Spring is the season of new beginnings, of budding flowers, perfect sunny days, ultimate Frisbee on the KMY lawn and allergies. It is also the season of the return of the SSTers. On the 7th of April 2015, Goshen College welcomed back the students who spent their semester studying abroad in Peru. The students included: Ammon Allen-Doucot, Elizabeth Franks-North, Maria Bischoff, Christian Bechler, Ike Lehman, Micah Wiebe-Powell, Leah Ramer, Joanna Epp, and Courtney Featherstone. This group was led by Duane and Karen Stoltzfus.
“SST was a lot. It was a lot of learning, a lot of stressing, a lot of laughing and a lot of work,” said Ammon Allen-Doucot. “I have gained huge respect for all the students who come to Goshen with English as a second (or third or fourth) language, I don't know if I could do it.”
This summer there will be two units going on SST. Duane and Karen Stoltzfus will be leading 19 students in Peru and Bob and Pamela Yoder will be leading 18 students in Nicaragua. Both groups will be leaving on April 29th.
Some of the SSTers who recently returned from Peru found it hard to move from an environment where Spanish was the first language to an environment where English is solely spoken. “It was somewhat overwhelming [going from] everything being in English [to] an environment where I was constantly checking my thoughts and ideas to make sure I could communicate them in Spanish,” said Allen-Doucot.
SST is a time for exposure, a time for people to step out of their comfort zones and experience things that they would never have experienced on a day-to-day basis. It is a time to take chances and learn about a new world of different religions and beliefs, food bursting with flavor, different languages and so much more. It’s just waiting for students to grasp it and be part of it.