I’m Emmy, and I’m in the 10th grade at Hotchkiss. I came in new this year from a tiny, all girls’ school in New York City. One of the main reasons why I chose to come to Hotchkiss was to take advantage of all the opportunities it has to offer. Not only is it a much larger and more diverse (economically, racially, nationality wise) community than my previous school, but it offers more classes, clubs, activities, and programs.
For example, this fall the Malian ambassador to the U.S. visited, speaking to my French class individually as well as to the school as a whole. Researching Mali’s culture and geography for class and hearing the ambassador speak reminded me of my interest in Africa’s many and diverse countries. My interest in Africa began when I went to Kenya in winter 2007 and was completely caught up by my experience. Perhaps it was being exposed to a culture that was so foreign from my own, but I found myself becoming passionately fascinated with the country. Unfortunately, my interest passed out of thought when I returned to school and regular life. Ambassador Diop’s speech this winter reminded me of that interest. I wrote a letter to the Ambassador in Washington and began to follow the severe drought that was plaguing Mali. I began to consider a career in international affairs and relations and even tried to find an internship that would reconnect me with Africa and allow me to re-immerse myself in some way. So when I heard about Hotchkiss’ trip to Morocco this summer I was beyond excited: not only did the trip enable me to go back to Africa, but it had an academic emphasis on French, another of my main interests. I feel so lucky to be able to go to Morocco this summer and have a chance to improve my French – I can’t wait for June 16!