The Experiment https://www.experiment.org A Program of World Learning Sun, 23 Sep 2018 15:00:07 +0000 en-US hourly 1 https://wordpress.org/?v=4.9.7 Homestay Reflections by Experimenters https://www.experiment.org/homestay-reflections-experimenters/ Fri, 20 Jul 2018 00:52:45 +0000 https://www.experiment.org/?p=6806 The homestay in Riobamba was an incredible experience that I will never forget. My family was incredibly nice and hospitable, so I immediately felt welcomed in their household. My family was also very close and I truly felt as though I was part of the family after only one week....

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The homestay in Riobamba was an incredible experience that I will never forget. My family was incredibly nice and hospitable, so I immediately felt welcomed in their household. My family was also very close and I truly felt as though I was part of the family after only one week. I was able to meet many of my older host brother’s friends who were all very interesting and funny individuals. My younger host never failed to make me laugh and my host parent always made me feel right at home. I had so much fun playing soccer and basketball with my host family and the food was incredible. Throughout my homestay I was able to learn so much about Equadorian culture, particularly certain sayings unique to Ecuador or things that aren’t common in the USA. I loved every moment I spent with my host family and I hope to return to Ecuador in the future to see them again.

– Quincy, Experimenter

The homestay in Riobamba was a life changing experience. My family was the nicest family I have ever met. The food was great and they treated me like another member of their family. My home in Ecuador was a home away from home. I also had the chance to meet a new friends. I will never forget my loving family or the kind people of Ecuador. I had a great time and I will make sure to visit in the future.

by Jared, Experimenter

This week we had our homestay and it was quite interesting. My new family consisted of my mother and her son who was 16. He would often take me out with his friends. This was fun and surprising because I would never know exactly where we were going or for how long. Sometimes we’d be out for hours, sometimes we would just grab some food and go home. Another thing that I found interesting was the amount of family and friends that would come in and out of the house, which was fun and different than the United States because usually families don’t come over to visit several times a day. During the homestay we also climbed Chimborazo which was super cool but also very cold and windy. We got great views and had a great experienceafter the difficult hike. Overall I had a great homestay experience and my Spanish has improved a lot!

by Nicholas, Experimenter

My homestay in Riobamba was a fantastic experience. It allowed me to connect with new people, from new friendships, grow the boundaries of both my knowledge of Spanish and of other cultures. My family was very close, and the kindness and caring nature that they showed to both me and other family members was incredible. I was able to live my life differently, and see the world through the lens of a different culture. I loved spending time with my younger brother playing soccer, and working at my host dad’s hat shop. Seeing the way that people do things differently here also allowed me to reflect on my own life in the US. My family and I laughed, watched the World Cup, ate meals, and explored Riobamba, all together. It was amazing to see how even in a culture different from my own, the same feelings of love, kindness, and a caring nature made me feel right at home.

by Ian, Experimenter

Family is a regular term we use for those closest in our lives. One that is difficult to change. When meeting my host father there was a deep connection from the start. Every minute he had free he would spend with me. My brothers and I got along very nicely, my older brother Josue(17) was always there to translate my broken Spanish into something more applicable for my parents, and there was my younger brother Sebastian(14) who never failed to give me a smile. Finally, my mom, who called my her son from the Start. “Aloha mi Hijo.” We would always visit after she had finished teaching at the school. Every word I said in Spanish would have my mother burst out in laughter from my accent. Everyday with my family was action packed. Although I was not able to comprehend everything in Spanish, I always made it back home. Some days I was teaching at my brothers English class, or photographing llamas in a farmers field. It was as if my family always knew me. After a week it was hard to leave this wonderful experience, but I knew for the rest of my life they were part of my family.

by Reese, Experimenter

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Thailand Group 1 – Experimenters enjoying homestay https://www.experiment.org/thailand-group-1-experimenters-enjoying-homestay/ Fri, 20 Jul 2018 00:47:50 +0000 https://www.experiment.org/?p=6803 The post Thailand Group 1 – Experimenters enjoying homestay appeared first on The Experiment.

