Summer Travelers

South students across the globe.

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Sophomore Sofia Lanan

Where did you go?

“Iceland”

 

Have you been there before?

“No”

 

Who did you go with?

“My parents and my older cousin.”

 

What is your favorite vacation you’ve been on?

“The vacation to Iceland.”

 

Did you go for just a vacation, or was there a reason?

“The trip was a combination of presents, it was for my 15th birthday and my parents 25th anniversary.”

 

What was your favorite part of your trip?

“My favorite part was when we first arrived and were driving to our air b&b, that was when I was hit with the realization of the trip.”

 

Is this the farthest away from home you’ve ever been?

“The furthest from home I’ve been is Argentina.”

 

What was something new about this place?

“The fact that the sun never set was something I’ve never experienced before.”

 

How was the culture/energy different than Kansas?

“Everything seemed to move more quickly in Iceland, I think it was because I knew I had limited time. But even with the sun being up for 23 hours I felt like I could fully experience everything.”

 

What did you do on this trip?

“Well, on the first day we headed from the airport straight to The Blue Lagoon. It was so pretty there and super relaxing, because the steam from the water really kept you warm. The second day, we spent all of it going to museums, we went to the Hallgrimskirkja national museum of Iceland, and national settlement exhibition. On the third day, we went white water rafting. But halfway through we stopped and the guides said, ‘okay now jump off of this cliff’, and that was my first time cliff jumping. That day we also went to a massive waterfall called Gullfoss Falls. Then on Saturday we went to a place called the black sand beach, and it looks like how it sounds, they had beaches of black sand the sand was black because the island is a volcanic formation so ash and volcanic rock settle and form sand. We also saw the waterfalls Urridafoss, Skogafoss, and Seljalandfoss. And that day we also saw a geyser. On Monday we went to a volcano, it was a very pretty hike, only for about an hour, but you could see for miles, and you could see hills and other volcanos, and these beautiful plants that were all across Iceland, and some amazing blue sky. It was really pretty. When we got to the volcano, we were lowered inside with cables, and that was awesome. After doing that, we were able to go to another geothermal hot spring and spend our evening there. On the days in between these crazy excursions we would go into the capital city Reykjavik and look at the museums and all the shops and eat.”

 

Did you eat anything unique?

“There were lots of fish meals which was really convenient for me. But then we also went to a super cool pizza shop and they had a cheese pizza but with raspberry and Sriracha sauce, a type of tomato sauce. It was so good. Also, most days after being out and about we would go to a new coffee house everyday and I would get my daily cup of hot chocolate. That was always enjoyable.”

 

What was the most memorable experience?

“The most memorable moment wasn’t actually anything Iceland specific, but this really crazy event that happened with my family while giving directions back to where we were staying. First off, all four of us were jamming out to some tunes, and then my aux plays some vague artist no one knows, we all got distracted, and I forgot to tell my dad to turn onto a road and we got lost. There’s no WiFi anywhere on the island, so then we are driving around and have to stop and get hot chocolate, and we ended up staying at the coffee shop for like two hours, but we didn’t notice the time because the sun never went away. We just had a great time and it’s funny to think about.”

 

Would you go back?

“I think if I had the ability to go back I definitely would, but when I think about going on a trip I always want to go some place I haven’t been.”

 

Senior Claire Kelley

 

Where did you go?

“Croix-des-Bouquets, Haiti.”

 

Have you been there before?

“I have been to Haiti before, 2 years ago.”

 

Who did you go with?

“I went with Colonial Presbyterian Church and the high schoolers involved in their youth ministry program. The organization we went through was Global Orphan Project.”

 

Did you go for just a vacation, or was there a reason?

“We went for a mission trip to travel to different orphanages, learning about culture in Haiti, playing with the kids, and being in community with the Haitians!”

 

What was your favorite part of your trip?

“I love seeing the joy on the kids faces when we are playing, singing, or dancing because it brings me joy as well!”

 

Is this the farthest away from home you’ve ever been?

“Germany is the farthest place I’ve been away from the states. But, a part of me considers Haiti to be home.”

 

What was something new about this place?

“Haiti is an unbelievable full of rich culture you really cannot find in the US. I am always astonished that although materially, the people of Haiti have nothing, but they have the most joy and compassion I have ever seen in one community.”

 

Did you eat anything unique?

“Yes! Breakfast and dinner were served to us and it is always a treat! Breakfast was typically spaghetti with spicy red sauce, white bread with super thick peanut butter, and fresh mango! Dinner was always chicken and rice, plantains, and a special kind of coleslaw! my favorite food in Haiti is either fried plantain chips we sometimes get in the market or the fresh mango!”

 

What was the most memorable experience?

“The most memorable experience I had was at the Philadelphia orphanage where we were all relaxing, playing with chalk, braiding hair, and in the midst of it all, the kids pastor began playing his guitar. He played songs that both the Haitian kids knew in Creole and we knew in English. I loved that we were able to worship together despite the language barrier!”

 

Would you go back?

“Would I go back?! I would get up and go back right now if you told me I could. A piece of my heart is in Haiti and I would do anything to be back in community with my kiddos I met there and the whole community.”

 

Freshman Carina Swanson

 

Where did you go?

“I camped in Ontario, Canada Park.”

 

Have you been there before?

“I have not.”

 

Who did you go with?

“I went with my family.”

 

What is your favorite vacation you’ve been on?

“My favorite Vacation was going to Oregon and other places in the west coast in 2012.”

 

Did you go for just a vacation, or was there a reason?

“We went there on a big road trip just for fun.”

 

What was your favorite part of your trip?

“My favorite part was hiking around the lakes in Lake Huron, and then at the end jumping in Georgian Bay on Lake Huron, which is 52 degrees cold.”

 

Is this the farthest away from home you’ve ever been?

“No, this is not the farthest away I have been from home, Hawaii is.”

 

What was something new about this place?

“Something new about this place was that the water was so clear like the Caribbean.”

 

How was the culture/energy different than Kansas?

“It wasn’t too different because Ontario is like the midwest of Canada. One thing was they take a lot of pride in their country and we were there when the 150th anniversary was happening so there was Canadian decorations everywhere.”

 

What did you do on this trip?

“We camped outside Niagara falls, visited the city of Toronto, went camping along the way, took a ferry and went to Saul saint Marie.”

 

Did you eat anything unique?

“I ate some passion fruit ice cream with seeds in it and tons of Tim Horton donuts. They’re so good. Also, a pea meal bacon sandwich in the city market in Toronto.”

 

What was your favorite food?

“My favorite was the ice cream and the pea meal bacon sandwich.”

 

What was the most memorable experience?

“My most memorable experience was almost stepping on a rattle snake on a boulder beach on Georgian Bay.”

 

Would you go back?

“Yes, I would go back!”

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