Thanksgiving is a time to reflect on the things we are most grateful for. This year I want to look back on a once in a lifetime opportunity that I was given this summer.
I have always wanted to travel abroad. It is something that I dreamed about when I was younger but I though I would have to wait until college to have that experience. Last year I was taking Spanish 3 Honors with Señora Allison who is also the Language Department Head. I was having a tough time in that class but I knew I wanted to take AP Spanish the following year. She recommended going abroad. I began to do some research and that is when I found Amigos de Las Americas. This is a non-profit organization that send high school and college age students to Spanish speaking countries to live and work with communities on special projects designed by the communities. Two other students from the US and myself were sent to the community of La Rubia in San Juan, Dominican Republic. Together we created a travel volleyball team that competed in a tournament against other participating communities, led youth-camps about leadership and gender equality, and helped build the foundations for a community park.
My six weeks with the people of La Rubia was truly life-changing. I was able to leave behind all of my problems and worries in the states and just time with some of the most interesting people I have ever met. My host family became my real family and the friends I made, both Dominican and American, are people that I want to keep in my life as long as I can. While I was there I learned so much, and I am so grateful that the community was so welcoming to a complete stranger life myself. I fell in love with the people of my community and the friends I made through training. I am so fortunate to have been given the opportunity to travel and improve my Spanish skills. When I came back to school in the fall I was placed into Señora Allison's AP class. It has been so much fun to share the stories of La Rubia and show her how much my Spanish has improved! I hope every takes time to think about what they are thankful for this holiday season. Happy Thanksgiving!