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Two Dragons welcome the sunrise with an improvised dance atop the Andes. Photo by Ryan Gasper.

Hello new friends!

Hello! My name is Tabita and I’m thrilled to be a part of this beautiful experience. I’m 18 years old and have just “graduated” from my wonderful years spent unschooling (homeschooling, but think a little more hippy!). I’m beyond excited to be taking this next step in my educational journey. Above is a picture of me with my beloved crabapple tree in my backyard at home.

My family is a bit of a multicultural one, as my dad is from Morocco and my mom has a multitude of European ethnicities on her side. When I think of my “culture” I think of the food in our home and the way that it ranges from my mom’s apple pie to my dad’s couscous and homemade bread- and all of the odd little dishes that come from the space in between where both cultures collide, which is where I spend my days. Lately, in a literal sense, I’ve been spending my days packing, visiting friends, and thinking about this big adventure, but in quieter times I enjoy long bike rides, good books and poetry, nature exploration of all kinds, and lots of impromptu dancing. I care a lot about listening well and being kind. I’m fascinated by the different cultures and religions that we all reside in and contribute to and how we relate to each other from our own backgrounds and communities. So you can see that the FOI introduced for this program makes me very happy and eager to engage! I chose this program for many reasons; it felt right to me because of aspects like the discussions and insights on cultural differences and histories that it will provide chances to explore. Not to mention the beauty of Peru and Bolivia, or the fact that trekking is a practice that I’m super excited to grow into! I know that this experience will be precious and memorable, and that meeting and getting to know all of you will be a big reason for that. I am so looking forward to meeting everyone.

P.S. I don’t want to make this post super long, but I wanted to introduce myself, so I’m hoping it’s okay that I plan to come up with a second post later in the week for my answers to Ben’s awesome questions.