I just received my packing list for next year: no sleeveless shirts, no shorts, one towel. If the people in Ecuador saw how I am dressed today they would consider me rude and disrespectful. I am in my usual attire of a pair of athletic shorts and a t-shirt but soon I will be saying good-bye to this typical outfit. I will instead be required to wear formal attire because dressing nicely is a form of respect. Let’s just say that I have a new culture to get accustomed to.
Although I realize that I will be nervous when the time to leave Logan Airport comes closer, I currently feel nothing but excitement. I consider myself lucky to have this opportunity and get to explore the world before I go to college. Through Global Citizen Year I will have “one year to unlock a lifetime of potential.” I will be living with a host family in Ecuador exploring the foreign country and speaking another language. Although I have not yet found out my assignment I have asked to be involved with education, youth development, and girls’ empowerment during my trip. I will get to discover my strengths and face my weaknesses; one of which I think is blog writing.
I am also looking forward to creating opportunity for people in Ecuador and hopefully supplying them with a foundation to excel. Although this is my mission, I have a feeling that the biggest impact will be on me. I can happily venture to say that a year from now I think I will be a more well-rounded and focused teenager. Don’t worry, I promise I will be the same goofy Jackie, but I will be much more prepared for my freshman year at UMASS Amherst and ready to carry on future life plans.