Hello! My name is Anna (pronounced Ah-na). I was born in Durham, North Carolina, moved to Princeton when I was three and have lived here ever since. While growing up in a college town has provided me with many cultural and artistic events to attend and surrounded me with people who value knowledge, I also love Princeton for the town.
While I have dabbled in sports, my true athletic passion is walking. I spend much of my time walking, exploring different parts of Princeton, from the campus and residential streets to the Delaware & Raritan Canal and the Mountain Lakes nature preserve. It is a meditative experience; I walk to think and not to think. It has also allowed me to become more familiar with the places I visit as well as with the sights, sounds, and wildlife that surround me. The same is true for my other pastimes of hiking and biking.
When inside, you can find me reading the news or watching Last Week Tonight with John Oliver or The Daily Show. I am passionate about social justice, environmental sustainability, women’s rights, and politics and I try to raise awareness of these issues by canvassing and phone-banking in campaigns, including those for local Assemblyman Andrew Zwicker (who happens to be a physicist at Princeton), Hillary Rodham Clinton, and Phil Murphy.
The summer after my junior year of high school, I traveled to Santo Domingo, a small town perched on the slope of the Isabelia mountain range in northern Nicaragua. I spent two months there, living with a local family and working in the community through a program called Amigos de las Americas. Every day, my two partners and I led an extracurricular program, or campamento, for local youth and worked with the community to install a local water filter. The memories and lessons from my stay there have broadened my perspective and inspired me to spend more time abroad, as I am about to do.
Excited by the nearing 9 months in Bolivia, I wanted to try and learn more about the country I will soon come to love. After a brief google of “Bolivia”, I found an old New York Times article about the disappearance of Lake Poopó in Llapallapani, Bolivia. In addition to addressing the loss of biodiversity and jobs and forced migration, this article focuses on the loss of identity and culture. For centuries, the Uru-Murato had survived conquests, continuous poverty, lack of land and representation, but their biggest threat yet has been climate change (https://www.nytimes.com/interactive/2016/07/07/world/americas/bolivia-climate-change-lake-poopo.html ).
In addition to reading articles, I have also been conversing with my Mom and my family in Argentina in Spanish, attempting to understand the slang spoken in the series El Chapo, reviewing Spanish grammar, and spending time with family and friends. I also read the wonderful books sent to me by Bridge Year. They made me even more excited about the opportunity to learn more about Bolivian history and its indigenous communities in the coming months.
In these last few days, I have been trying to eat my favorite foods that I will likely not have access to in Bolivia. This includes plenty of Indian food, pizza, and pesto pasta. One of my favorite foods is the Argentine empanada so I am excited to try the Bolivian version, called salteñas. They are savory pastries filled with beef, pork or chicken mixed in a sweet, slightly spicy sauce containing olives, raisins, and potatoes. Interestingly, salteñas are named after Juana Manuela Gorriti who was born in Salta, Argentina. A feminist and an author, Gorriti is credited with creating the recipe while exiled in Tarija, Bolivia.
¡Tengo muchas ganas de conocerlos!