Students take a trip of a lifetime

GRAFTON—Four students took a trip of a lifetime over the summer and experienced a whole new culture, thanks to one local teacher.

Taylor County Middle School Spanish Teacher Blanca Skaggs shared that the students traveled to Machu Pichu, Peru with her from June 9- 17.

The students that went on the trip were Lauren Johnson, Morgan Johnson, Frederique Maloley and Toby Williams.

“It was an amazing and unforgettable experience,” expressed Skaggs. “I am happy that I was able to share this experience with my students.”

Skaggs shared that her students wrote about their once in a lifetime experience and would like to tell the community about their trip.

Student Lauren Johnson wrote that she traveled to Peru hoping to see a different part of the world.

“What I had was an amazing cultural experience. As we travelled through the Sacred Valleys of Urubamba, I quickly learned how different these people lived from us,” said Johnson. “It was amazing to travel to Machu Picchu by train beside the roaring rapids into the secluded mountains that nested the once hidden city.”

She added that the best part was having the opportunity to hike down the mountain from Machu Picchu on a trail that was once traveled by Incas.

Student Toby Williams stated that it was different, but also like America. The people there were less formal and more welcoming.

Williams shared that the Cuzco Valley reminded him of Grafton in the way that it is hidden and most everyone there knows each other.

“Had we not had George our Peruvian tour guide we wouldn’t have noticed the city, stuffed between the mountains,” added Williams. “Although, it wasn’t small like Grafton; the clay tile roofs lined the main city of Cuzco.  It was a washed-art orange and beautiful green and rocky landscape.”

While in Peru, he commented that they ate Alpaca. He said that the meat tasted like West Virginia deer-meat.

Student Frederique Maloley wrote that they traveled with EF tours and the entire experience was wonderful.

While in Peru they spoke with locals, ate a variety of typical Peruvian foods, saw breathtaking views firsthand, including one of the seven wonders of the new world, adapted to a culture very different to theirs, and they also learned enough to last a lifetime.

She shared that her time in Peru was incredible and he highly recommends that anyone interested should get out and explore the world, especially Peru.

“Even the hundreds of pictures that each of us took do not capture just how beautiful these things are. You truly have to see it to believe it,” she expressed.

She concluded that Peru was an experience of a lifetime. She will never forget the sites she saw, the things she tasted, the sound of our tour guides passionately explaining everything they could ever wonder, the smell of the thin air in the high mountains and the feeling of being on top of the world.

“I will conclude with the best advice I could give you. When given unbelievable opportunities such as this one, go without thinking twice. I always felt safe and extremely grateful for every second. The world has so much to offer when you experience it with an open, curious mind and happy heart,” Maloley imparted.


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