While I was studying in Wales for spring semester last year, Great Britain was gearing up to host the 2012 Summer Olympics. Ongoing preparations were everywhere, even back when I was studying in London, England in the fall. In the months preceding the ceremonies, the Olympic torch was to complete a circuit through the British [...]
These two photos were taken while on a hike into Welsh countryside, during my last week at Aberystwyth. I had spent the past three months catching the sun rise from this hill, nestled between the sea and the small town, and watching it disappear into the hill eight hours later. It had been a wild three months abroad, much of it spent traveling away from Aberystwyth. Unfortunately, days like this, which supplied the time to pause and sincerely reflect on the magnificent beauty of the countryside, were rare. Hiking constitution hill was a box that remained empty on my checklist for the duration of my program and after the climb, it was an activity that I had wished I had done on a weekly basis. On the hike, my three classmates and myself were joined by a girl finishing a program outside of Mumbai, where she had spent much of her fall ill and dealing with witnessing the violent murder of her first host family’s handicapped servant. While none of us were able to relate to the girl’s tragic experience, the account of her hardships were moving. We spent the day swapping tales of our sojourn, living the highlights vicariously through one another. True, I experienced the Welsh culture but that is not what I’ll remember from my time in Wales. With nearly 1000 internationals, Aberystwyth is truly an impressive agglomeration of world cultures. With total population of nearly fifteen thousand, I felt as equally influenced by the cultures, world views and thoughts of the Polish, Germans, and Finnish. The sight before us only complimented my reflection of the camaraderie that had been built. I’m not a very religious person but the level of breath-takingly pure tranquility captivating us there, several hundred feet above the Atlantic, subjected me to recognize a higher power. The moment was surely made for Kodak.