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Hi everyone! My name is Remy, and I’m from San Francisco, CA. I just completed my junior year, and am currently mentally preparing myself (as I assume all of the other rising seniors are) for a stressful college application process ahead of me in the fall. I attend school in the heart of the city only a block away from the historically known Haight-Ashbury. I love growing up in the city since there’s always something to do, including new restaurants to try, neighborhoods to explore, cultures to learn about, and people to meet. I love to sing and explore the city and surrounding Bay Area with my friends. I also have a part-time job as a hostess at a local restaurant which has definitely taught me how to work in a complex and high-stress environment and how to stay calm when dealing with very hangry people. To chill out, I love a good book and a little Netflix. At school, I’m super interested in the sciences and learning about the why behind everything that functions around us. Nowadays, many rapid advances in the sciences are attempting to inhibit/reverse the damage we’ve given the earth, so I’m excited to learn about the environmental justice aspect of natives’ connection with the earth to gain a more well-rounded perspective of the fight against climate change. I have a bit of experience backpacking and am both excited and nervous for the treks ahead of us on the trip. I have studied Spanish for a couple of years, so this trip will be an excellent opportunity to brush up on my language skills as well!

My favorite quote from Why We Travel is, “Travel is the best way we have of rescuing the humanity of places and saving them from abstraction and ideology.” This quote is compelling because it illustrates the idea that we shouldn’t categorize the places we travel as “them” versus “us.” Instead, each person is unique and has their own experiences and stories to share.

For our assignments, I read “How the Potato Changed the World” and “Illegal mining in the Amazon at unprecedented levels, the high-tech mapping could thwart criminals.” In “How the Potato Changed the World,” I was shocked to discover how significantly a single crop such as a potato can make or break a country’s fate. For example, when potatoes were finally introduced and utilized in Europe, they doubled Europe’s food supply, proving to be a “definitive solution to the food problem.” However, when P. infestans arose, it “wiped out the equivalent of one-half to three-quarters of a million acres” causing “one of the deadliest famines in history.” This brings rise to the argument that such reliance on a particular crop can both fuel its success or its collapse. In “Illegal mining in the Amazon at unprecedented levels, the high-tech mapping could thwart criminals,” I was very drawn to the idea of using new sophisticated technology to benefit the environment. As mentioned before, well-utilized technology will be crucial in inhibiting/reversing the damage we’ve given the earth, and this provides a great example of doing so.

I’m excited to see everyone in a few days!