Miami…and onward.

December 14, 2014

This morning at 11:30 AM i left New York from JFK on a flight bound for Miami where tomorrow i will board a group flight to Buenos Aires. Now i am in Miami where it is about 75 degrees and sunny, a welcome change from the cold New York weather. I thought leaving this morning wouldn’t be any different from any other flight, but on the way to the airport i had time to think about the adventure that i am about to set off on and how this experience will affect me. In the midst of the fall semester and completing everything necessary to even be able to go on this trip, i have had very little time to reflect on what this trip may mean, but even after having a bit of time to think it over i still cannot fully wrap my head around the fact that i have been given this opportunity to visit Antarctica, and i don’t think i will truly understand what that means until i arrive there. But for the time being i am going to put my mind at ease and get some rest before an early 4:30 AM wake up and departure to Miami airport for the true beginning to what will likely be the greatest journey of my life.

Preparing for Antarctica

Before i begin i would like to preface this blog by noting that there was no internet access available in Antarctica, which is quite understandable, so i was not able to write each entry in real time. However, i will still be writing this blog day by day as i would have done while abroad.


December 13th, 2014

It is the night before i leave to begin a two week long study abroad program that will take me from Miami to Ushuaia, Tierra del Fuego, Argentina and on to Antarctica. When i was accepted to the program in April of 2014 it felt like a dream; it was something i would talk about, buy materials for, take a online class for, but it seemed like a day that would never come. Now i am sitting here, less than 24 hours before i get on a plane to Miami still wondering if this is real…and if all my things will fit in a carry-on size suit case and a backpack. Even though this is my first time traveling so far, and for so long, on my own i am surprisingly calm about it all, though i am going to miss my family, especially on Christmas day, i know that tomorrow is the beginning of the journey of a lifetime.

“9 Days”

Today I sent a text message to a friend wishing her a happy holiday. She ended her response back with “see you in 9 days!”
I stared at the message in my hand and thought that couldn’t possibly be right. Not that I didn’t believe her, but I had to see it for myself. I grappled for the nearest calendar and counted each day slowly. In exactly nine days I would be joining a small, but amazing group of people on a flight bound for Guatemala.
People have been asking me for weeks now how I feel about this trip, but I haven’t been able to fully process an answer—even to this day. I guess in part it feels surreal. As the days have been ticking closer, I’ve been busy with school, finals, holiday plans… Of course I’ve been filing out the paper work and doing all the necessary requirements for the Guatemala trip, but for some reason I haven’t been able to fully convince myself that it was going to happen.

Until I read my friend’s response. Reality is sinking in and its exciting and terrifying all at once! My brain is producing a rapid thought process that looks something like this:

I’m going to Guatemala!
I need to pack.
I haven’t started packing anything yet!
I’m going to experience Guatemalan culture first hand!
What if I forget my passport?
What if I forget some other form of documentation?
I will see authentic Guatemalan art and meet Guatemalan artisans!
I am not a fan of hot weather. At least its January—and it apparently gets cold at night!
Flying cockroaches?
I get to work with Maya school teachers to build cultural pride through art!
No opening my mouth in the shower? I guess that means no singing in the shower either.
I get to experience everything with a group of people who inspire me.
What happens if my sneakers fall apart?
How much cash should I bring? I know they say $100 is fine, but is it really?
I’m going to Guatemala!
I’m gonna miss my cats—my furry little fluffinutters!
I get to help support an entire community through a community service project.
I will learn about Maya culture and heritage directly from Maya teachers, scholars, artists and other community members!
Art projects!
Agghhh! Packing! Too much? Too little? If only I could be like Goldilocks and intuitively know what’s just right!
I feel supported by my group leaders and my classmates.
I only speak English…
I can’t wait to go!
I’m not ready to go, I need more time!
I’m so ready to go—just as soon as I get all my stuff together!
What art materials should I bring?
Ahhhh! I’m going to Guatemala!
Will I be able to understand and relate to the Guatemalans?
What if I offend them?
I’m going to Guatemala—IN 9 DAYS!

Well, I have nine days to pack up, get my stuff together and maybe solidify my emotions (or at least make sense of them). When that happens, I’ll post again. But until then, I’ll leave you with this: The decision to make this trip was a difficult one, but experiences like this don’t come around all the time—so carpe diem! Seize the day! This is an incredible opportunity and although I don’t fully know what lies ahead, I’m fully open to it.

Home Sweet Home

Well, I’ve been back home for two days and I already definitely miss Chile and Argentina.  It was an experience of a life time.  Both places so distinctly different have captured my heart.  I really hoped to come back with my Spanish experience but I did come but with many things.  Now I know I must study harder and revisit things I thought I knew.  I have a lot of work ahead of me but it is something I deff still want to pursue.  Going to South America only further engaged my interest in Latin America and the the World.  This experience has definitely changed me as a person.  It made realize things I couldn’t and question my beliefs on certain topics.  I promise myself I will got back; not only to return to the friends and family I made but to make a difference to help those who need it.  My time in South America reminded me who I am on the inside and the places I want to go, before I left I was extremely but now I feel like I have been reset on the right path.  My friends and family are all so happy I am who and ask me never to leave again. I have missed them all so much to and they make me all so happy and everything is almost perfect.  But I know that I have to go again and one day, one day maybe soon I will.  But as far away as I am from South America; I am honestly very happy.  Happy to be home with people that I love and happy to remembered one of the most treasured experiences of my life.  Also I will always be thankful to my family and god for allowing to be able to do such incredible things.


