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  • “Rachel, everything is beautiful there. The people, the trucks, and the trees. Even the pollution! The good, the bad, and the ugly!” Last month, I sat listening to my friend, Camille, over the phone, as she expressed her passion for Africa. She had just come home from the continent two weeks prior...

    Tags: Africa
  • Graffiti-dappled brick and chopsticks probing like violin bows. This is New York City’s Chinatown. It is brown, grey, and crowded with pudgy pigeons, and is also where I spent some of the summer of 2010. Despite the fact my family and I visited Manhattan, the Statue of Liberty, and West Point, my...

  • In the spring of 2011, I went on an unforgettable mission trip with my school to the impoverished, yet beautiful, country of Nicaragua. I was a Junior in high school and could not even begin to fathom the things I would see on this trip. The impact the people of Nicaragua had on my life is...

  • When my math teacher approached me and asked me to accompany her on a humanitarian trip to the Dominican Republic, I was more than stoked. I have always been a firm believer in the responsibility of giving when you have the means to give – and I definitely have the means to give. I mean, my family...

  • In one week, I will get on a train. I will finally finish this chapter of my life. I will cry. Or maybe, smile. I have so many conflicting emotions that it is hard to say what my reaction will be when the conductor blows the whistle. Will I be excited or will I be a teary mess? I don't know....

  • The skidding of the tires against the tarmac awakened me. Seven and a half hours after leaving my residential home in Houston, Texas I arrived in my spiritual home in Anchorage, Alaska. Welcomed by a gentle breeze and 70 degree weather brings a sigh of relief, as Houston was experiencing 100-plus...

  • Being born and raised in the Sonoran Desert, in Phoenix, Arizona, I’m accustomed and naturally prefer ‘warmth’ as opposed to ‘wet and cold’ climates. However, I will admit to a developed love for snow when as a 3 year old toddler, I began ski lessons, and despite the coldest of winter weather in...

  • It was early spring of 2012 and the cherry blossoms were in full bloom, the lawns were lush, and the sun was warm. We had traveled to D.C. for WAMUNC, a four-day Model United Nations conference at George Washington University with our high school and I was brimming with excitement. I was to...

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    Tags: Europe
  • Friday afternoon, about two hours after we were dismissed from school for the weekend, our adrenaline is pumping and we cannot sit still. My twin sister and I just turned sweet sixteen six weeks ago and we FINALLY get to celebrate with a weekend vacation at Daytona Beach with two of our closest...

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