Surprise! Congratulations! We’ll miss you!

Last night I walked in on a bridal shower/going away party.  Honestly, I had no idea my host mom was hosting one.  I just had finished making the long trek up the hill to our house and, worn out from my first day of classes, I was looking forward to relaxing on the couch in …

Disfruta el momento

The closest translation Spanish has for “carpe diem” is “disfruta el momento.”  Back at Hope, my friends and I tend to throw around “carpe diem” pretty often, but more as a joke or a dare than an actual mantra.  However, since being in Chile, I have learned that “disfruta el momento” is more so a way …

Faithfulness and Ebenezers

Back home I have a rock that sits on my bedside table. Written on it is the word “faithfulness.”  My rock’s role is to remind me of God’s faithfulness. Though I didn’t really intend this, that rock has become my Ebenezer.  In the Bible, an Ebenezer is a physical representation of God’s goodness to remind …

Yeah, I can do this

As I brought my luggage to the bus, where the other students were waiting, the mountains greeted me like an old friend. I thought, “yeah, I can do this.” A few minutes later, I panicked, the scene on the bus like a flashback to middle school. Where do I sit? Who looks friendly? Can I …

Are You Alive?

Hello Hope College y Queridos Lectores, Yes, I am alive. Sorry I haven’t gotten back to pretty much all of you, especially those close who have been awaiting updates from me. Undoubtedly, it has been a tumultuous and invigorating last 5 weeks since my arrival in late February. I arrived with doubts, fear, and much …

Touchdown!

Touchdown! As in… on an airplane in Cuzco! The past few weeks have been filled with travel, climbing hills, picking some fruit here and there, and meeting lots of new people. A week and a half ago my study abroad program officially started in Lima, Peru, and for the past several days I have been taking …

La Despedida

In the last few weeks, everything has finished up. All my classes are done now, and all that’s really left is to buy some presents for people back in the States and to say good-bye to the people I’ve met over this journey. I always really hate good-byes, and I think Peter Pan sums it …

Up for an Adventure

I am taking a class called Introduction to Mountaineering and this past weekend I had an amazing opportunity to go on the class field trip. It has been a challenging class, but also quite fun and clearly unlike anything I could take at Hope. And part of the fun was that the majority of my …

Travels in a Thin Country

I’ve had a great time in Chile. With things wrapping up a bit, I’m reflecting on all the things I’ve done. I have made a lot of decisions since I’ve been here, and not all of them have paid off in the end. So this is my advice to you. These are things I would …

A letter to the next Host Student

Dear student: ¡Felicitaciones! You got placed with the lovely Laura as your mama this semester. Here are some things that I hope will help you along on your journey with not only this family but also your study abroad experience: Mama is still pretty new to CIEE, so she doesn’t always understand things that go …