AN EXPECTATION SHATTERING WEEK IN SAN FRANCISCO

Manuel Quesada Nylen - Senegal


August 31, 2018

Looking back on the expectations I held for the week of Global Launch upon arriving here in San Francisco, I can't pinpoint what exactly I thought was in store for me. At the airport, I texted my friend (Shoutout to Phuong, if you're reading this) who had done GCY last year, and she expressed to me how excited she was for me, because I was supposedly about to meet some of the coolest people ever. I looked at that text message and didn't think too much of it. I knew I was going to meet people but didn't even begin to think that I would come into contact with such a legendary group of people through this program; I thought I was going to meet a bunch of kids who just didn't want to go to college. The idea that I would receive a training of some sort that would prepare me perfectly for my 8 months abroad was the only thing on my mind that really held any space in my consciousness. I came to this campus thinking that I had boxes to check and lists to make. I couldn't have been more wrong. 

Australia, Belarus, Spain, Hong Kong, Nepal, Portugal, the list goes on and I don't know all of the countries so I don't want to guess but I do know that this Global Cohort is collectively represented by over 30 countries, we collectively speak I think about 50 languages. THAT IS SO CRAZY. I AM A KID WHO HAS LIVED IN THE SAME HOUSE MY WHOLE LIFE, ALL I KNOW IS MASSACHUSETTS AND A HANDFUL OF OTHER STATES AND NOW I HAVE FRIENDS WHO LIVE IN LITERALLY EVERY CORNER OF THE GLOBE. I'M SITTING IN MY ROOM WRITING THIS BLOG AND LISTENING TO THE WONDERFULLY OUT OF TUNE HARMONIES OF MY GLOBAL COHORT SINGING TO MIRI'S BLISSFUL UKULELE AND I'M TRYING TO FOCUS ON WHAT I FEEL AS I WRITE THIS BUT I DON'T KNOW WHAT I FEEL. ALL I KNOW IS THAT I AM IN THE RIGHT PLACE AND THAT THESE KIDS AND I ARE SO MUCH MORE THAN JUST SOME KIDS WHO DON'T WANT TO GO TO COLLEGE. I'M GONNA STOP HERE BECAUSE I'M RAMBLING BUT PLEASE STAY TUNED BECAUSE I'LL WRITE MORE BLOG POSTS. 
We leave from Stanford at 5:30am. It is 10:11pm. From SFO, we fly to JFK for a 4 and a half hour layover. From there we fly to Dakar. In the words of Grayson, HERE WE GO. 

Manuel Quesada Nylen