“The trip to Colombia was one of the most amazing experiences of my life. Having been to only one other country besides the US, I got to learn not only about Colombian culture but also how to learn and experience other cultures. During my homestay, I got to experience exactly how a Colombian family lives day to day. In addition to that, walking the streets of big cities and small towns, hiking in Colombia's protected landscapes, and visiting museums and mines would not have been as worthwhile without the people I traveled with or the people I talked to there. I've made so many lasting relationships and learned to be a citizen of the world.”
“On the graffiti tour in Bogota, I learned not just about Colombian history, but how some Colombians felt about the history. My favorite piece of graffiti is a picture of a business man laying on the back of an indigenous man who is holding strings that are connected to birds. The tour guide told us that the artwork is representative of colonization and the oppression of indigenous peoples. Just a block away lies my second favorite piece of graffiti. The artist drew a picture of a little boy who sells food on the street. The graffiti tour guide told the group that the artist wanted to represent the amount of children who have to work to feed their families instead of going to school. These were just two powerful pieces out of the many that dress the entire city of Bogota. I am so happy that I was given the opportunity to go on that tour.”
“At first, our trip itinerary seemed pretty random, considering we went to a gold museum one day and played with local kids in a library the next. Often I wondered why it was planned that way and tried to figure out how to connect these random activities. Now looking back, I see that not only did I get to see a snapshot of Colombia from various angles, but I also got to experience all these aspects of the country at a level that I could never obtain from the internet or a textbook. No matter how advanced online simulations can get or how descriptive a textbook can be, viewing the material first hand allowed me to connect to real people and create real memories. For example, if I was looking at pictures of the Laguna de Iguaque (lake at the top of the mountain we hiked) without having undergone this experience, I would probably think they were cool, but those pictures don’t harbor any relatable memories I can latch onto. Now, just the mention of Iguaque reminds me our group walking up a long path while playing broken telephone. Some of us were falling behind, but eventually all of us were approaching the top after four hours. Señor Elias-Ruiz was singing Despacito but making up his own lyrics about each of us, and Señorita Guggenheimer was helping us by telling us what rocks to step on guiding us on the best paths. I remember the moment when I thought to myself: should I sprint up the last part, I’m already out of breath so if I don’t make it all of the way I’ll fall. And then I sprinted and made it to the unreachable point that kept appearing farther away the closer I got to it. I was one of the first few people to reach the top so Señor Elias-Ruiz and I were leaning on each other, panting, and high-fiving everyone as they made it. Without actually making this hike I wouldn’t associate hikes such as these with teamwork or with the strange but beautiful calmness of being at the level of the clouds.”
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Located on Upper West Side of New York City, Trinity School is a college preparatory, coeducational independent school for grades K-12. Since 1709, Trinity has provided a world-class education to its students with rigorous academics and outstanding programs in athletics, the arts, peer leadership, and global travel.