A Student's Perspective on World Challenge Trip to Bolivia
GEARING UP FOR BOLIVIA
A Student's Perspective by Abby Greenberg
I wasn’t sure if I felt prepared for my trip to Bolivia, however I don’t think that any amount of research or planning could have prepared me for the two week experience of a lifetime. From the second I stepped off the plane in El Alto, Bolivia, I could feel how different it was from any other place that I had been to —and not just because I don’t speak a word of Spanish. The cities were filled with all kinds of different events, buildings and people. There were dogs that ran by street vendors who were selling baby alpaca pelts, and people dressed as zebras who helped others cross the street. Seriously! The countryside and waterside areas were colorful and beautiful. But what changed me the most was the experience of creating my own trip. Every cent we spent and place we went was meticulously planned by each member of the team. Between playing various games, we delegated leaders, shoppers, money keepers, and cooks. We worked to support one another when people were feeling ill or disheartened and told a whole lot of stories along the way. We experienced conflict, confusion and major fatigue, but got through it all with each other as our guides. By the end of the trip, a barely acquainted group of 17 year olds became a fierce team of leaders, negotiators, spanish speakers, cooks, navigators, problem solvers and, most importantly, friends. While I love the memories I made in Bolivia, the experience I had was not only due to the country I was in, but the people I was with, and the trip we created together.