that a light that bright could be snuffed out so easily.

Becky, thank you for everything you have given to the world. Thank you for impacting my life. Thank you for being one of the most kind-hearted and selfless people I’ve ever met. I know that you wanted to save the world, but you were part of something big that saved me. You already have saved the world. As my promise to you I am taking on some of your mission to make the world a better place. I will be carrying you with me everywhere. You will never be forgotten. Just look at these people down at this picture, and know that we will always remember you.

Our last day in India together.

Rest in Peace Becky.

9 Comments so far
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Beautiful tribute. Thank you for sharing. She will be so missed.

Comment by Rachel

Thank you for your thoughtfull memories of Becky. I knew her before she was born, and am devastated that she is gone. She was so full of energy and happiness for the moment and what she was doing.

the photos show how much she looks like her mom. I never say that in her before!

Thank you for posting the photos!


Comment by jennie

Brittany, I am so sorry to hear this. I feel like I know Becky from this wonderful tribute to her, I wish I had had the chance to meet her.

Comment by sharontb

Thank you for posting this. You’re right, Becky’s spirit of service to this world will live on in each and every soul she impacted on her journey. She will be missed, but never forgotten.

Comment by Mike H

Thank you for sharing that. I have known Becky from her hometown of Yarmouth Maine and think of her as lighting up every room she enters. Her light lives on.

Comment by Robin Hodgskin

I am shocked to hear this. A group of us visited the orphanage she was at in Kenya, it was when she had come back over to see them and all the children and helpers were so happy to see her.I remember they would write her letters asking her to go back, so she did! She helped us feel more comfortable and really relax at the orphanage and we were soon playing silly games all together with the children. It was by far one of the best days we had in our four months in Kenya and I remember being inspired by her coming to the orphanage off her own back, she was clearly quite an incredible person and I only met her once!

Comment by Ellie Blake

Dear Brittany,

Wonderful tribute and such a gift to those of us who did not travel with you. Now we have another aspect of Becky to
hold in our hearts.

She was extraordinary and wonderful and did impact the world for the good.

Becky was my English student at Yarmouth High School.
She was a powerhouse then as she continued to be always.
Love never dies, thank God.

Comment by Becky Clifford Pride

[…] have been learning a lot about death in my Peace Corps service. From my friend Becky Schaffer, who passed away in August, to now our dear Emily- it is devastating that both of them suffered […]

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[…] In honor of my friend Becky, who was applying to the Peace Corps and passed away last August, I decided that I would like to do […]

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