August 26, 2015
Welcome to my blog!
I can’t believe the time has come to begin this journey! I would like to introduce myself and tell you a little bit about me. My name is Abby Foy, a recent Los Gatos High School graduate and a member of University of Puget Sound’s class of 2020. I love being active and spending time outside which supports my passion for the environment and sustainability. And I love my dog.
During my the summer after my sophomore year of high school, I volunteered in Ecuador for seven weeks with Amigos de las Américas. I lived with a host family and completed a community project, (although the purpose of the trip was immersion). This opportunity opened a lot of doors for me. I fell in love with exploring, adventuring, and creating connections across the globe. My supervisor, (Paige Tweedy), introduced the idea of a gap year to me. After hearing about her crazy adventures abroad for a year, I couldn’t get the idea out of my head. And ever since I have been planning on taking a bridge year.
The second semester of my junior year of high school, I attended Conserve School, an environmental boarding school in northern Wisconsin. This ignited my passion for the environment and experiential learning. Most of my classes were taught outside and involved hands-on learning. History classes simulated the adventures of Lewis and Clark and other important historical points. Science class explored the nature right outside the classroom through observations and journaling. Art class utilized the nature around us by turning soil into paint. This is only a little taste of the wonderful semester I had. I was also surrounded by very passionate students from across the country who shared my love for the outdoors and remain my very close friends today. I was also taught by very experienced and interesting staff members who continued to fuel my interest of exploring and traveling – from a National Geographic photographer to Peace Corps volunteers, it was all very inspiring. (Anyone from CS8 or Conserve School, if you’re reading this, I miss you so much!)
This past summer I traveled to Portugal to be an au pair. I stayed with a family and played with their three children while speaking English. This experience was wonderful because I was exposed to so many languages. The children, (Francisa (7), Antonio (4), Ricardo (4)), already speak two languages fluently (Portuguese and German). I was here to assist them on their third! It was absolutely inspiring, and I hope I am able to speak as fluidly as everyone in that family some day.
So, the next adventure: Senegal! I am very excited to continue traveling, learning, experiencing, and gaining perspective. My goal is to soak in every moment and enjoy every moment of the experience and learn as much as I possibly can.
After eight days of Pre-Departure Training, I couldn’t be more positive that I made the right choice. In only a few days, I now have 77 close friends who I trust deeply. It feels as if I have known them my whole life. Although tomorrow I must say goodbye to the majority of them, I am so excited for their journies and to hear all about it in April. Plus I am pumped to experience Senegal with my small (14 fellows) but amazing country cohort!
Thank you so much for all of your support. I am beyond grateful that my classroom this year is the WORLD! How crazy is that? Wish me luck!
Wolof word/phrase of the day: Salaam Maleekum (Peace be unto you)