We are one week to our departure! AHHH!
Just a quick update on what we’ve been up to since the last post:
First things first, we have our final numbers from our Trivia Night Fundraiser that took place on February 22nd! We raised $2,540 towards our trips! Thank you so much to everyone who participated. This was huge for us! A big thank you to our fabulous sponsors Thrivent Financial, UW Credit Union, Belville & Associates and Associated Bank. Thank you, thank you, thank you!
We’ve had a couple meetings featuring some pretty special guests. Our first guest was Marc, a staff member here on campus who works with resident life. What’s this guy got to do with Guatemala? Well, he’s been going to Guatemala since the 90s! He told us all about what to expect, how beautiful and rich the culture is, how we’re gonna love it and inspired us to be ready for such an amazing experience. He emphasized how important it is for us to keep an open mind and be ready for everything. When it comes down to it, that’s the excitement of going to a different country especially one with such culture and history as Guatemala. He hyped us up for going, that’s for sure!
Our next guest was Brad. Brad works with sustainability right here at the UWO campus. He told us what the campus does to keep up with the “Three E’s” (economy, equality, ecology) of sustainability and how we could look for it in Guatemala. He made us think about we could bring back from Guatemala from the sustainability side.
Our third guest was Faith, an intern at Growing Oshkosh. Growing Oshkosh is Oshkosh’s own organic urban farm. It’s literally in the middle of the city. An organic, sustainable farm right in the middle of our city. How cool! It’s a real up and coming way to feed the community with fresh and super local foods. She talked to us about how they are trying to create more ways of sustainability right here in our own town. They’re a great program doing a whole lotta good for Oshkosh. And they take volunteers! (Like them on Facebook! https://www.facebook.com/GrowingOshkosh)
Amongst these things, we’ve been discussing what to pack and our itinerary. We’ve got quite the full itinerary that I’ll be able to share with you after our final meeting on Monday. It’s pretty exciting.
All of this has got us all CRAZY EXCITED! I asked our team a couple of questions:
1. How are you feeling about the trip?
2. Name one thing you’ve packed that’s got a story
3. What are you looking to bring back?
Cassy: “I am definitely excited but still nervous at the same time. Feeling a little bit of everything. I don’t think it has really hit me yet that we’re really going to Guatemala…
I haven’t REALLY started packing yet.
I have become a coffee drinker so I will bring back coffee but also memories and a new perspective to incorporate into my major (environmental studies).”
Carter: “I am stoked! I have started packing but it does not feel real that we are going to Guatemala in a week.
I have three pairs of sunglasses back just in case.
I will be bringing back plenty of coffee and I need to find worry dolls for a family member. Otherwise, all that I will be bringing back is a nice tan, a new perspective on what it means to be sustainable and an appreciation of a culture different than the one I am used to.”
Taylor: “I’m so excited to be traveling on my first international trip to somewhere warm with a GREAT group of people. Yet, I am nervous because of my irrational fear of customs.
Something that’s going to be in my suitcase are my contacts because my mom blessed me with terrible eyesight. I’d hate to miss any of the wonders of the world on this trip!
I’m looking to bring back countless memories and a sense of feel-good accomplishment.”
Amber: “I am extremely excited to go to Central America for a second time! I feel so lucky to be going and the great people I’m going with is even more exciting.
Something in my suitcase… definitely my allergy meds… you guys don’t need to see how scary I look without those haha!
I’m looking to bring back some great memories and a new understanding of a culture different from my own. I think understanding different cultures will play a huge role in my nursing career one day. And of course as much coffee as I can fit into my suitcase!”
Nikki K.: “I’m feeling like this is all coming up so quick! I haven’t really gotten the chance to be nervous yet. I’m super excited though.
I’m with Cassy on this one… I haven’t even thought about what I’m packing yet.
I plan to bring back coffee (of course) and maybe some other cool things for my mom/grandma/dad/sista.”
Sophie: “I’m super excited. I’ve been telling everyone I’ve come across how excited I am. I think all of UWO knows.
I’m bringing about a gajillion pairs of socks, nothing worse than wet feet. And my camera. Can’t wait to capture all the beautiful landscapes.
I will be bringing back coffee for everyone who donated to my trip. And hopefully some cultural shtuff to jazz up my bedroom.”
Daniel: “I’m really excited!!! I need to be somewhere warm where I don’t have to think about school and Guatemala is that place!
I’m bringing pepto, tums and some fancy prescription tummy meds. Such preparation.
I want to bring back lots of knowledge. And some coffee for my mom and girlfriend. And some cool little Guatemala things to remind me of the trip.”
Kari: “I can’t believe spring break is already here! I don’t feel prepared at all because I haven’t had any time to pack or think about packing. I’m a little nervous just because I don’t know what to expect and for our flights and traveling to all go smoothly. I am very excited though!
[I'm bringing] sunscreen and toilet paper!
My boyfriend’s sister’s name is Jade so I am definitely bringing her back some jade! Also, I have about 10 people that asked me to bring back coffee so I’ll be leaving room in my suitcase for that. I’m excited to bring back new memories from a great experience!”
Mike: “I’m prepared mentally… but that’s about it.
[I'm bringing] my foot roller… it makes my feet feel good after intense walking and work. It’s from my mom and goes with me on every trip I take.
I want to purchase a hammock! I saw too many last year to not get one this year.”
Me! (Nikki R.): I’m so excited! I’m really excited to get the experience started!
I am putting some SPF50 in my suitcase because I have had no sun exposure for the past 6 months and the sun hitting my skin will be a culture shock in itself!
I plan on bringing back something unique to the Guatemalan culture. I want to learn as much as I can about the culture in 6 days and want to bring back something that exemplifies and reminds me of what I learned.”
That’s what we’ve got for now! I’ll post one more time before we leave.