Written by Sophie Sileo, CA ’17

These past few days have been incredible. I’ve eaten the most delicious food and have gotten to know so many people, both from CA and from San Andres. Our first few days were spent in a groggy yet intensely alert state after flying for hours then staying out until midnight at the school play (all part of the fun cultural differences.)

One of my favorite parts of this trip has been meeting new people. I am connecting with five other amazing CA students whom I wouldn’t normally connect with on a day-to-day basis. Now when we see each other we practically sigh with relief in knowing that “one of us” is still nearby. Not only have the CA students made this trip so much better, but the students at San Andres are extremely welcoming, too. The students are patient, inviting, interesting, polite, talkative, expressive, and fun to be around. Those are the exact qualities a world traveler wants when they go somewhere abroad. San Andres values a lot of the same characteristics that we do at CA– it’s just a little bit farther away.

The most important thing I’ve learned over my short yet memorable five days is to lean in: Lean into discomfort, lean into the new foods and language, the people, and personalities. Adapt to their way of life as if you lived there but never forget how precious your short time there is.

These few days have been amazing, and I can hardly wait to see what’s in store for us the next few days!

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