Benvenidos happens to be my favorite word in Spanish. Benvenidos translates to welcome. The melancholy thing that follows a welcome is the goodbye that tags along with it.

As I say goodbye to Guatemala, I can only recall how welcoming the people have been. During my entire experience people greeted me with warm hearts, smiles, and friendship. It’s hard to leave Guatemala, the place where so many memories have been made. I have a abundance of gratitude for the compassion expressed by the host village. The people of San Juan de La Laguna opened their hearts and allowed me to be apart of their daily lives. It was a honor to be welcomed into such a close knit community.

As I slowly settle back into my normal life, I’ve begun noticing a change within myself, a new type of happiness. I’ve began to enjoy the simple beauties of life, like a smile. I started smiling at people. While people around me probably think I’m acting strange, it is my method of sharing the same happiness I’ve experienced from the people of San Juan de La Laguna.

Moreover, happiness isn’t the only thing radiating from my heart. I also hold the desire to travel all around the world. The wanderlust within me has officially  been released. But what can I say? I am a Wandering Scholar and and everyday a new journey awaits.

Hasta luego,

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Hey, this is Alexis. Tonight is the night before I leave. I am like a child who is eager the night before Christmas, my anticipation is growing by the minute.  I have a multitude of butterflies in my stomach. The official countdown has begun. 12 hours from now a new destination awaits me. Right now my household is like the household who forgot to buy the presents. Good thing the Walmart by my house stays open until 12 AM.

I chatted with my travel mentor today. My friends who have traveled to Europe several times also gave me some pre-departure pointers. I am so nervious about flying. The airport seems so large and complex. As a very bright student I know that I should not worry, but I have to remember to pay attention, grab my bags, and be alert at all times. I also need to remember to grab my id’s and passport before I leave.

I  still have to pack a few last minute things and charge my portable charger, phone, and camera. Today I’ve been out celebrating my sweet 17 birthday with my friends and family. My official birthday however isn’t until tomorrow. Being a Wandering Scholar is the best gift. I am so fortunate for everyone who has helped prepare to leave the country. With last minute thoughts provoking my mind….I have to go.

Hasta luego,

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The smell of a freshly washed shirt is remarkably memorable. This particular shirt, along with a few others, is going into my carry-on. Each shirt I fold has the smell of home. I know they each smell like home because they have never left my hometown. I wonder when I arrive in Guatemala will they still smell like home? Will the reminisces  of home disappear to be replaced by my host village? I am trying to pack in every memory of home, but the lack of space is holding me back. It is hard to ensure that I have everything, because I’m literally going to a foreign place. I don’t know the climate, or how to pack for different altitudes. The packing list is so short.  I don’t want the weather playing games with me. So I’m preparing myself as much as possible for every weather “what if.”

Hasta luego,

AKT

 

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Every song has a memory. Summer is a perfect way to develop memories. As I prepare for my trip I wonder what songs will develop the most enchanting memories. Summer of 2009, the famous song was Boom Boom Pow by the Black Eyed peas. In 2011, Party Rock Anthem by was popular. The catchy tune that makes you hum, sing, and dance along to the tune.  In 2012 I remember jamming out to Call Me Maybe by Carly Rae Jepsen. Recently in 2014, Enrique Iglesias and Sean Paul’s famous song Bailando was the most memorable. Each song has has special memory. I can recall the precious moments I have spent with people who are dear to me. As I approach this summer I hope can only imagine the songs that will spark memories.

Hasta Luego,

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Is it too late to relearn subjunctive or conditional tense? There are so many tenses in my head: present. preterit, imperfect, conditional, and future. So many forms, commands, stem changers, and commands to know.  I have been enrolled in Spanish Classes since 6th grade and I take advanced Spanish classes at UW-Milwaukee (s/o to Profe. Allen). Despite the classes, it is solely up to the individual to practice what they learn. Therefore, I took it upon myself to practice my Spanish outside the classroom by watching “telenovelas” in my free time.

Telenovelas can be referred to as soap operas. I believe telenovelas are a great  way to practice your Spanish and review all of the tenses. I am currently on Episodio 39 of “Lo Que La Vida Me Robó” and my Spanish comprehension is becoming better. Lately I have been watching “Las noticias”  the news in Spanish in order to gain multiple perspective about global events.  All in all, I believe language shouldn’t be a barrier but a universal tool that unites people.

Image result for noticias internacionales

Hasta Luego,

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