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Photo by Tom Pablo, South America Semester.

Hey there!

With nervous excitement and anticipation, I can not wait to not only meet you, but to truly get to know you all! My name is Sabrina, and I am from the San Francisco area.

When I have time, I love trail running or going on adventures to new places. There is so much natural beauty in the place where I have grown up, and I feel that I sometimes take it for granted. As I get closer to leaving home, I am spending more time appreciating the beauty and familiarity of my hometown by visiting the places I love and finding new places to love as well. When I am not out and about, I can often be found near water. I work as a lifeguard, swim instructor, and assistant coach for a swim team. I spend many hours every week either in or near a pool, and love the water. Although the ocean in Northern California is a little too cold to swim in this time of year, I love going to the beach just to put my feet in. These are just a few of my hobbies, and I am so beyond excited to learn your stories.

Another thing about me is that I am not really a contact sports kind of a girl, as I have close to no hand-eye coordination. Because of this, I ran cross country and swam for my school, and even though I don’t play contact sports, I still managed to get a pretty bad injury this October. While running with my cross country team, I tripped and took a rough fall. My head hit the ground pretty hard, and I ended up breaking my nose, getting a severe concussion, and being put in a neck brace for a week. I am not someone who gets injured easily, and this accident turned my world upside down. I was out of school for around 3 weeks, and this time away gave me a little too much time to think. I realized that my life was different from what I had expected or planned, and this reflection made me question a lot.

After a difficult fall semester, I found the dragons program and realized that this might be just what I need. I am still a high school student, and will walk with my class and graduate this June when the program is over. I was able to work with my school to be able to use this semester as a “gap semester,” and still graduate in time to go to college in the fall. As someone who likes to know what is happening, it is a little scary for me to leave knowing that we will all change, but not really knowing how or even how our lives will be different by the end. I am also planning on going to college in the fall, but I do not know where I will spend the next four years of my college life yet. However, it is something I will figure out while we are all together, and I hope the connections we make and the experiences we have will help guide me.

When I saw the Andes and Amazon program, I knew that this is what I had to do. For as long as I can remember, I have had 2 favorite animals. I love all animals, and will miss my dog and cat very much while I’m gone. Being an animal lover, I do have favorites, and my favorite water animals are orca whales and my favorite land animals are llamas. Although we won’t be seeing orcas, knowing that I will get to see llamas is very exciting. I am also so excited to get to know all of you on the program. Going on trips like these really bring people together because of the vulnerable places we put ourselves in by being in new places and learning new things. I know we will each have our own struggles during the trip, but I hope we will be able to rely on each other for support, because getting through the difficulties will only make us stronger together.  The part of this trip that I might be most excited and also nervous about has to do with the language, Spanish. I believe that in today’s world, especially with our current political climate, it is beyond necessary to not only hear what people are saying, but to understand how they are saying it and what they really mean. The best way to reach this kind of an understanding to not just hear the words, but to understand where people come from: their cultures, their identities, and to try to understand their language. I feel like on this trip we will learn to not only hear what people are saying, but we will begin to understand, and in the long run, I think this will be the most important lesson we learn. I have taken Spanish in school, and am fairly comfortable with it, but I think being able to gain an understanding of at least a part of the culture that speaks the language will lead to the biggest change of all.

 

I can’t wait to meet you all and begin the adventure of a lifetime!

Until then,

Sabrina 🙂