As a self-proclaimed serial traveler, I am always looking for my next opportunity to visit somewhere new. Having toured most of Europe and the Caribbean, I am ecstatic to venture to Bolivia for my first trip to South America. However, this program means much more to me than simply a get-away to somewhere foreign; it also represents my last academic endeavor with the University of Mississippi. In May, I graduated with a degree in journalism, and through enrollment in this program, I will complete my second degree in Spanish. After the program concludes, I will be moving to Seville, Spain to begin working as an English teacher.
With this program, I am hoping to take in as much culture and history as I can absorb. To do so, I plan to try traditional Bolivian food, learn the differences in dialect, visit museums and galleries, converse with locals, ask plenty of questions, and put my journalistic skills to use through blogging and photography. I also expect to strengthen my proficiency in Spanish through living with a local family. Furthermore, since part of the programming will be visiting different NGO’s, I am eager to observe how they operate in Bolivia. Ultimately, I hope to work for a global NGO, so I this program will expose me to if this line of work suits me. On a lighter note, my father has tasked me with taking a picture with a Bolivian woman in a bombín or bowler hat. I am not exactly sure as to why he wants this picture, but he continues to mention it to me, so I hope to not disappoint him. That being said, I expect to see a blend of indigenous culture with more modern elements of La Paz through clothing, language, cuisine, architecture and more.
Fortunately, feelings of excitement overshadow any worries. My greatest concern is adjusting to the altitude, but if I follow the advice of the professors and the locals, I should acclimate after a relaxing day of rest. Now, it is just a matter of overcoming the boredom and anticipation of waiting for departure day to arrive.