It’s funny because this past week, I’ve tried to keep my mind on relaxing and enjoying home more so than the trip, and yet Niswarth kept popping up on my mind in unusual ways. One of these ways happened at camp. I worked several days this past week as a counselor, and when I was with these younger campers, I kept wondering whether the kids in India would be similar, or completely different, in terms of what they found fun. Would camp games excite kids in a classroom in Mumbai? Would wild stories from camp Calleva capture the imaginations of kids from the other side of the world? Oddly enough, Niswarth also came up when I was looking up the Robertson scholarship at UNC and Duke. I was reading through the alumni list to see if any Andover students had entered the program, and sure enough, there were two: Victoria Wilmarth and Becky Agostino. Both were super involved with community service during their time at PA, and also, both had been to India with this PA trip! I thought it was such a cool connection between the two of them.
But the reality that in 48 hours I would be halfway around the globe, only hit me once I finished packing my suitcase. Getting together all my clothes, meds, and everything else brought back memories of the other school trip I went on last spring – BALAM. They’re such different trips – one to Mexico and the other to India, one to visit Maya ruins and the other for service learning in Mumbai – that they almost seem incomparable. But if nothing else, for me, the sense of excitement and expectation are the same. Last spring break, I felt as if I knew how much fun I would have on BALAM before even setting foot in the Yucatan. And despite such high expectations, the trip itself blew away anything I could have imagined. I’m hoping that Niswarth will be the same way.