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Photo by Sampor Burke, Mekong Semester.

Introduction

Hi everyone! My name is Solange, and I am so excited to meet you all next week!

Some things I enjoy are learning languages, reading, doing crosswords puzzles, hiking, and exploring new places.

I am currently on a gap year, and I spent the fall working and studying at home. I just came back from San Antonio after volunteering with a non-profit this past month. I decided to take a gap year because it was an opportunity to learn more about myself and the world around me outside of the classroom. On this course, I am looking forward to learning more about the different cultures we encounter along the Mekong, as well as living with local families during the homestays. I am also excited to learn some Lao and Khmer and hopefully practice some Mandarin, explore Buddhist concepts, and trek through the Southeast Asian landscape.

Below is an excerpt from one of my favorite poems, For The Hardest Days by Clint Smith.

How maybe we are also always being reborn
to be something more than we once were.
How maybe that’s what waking up each morning is.
A reminder that we are born
of the same atoms as every plant and bird
and mountain and ocean around us.

See you all very soon!