My name is Gray Crosthwait, and I come from the small town of Houston MS. (I went to high school forty-five minutes away in Tupelo, for some reference.) I am a rising senior at Ole Miss studying Math and Spanish. Having to fulfill a thesis obligation for honors, my advisor told me about this program. My goal is to go to medical school; I think it is an important part of being a doctor to not only know the raw science of the field but to also be able to understand the human factors of sickness, knowing what demographic constraints could be playing a role in trends in healthcare. For this reason, this program was perfect for both that and my pursuit of refining my level of Spanish. I’m a little anxious to get out of my comfort zone and rely on my extremely unpolished second language, but I look forward to the challenge.
I can’t wait to be in La Paz! I can’t claim to know very much about Bolivia, but that makes it exciting to learn about the culture of the people firsthand. I’m excited to meet people from all walks of life and learn from them in the cafes, restaurants or wherever else. Usually, that is my favorite thing to do in a completely foreign land – just see how the people live! Hopefully they will speak a slow enough dialect of Spanish (or at least slow down enough) that I can be on the same page.
I am a little nervous about the language and culture barrier, but that’s nervousness in the best of ways. I know that being able to speak a different language requires one to mess up every now and then, so I’m prepared to laugh at myself and keep going. Other than that, staying well from altitude sickness and my horrible allergies will be my other concern. However, I don’t have a single worry that would temper my excitement at this moment. I can’t wait to be in La Paz with all of you!