By Tara Dean
So far on this trip I have met many new and interesting people, including those I have been traveling with. We each bring something different to the table yet we all have so much in common. This is the story of seven students who ended up becoming a family.
Kelsey, Micah, Trotter, Logan, and myself make up the undergraduates while Melanie and Laura make up the graduates. None of us really knew each other before coming on this trip and I believe it has been a blessing. Cliques are formed much easier when traveling abroad when the students already have relationships built.
Kelsey is the quiet one, always having something significant to say when she speaks up. This trip has been a little harder on her than the rest of us when it comes to the meals because she has been dealing with her food allergies. Being unable to eat anything that has corn, tomatoes, potatoes, wheat or dairy is rather difficult in a country that bases their meals around starches for the most part. However she has stayed very positive and most places we have visited have been very god about providing her with alternatives. Luckily she can still enjoy all the gemsbok and kudu her heart desires!
When it comes to food Micah will eat just about anything! When we traveled to a meat market he ate mopanie worms, in the desert he ate tree leaves, and in Ogongo Micah even sampled termite mound from the side of the road. Not only is Micah the most adventurous with food, but he brings us all together. Always concerned on how each person is doing, he is the glue that holds us together.
If you want a good laugh all you have to do is sneak up behind Trotter! Though we tend to pick on him in the most loving way possible, Trotter has started to overcome some of his fears here in Namibia. He has chased all kinds of bugs and lizard around the red sand dunes and in the desert and has even held a beetle for a good 10 minutes just to get one good shot!
The scouter position goes to the one and only Logan “Logie-bear” Hooks. As soon as we arrive at a new place and set our bags down he’s off, and then an hour later he’s back giving us the low-down on all of our surroundings. He definitely enjoys his alone time but often is the one who finds the coolest things to share with the rest of the group.
Melanie has been dubbed as the traveler of the group and is one of our two grad students. She was already in Rwanda working on her thesis when she met up with us in Windhoek. Melanie is a trooper though because her luggage was lost for over 3 days and she still kept a positive outlook on everything. Fortunately her luggage was found and she once again had more than two shirts to wear!
Laura is able to name just about every African animal on safari that we have seen thus far. This trip being her second time in southern Africa we turn to her most often when we have questions regarding wildlife or culture. She also is the “puniest” student on the trip being able to roll the puns off her tongue like it’s nothing! There’s never a frown when Laura’s around.
Being the only student who’s major is not AGCJ has been interesting on this trip. The other students’ passion has started to rub off on me and made me more interested in the field of journalism. This experience has certainly given me a different outlook on life making me appreciate all the things I have been blessed with in life.
While the trip is coming to an end in the next week or so, I look forward to the memories that have yet to be made that will last us a lifetime.
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