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Andean priest and spiritual leader, Don Fabian Champi Apaza. Photo by Tom Pablo, Andes & Amazon Semester.

My Student Introduction!

Hello everybody!

I am writing to you all from the grand old city of Colorado Springs in my home state of Colorado (obviously). Being at the foot of Pikes Peak, it is magical to wake up every day and see both the mountain and the surrounding Rockies. I have had a relatively busy summer. After visiting family in Iowa in the middle of June, I returned to Colorado (more specifically Denver) where I worked as a camp counselor at Denver University. I taught seven to nine-year-old kids basic video game design and programming. That was draining but an enjoyable job that occupied me to the beginning of August. Since then, I have been filling my downtime by preparing for our trip, hanging out with friends, playing cards/videogames, and watching/rewatching a lot of John Mulaney.

A little bit about myself: I was born in Hamilton New York, moved to North Carolina when I was six, and settled down in Colorado Springs when I was eleven. Although I am not a Colorado native, I love this state and hope to live here for as long as I possibly can. That was one of the reasons I will be attending Colorado College post-gap year to continue my formal education.

While I am not sure what I am going to major in yet, my academic interests are in political science, history, Spanish, and especially economics. Beyond school, I have participated in a wide range of extra-curricular activities. Although I do not enjoy watching the sport, I have been an avid tennis player for almost my entire life. I have also spent much of my time participating in the arts. Regarding the visual arts, I have spent time in both ceramics and studio art. Yet, my intense passions are within the performing arts. I have been playing the trumpet for ten years, participated in both theater and musical regularly, and briefly joined my highschool’s choir. Outside of school, I love to eat, casually sing, debate/argue about both real and non-real things, and camp/hike throughout Colorado.

I have traveled quite extensively in my 18 years of being alive. Both through school and family trips, I have made it to every continent but Africa and Antarctica. Although many of these trips are more conference based travels, and I rarely get to explore the surrounding areas. The only similar trip to ours is when I was an exchange student in Perth Australia and went on a week backpacking trek through the Australian bush.

I have only been to South America only once before, attending a week-long conference in Buenos Aires, Argentina. My affinity for the Spanish language and culture as well as my love of mountains drew me to this program. After reading more into it, I got hooked and am beyond excited to start! I am looking most forward to being in the Andean mountains, seeing if I can use the Spanish I learned in school, and trying all the food.

Can’t wait to get down there and meet you all!

Owen