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A young arriero leads a mule across fresh snow in the Peruvian Andes. Photo by Benjamin Swift (2016 Fall Semester Photo Contest Finalist), South America Semester.

Saludos a Todos

Buenas,

I’m writing from The City, where I’ve been couch-surfing for the past few weeks. I find myself here after living with friends and host families in Northern Spain and Paris for the past few summer months. I spent most of my adolescence North Carolina, where I most recently lived with my cousin and her beautiful wolf of a dog. I graduated high school in May and haven’t been back to NC since. I spend most of my time nowadays skating with friends and waiting for sunrises, or having long meals with family over old memories. I’m big into reggae music and vintage cars, though primarily dub (reggae), and carriages with those retro 90-degree looking angles – no curves allowed. I worked in a Kitchen for most of high-school; my favorite thing to cook is always a nice fat-stake of cakes. The last book I re-read was Zadie Smith’s, Feel Free, and the last movie I finished and immediately restarted was Wong Kar-Wai’s, Happy Together. I’ve been bumping Dev Hynes’ new record for most of the summer, and am a big fan of Solange and Frank. Ocean not Sinatra, ha. I try to get out to as many museums as I have time for, but am becoming less and less motivated after being miraculously hit repeatedly in the face with selfie-sticks during my last go-around. Some of my favorite artists right now are Caravaggio, Tom Sachs, and Jenny Holzer. Oh, and also Hockney – of course. I also try to get out of the house and travel, and have had the pleasure of shadowing a journalist in the Middle East, staying with my mom in Japan, and going to high school for a month in Iceland. That’s pretty much all I could think to ramble-up for now.

I feel very privileged to be visiting Peru and Bolivia with Dragons. I don’t know much about the geography or culture of the area but am eager to learn. I’m also looking forward to meeting and learning from new people while becoming a more proficient Spanish speaker and a more patient, open-minded person.

Take it easy,

S.