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Experimenters enjoying their homestay community.

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Exploring Rome and Authentic Italian https://www.experiment.org/media-blog/ Sun, 08 Jul 2018 15:10:37 +0000 https://www.experiment.org/?p=6299 by Jordan, Experimenter: We landed in Rome late Monday afternoon, just in time for dinner. Greeted by in-country hosts, we all boarded a bus that took us to our hotel. The hotel overlooked Vatican City, which we soon learned is the smallest, but the richest, country in the world! After...

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by Jordan, Experimenter:

We landed in Rome late Monday afternoon, just in time for dinner. Greeted by in-country hosts, we all boarded a bus that took us to our hotel. The hotel overlooked Vatican City, which we soon learned is the smallest, but the richest, country in the world! After unpacking our bags and changing out of the clothes we had just traveled over 24 hours in, small groups set off to local restaurants for dinner. We were addressed with “bella” and “belissima” and some of us were even called “bello.” Mostly importantly, this meal was our first taste of authentic Italian cuisine.

Following dinner, groups explored the local area. Some stopped for Italian gelato, but others decided to call it a night and headed back to the hotel. After all, we were all super tired from traveling.

The next morning, we drafted our group constitution to ensure inclusivity and positive vibes throughout the trip. Afterwards, some of us took a local train to a nearby mall in order to explore Italian fashion and of course, food. Others decided to stay local and explore the beautiful city of Rome a little more. Later in the afternoon, we all headed down the street to the entrance of Vatican City, where we met our tour guide, Luca, who is an expert on everything related to Roman history.

Luca told us that we could spend weeks exploring the city without seeing everything, so we were only able to see some of it. But we were able to walk through some of the museums, bringing us back as far as 50 B.C. We saw hundreds of sculptures and even learned the secrets about how statues are refurbished and put back together. Did you know that Vatican City is protected by the Swiss Guard to maintain neutrality? The experience was truly astonishing and a great way to learn about the history of Vatican City and step far back in time.

That night, we all pooled in some of our meal money in order to spend three hours eating a true Italian dinner at a nearby restaurant. The restaurant had been raved about to our Group Leaders before the trip, so we couldn’t leave without trying it. In addition to this, we were celebrating the birthday of a fellow group member, Amelia. Starting with simple bread paired with anchovies, salmon, and crab, we were served calamari, squid, muscles, risotto, spaghetti with clams, sausage, potatoes, turkey, and much more. Additional options were provided for fellow vegetarians and meat lovers. Stuffed to the brim with amazing Italian food, we went straight to bed after dinner.

We woke up early Wednesday morning to catch a bus with our personal tour guide, Luca, to downtown Rome. We visited The Victory Manuel, which took over fifty years to build and honored the first King of Italy. Following this stop, we headed to the often-forgotten Mayor’s square that was designed and built by Michelangelo himself. Immediately following this, we saw ruins that connected Jupiter’s Temple with the Colosseum. Luca explained how since the Tiber River would flood, transporting mud that would cover buildings and structures, Rome was built in layers. That was why a building was built on top of Jupiter’s temple, and most of the ruins were much under present-day ground level. When we were walking to the Colosseum, Luca mentioned how an underground subway is currently being constructed underground. He also pointed out active archeologists that were digging slowly and carefully right outside of the Colosseum. Did you know that there are still undiscovered artifacts and history hidden under the streets of Rome? After a quick trip to the Trevi Fountain, Spanish Steps, and Pantheon, we walked back to the hotel and called it a night. After all, we left early the next morning for Cortona.

Overall, our trip to Rome was short, but our days were packed and we were able to discover so much about what Italy has to offer. We are only on Day 5, and we have already seen so much. So, we can only imagine how much we will see within our remaining few weeks!

Sunset over the Fiume Tevere:

Half of the group outside the Colosseum, right before counting the arches:

Scavenger hunt at the Spanish Steps before a quick bite and shopping:

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