Capstone Reflection Blog

JuliaGrace Walker - Ecuador


June 6, 2018

Dear Readers, Family, and Friends,

Thank you for welcoming me back with open arms. Thank you for asking about my year and for listening to me excitedly explain my adventures in 30 seconds or for some of you as long as 4 hours. Thank you to the two schools, TMI Episcopal and San Antonio Academy, who invited me to present during a total of 12 Spanish classes. Thank you to everyone who attended my Ecua-Fiesta at home. I have enjoyed presenting and sharing about Ecuador and what I learned.

During my last week at Re-Entry with Global Citizen Year, I was overwhelmed by being back in the US and saying goodbye to my GCY friends. It was not until these presentations and conversations that I really had a chance to reflect on my year and really uncover some of what I had learned and realized. I'm sure there are more revelations to come when I start college.  So here are some of My Top 6 Self-Realizations:

  1. I  am more adventurous and resilient…

I can see how I was pushed outside of my comfort zone during the year. The horseback riding trip to the middle of nowhere, traveling to the Galapagos by myself, and having an appendectomy have shown me that trusting in myself and taking a leap of faith pays off in the long run.

  1. I am more observant…

In high school, I was always going a 100 miles an hour and never just took time to be observant. Every day in Ecuador I was observant: of my students, of my host family dynamic, of my co-teachers, or of people in the park or eating at the kiosko.

  1. I have a new perspective…

I am very thankful for my experience  that changed how I view a lot of things, especially to my GCY cohort. I learned from them what life is like for them back home and what it is like to be a foreigner in another country. Being home, I can see things that I was not aware of or things I am now more grateful for.

  1. I am more curious…

When I encounter a new topic, I am  more interested in learning past the surface level. I want to learn about why something is the way it is, how it is evolving, and how is it impacting others. I am very excited about college!

  1. I now enjoy down time…

If you know me well, which most of you do… I am a social butterfly, golden retriever, and do not like being alone and by myself. I am one of those people who gains more energy by being with others. This year taught me that down time can be healthy and beneficial. When your brain is constantly translating to another language (especially in the beginning), you are just exhausted. I learned and enjoyed just taking an hour a day after teaching just spending some time in my room listening to music, coloring, or relaxing. I am very thankful for this
new technique.

  1. The impact of the lack of Wifi on my year…

During my year, my host family did not have wifi, which I am thankful for now looking back. It pushed me to spend all of my time with my host family or Ecua-friends. It also restricted the amount of English I was speaking and listening to. This really helped my Spanish flourish. It also pushed me to be present and not focus what was going on here in the US.

So thank you for being part of my year by reading my blogs and allowing me to share about my crazy journey!

JuliaGrace Walker