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

Hey!

Hey All! Stoked to meet you guys soon and start off on this new adventure! I’m Hannah and I’m from the Sierra Nevada mountains in Northern California. I moved here around five years ago from Chicago, and although the move from a large metropolitan area to a tiny town in the mountains was definitely a culture shock, I now feel just as comfortable between the granite walls of a river canyon as I do between skyscrapers. I enjoy being outside and active –  I rock climb, run, play ultimate frisbee, and do aerial silks – just as much as I enjoy books and music. I love mathematics, and can nerd on a variety of topics, but I also love dancing and singing loudly and poorly to the radio. I come from a family devoted to progressive education and being outside, and live in a community where environmental stewardship is the norm. I went to an Expeditionary Learning high school that placed an emphasis on leadership and active citizenship as well as academics, meaning at least once every semester my class and I were taking our classes outdoors on fieldwork, either backpacking, camping, or volunteering in the community.

So far, I’ve balanced my gap year between the classroom, teaching mathematics to high school students, a music studio where I intern, road trips around the West Coast, and backpacking and enjoying time outdoors solo and with friends. I also recently returned from a trip to Europe and Morocco – I was so fortunate to have been able to experience the variety of cultures, religions, languages, and traditions present in these places, an loved the opportunity to learn about the history and current politics of the regions I visited through conversations with individuals I met along the way.

I love the mission of Dragons, and am stoked for the opportunity to participate in the South America program. I want to learn about and experience the places I travel to on a deeper level  – to travel authentically in a way uniquely offered by WTBD. I am excited to immerse myself in the cultures and environments of Bolivia and Peru – through homestays, backpacking trips, and just daily  conversations – and to gain a better mastery of Spanish. I can’t wait to share these experiences with all of you passionate and interesting people!

See you on the 7th (: