Students Explore the World

Over Thanksgiving break, upper school students traveled to Peru, India, and Italy
Peru

“If you wonder how it might feel to be surrounded by the ruins of the town of Machu Picchu in the Andes, you should talk to one of the eighteen students who had a chance to live the experience of being suspended between earth and sky on the summits of the Peruvian Andes,” says Director of Global Studies Przemek Tokarski, who served as one of the chaperones. “We felt, as the Incas intended with the constructions of their towns, so much closer to the God of the Sun worshipped by the Incas. What did we find in Peru during our trip? Here come some examples: high altitudes (Machu Picchu – 7,972 feet above sea level; Cusco – 11,152 feet; Arequipa – 7,661 feet), volcanoes, coca leaves, blue skies, spring time, a mix of Inca traditions and Spanish colonial architecture and norms, and a lot of hospitality from our partner school, Colegio Lord Byron, and our host family in Arequipa. Two weeks of unforgettable experiences in southern Peru combined with language exposure, culture, music, dance, and service brought a different quality to everyone’s life experience. Even though some suffered from high-altitude sickness, we all loved it, and want to return to Peru.”

India

A group of eleven upper school students travelled to Hyderabad, India, to visit our partner school, Sreenidhi International School. After a long and strenuous trip (Jackson, Atlanta, Amsterdam, Mumbai, Hyderabad) and an almost 12-hour time difference, the first activity the group did was to plant a friendship tree on the Sreenidhi campus. It is yet another tree planted by a group of St. Andrew’s students, symbolizing a growing relationship between the two schools. After two days at school with activities on campus and in Hyderabad, the group embarked on a domestic trip to Jaipur, Pushkar, Ranthambore, and Agra. Our students explored important places for Indian history and for Hinduism –fortresses, temples, and other sites. The pinnacle of their experience was the visit to Taj Mahal, one of the sites considered World Wonders. The trip also included community service hours, biking, a lot of Indian food, dance, and music. Our students were staying in dormitories but were able to connect with students at Sreenidhi both in classes and in the dorm.

Italy

Over the Thanksgiving holiday, 18 Saints made a trip to Italy for an academic tour of this beautiful and ancient country. Led by Latin faculty Thomas Riesenberger, Grace Self, and Megan Whitacre, the group began the trip on the Bay of Naples, taking in the cities of Naples and Sorrento, and spending a day in the ancient preserved city of Pompeii. The tour then moved to the north of Italy to experience the renaissance capital of Italy, Florence. Here they saw amazing works of art and architecture by the likes of Michelangelo, Brunelleschi, and Verrocchio, and climbed the world's largest dome. For the final leg of the trip, the group traveled to Rome to focus on the ancient world. They learned about the sculpture of Bernini, the Vatican museums, St. Peter's Basilica, and spent an evening in Trastevere. And, of course, toured the Colosseum and Roman Forum. Modern Italian culture was a focus as well, with visits to leather markets in Florence, a farmer's market in Rome, and a historic coffee vendor, not to mention daily helpings of the amazing cuisine for which Italy is rightly famous. A lovely and memorable time was had by all, and an incredible amount was learned! If you are interested in learning about next year's Italy trip, please contact Mr. Riesenberger or Mr. Tokarski for more information.
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