Some endings pics:


Saying goodbye to the host fan =/



Teachers saying goodbye to all the students leaving



Going away party for the students leaving


Well this was my last weekend in Chile I didn’t do to much but It was still great.  This friday I went to the capital, saturday I climbed a mountain with someone who lives in Chile, and today we had a goodbye party for my host sister, its funny when I was reading through others post to get an idea of how I wanted my posts to be, I read someone saying they were sad and missed home and were talking about how it’s normal.  I haven’t gotten sad until this wednesday; the thing is though my saddens was for leaving.  I’ve gotten very happy were I am, and practicing my Spanish.  It makes me sad knowing that I probably won’t ever see most of these people agin., the fact that I don’t know when I’ll be back and also the fact that I may never get to focus strictly on my language studies as here.  I wish I could prolong my time.  But I know I will definitely be back here one day.  For all those who read this and are preparing to study abroad enjoy every second you can.  For all those who are reading this to see how my experience was I can honestly say their are very few moments in my life that compare to any day here.  I have a lot of plans this week and I am going to try to see and do a lot of things.  My final for my class is weds so after that I can enjoy everything even more.  I’ll post some new pictures of this weekend and the upcoming week prob thursday.  I do miss my family and friends!  I hope everyone is good.  See everyone soon!

Sobre Chile

So now that I have been to Chile for a little bit I can give some feedback.  First off I would like to say that I love my school.  It is the same school as in Argentina but the professors here are amazing.  I have learned so much but have so much more Spanish I need to learn it can be a bit overwhelming.  Santiago is huge and the culture here is great.  It’s kind of like an USA of South America.  I meet great friends here but there program has ended.  They were all almost from Brazil… I’ve actually learned some Portuguese.   I still wish I had more time I am so not ready to leave… I only have a week and a half left it is very sad.  One of the best things in my trip has been going to an orphanage.  I can honestly say nothing has compared to this experience my school has a program were we can spend tuesday’s at an orphanage and be like a big brother to a kid.  My kid is name is Daniel he’s 15.  He’s really great, nice and funny.  All of the kids get so happy when we come and it just makes you feel so great inside.  Between the people I meet here and the volunteer program Chile has won a huge chunk of my heart, and even though I haven’t left I am already planning to come back.  I am going to practice my Spanish a lot of the next few days and enjoy all the time I have left as much as I can.



My “little brother” Danny with my friend Raeanna and her “little brother”

Can I go back??? – Missing Jamaica Already!

Heyy Everyone!!

Been home for a  couple of weeks now and I sure do miss JAMAICA!!

The overall experience was amazing!! I learned so much about the Jamaican Culture and its History! Being there for a month was definitely a great way to learn and be present with the everyday life in Jamaica.

This trip has encouraged me to look into abroad opportunities helping or working with children for a greater cause. Being able to work with the Alpha Boys, be apart of their school life and watching good and not so great things occur within the their home just grew my interest to continue to work with children, especially those of Black and Latino decent. The boys have so much potential, amazing dreams to be someone great, and so much talent1 They taught me so much about life and the little things to appreciate despite what goes on around me. We all grew close to the boys and allowed them room to be open and share their unique personalities and talents. This was my favorite part of the day being able to share our experience with the alpha boys! We had soooo much FUN interacting, teaching, learning and talking with all of them!

If I have the opportunity to do this trip again – I would not second guess it! Not only did I learn and immerse in the culture and life of Jamaicans but I was apart of a great experience learning, growing, adapting and making a difference!

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Last Day with my students before they are sent to another institution or back home! 🙁


Boys Excited about the World Cup!!! They love Football (Soccer)!!!


Playing their favorite sport !!

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Sugar Cane!!!

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The Best and Sweetest Teacher(middle) with her teacher assistances!

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The Classroom!


Being Outdoors!



Jamaica we miss you!!!


Fotos de Chile

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School Trip to Viña del Mar, Chile… On the beach with freinds


chile 2



Atop San Cristabol Mountain over looking the entire city

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Providencia, Santiago, Chile… Part of city witch I live



Ecela Santiago…. My university

Santiago, Chile

So I have arrived at my final study abroad destination.  Santiago, Chile.  I was extremely sad to leave Buenos Aires, not only for my friends but for the World Cup final… though as much as I am die hard Argentina fan there chances of beating Germany not looking so hot…. Anyways the school here is amazing!  The professors are beyond helpful and ready to work with you.  The location is very nice and I am doing really well.  I’ve meet so many cool people from Brazil… I think in South America is full of Brazilians.  But there differences in our culture is so interesting and fun.  But at the same time I sometimes feel Americans have the most in common with Brazilians.   I actually haven’t done to many touristy things yet… I’ve been more concentrating on my spanish and gastronomy of Chile.  Which btw the food is amazing.  I really miss Argentina and I think one weekend I am going to take a trip to Mendoza but I do really like Chile… I found out they have a Taco Bell so they scored some extra points with me.  The Spanish is soooo different hear.  Once I caught on to the accent in Argentina I really did not have a problem but here they use so many words and phrases … That half the time I am like what…?  It’s cool though  by the end of this trip I should be like able to understand many regional versions of castillano.  This week ill prob do some more tourist stuff because I’ve been pretty settled.  The school is Taking us on a weekend field trip to Valpariso which is supposed kind of like Chile’s San Francisco so that could end up being really cool.   I don’t even want to think of going home yet because I have so much more to learn and so much more to do!  Hope everyone who reads this is doing well! Will try to update soon!


Yay I can post pictures now!


San Martin Plaza during the game


La Boca, Buenos Aires


Friends from school & Argentina