A Trip To Remember: SHS Students Travel to Ecuador

Senior Sam Snediker and sophomore Abby Remmert take in the view from atop the Andes Mountains Ecuador.

Senior Sam Snediker and sophomore Abby Remmert take in the view from atop the Andes Mountains Ecuador.

Senior Sam Snediker and sophomore Abby Remmert take in the view from atop the Andes Mountains Ecuador.

Story by Colette Dreher, Staff Writer

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This past summer, Señora Lembree was the head chaperone for a once in a lifetime trip. A group of students from SHS traveled to Ecuador for two weeks to explore a lifestyle that is unlike our own. The group tried new foods, went to islands they had never been before, and got to experience life from a new perspective. Señora Lembree encourages all students to get out of their comfort zone, be adventurous, and try to join her on one of these trips because they truly are life-changing.

When asked what the best part of the trip was, Señora Lembree admitted that it was hard for her to pick between so many amazing parts. She concluded that the best part of the trip for her was the feeling that she got when she showed students a new world that they had never seen before. For the group as a whole, she said the most notable part was when Samuel Snediker, a senior, was placed into a healing ceremony with a guinea pig. Lembree explained, “An indigenous woman cured or healed Sam with a guinea pig, and it was so far removed from anything we’d ever seen that it was just mind blowing.”

When Señora Lembree was asked what the worst part of the trip was, she said that “the worst parts were honestly fun for me, too.” The students were traveling on a tour bus through the mountains when the door that was holding their luggage broke open and all of the bags started falling out of the bus. A man stopped to help the group retrieve their belongings from the road not only one, but two, times. Señora Lembree said,  “For me, that was hysterical because that’s just the way it is in Latin America… We [Americans] get so mad over every little thing and for them it’s just like ‘Dude, whatever!’”

Señora Lembree makes the challenge of  looking after a large group of kids in a foreign country seem easy because she knows that the hard work being put into these trips is worth it. There hadn’t been any trips for multiple years prior to the start of Senora Lembree’s career at SHS. She decided her first year to take one trip, and since it was so rewarding for her, she knew she wanted to continue on.  “I had students tell me that it was completely life-changing, and that was all I needed to hear,” commented Lembree. She said that it is an amazing feeling to see the way student’s lives change due to the exposure of new places and added, “It’s something I look forward to. It keeps me going all year.”

Something that many people want to know is the kinds of foods that the group ate in Ecuador. Señora Lembree says that the tour company gave the group foods that they knew the group would eat, that are more traditionally like “American foods.” This list included chicken, rice, and beef. With this being said, the group wanted to get out and try some exotic foods of their own;  the students on the trip ate guinea pigs and fried llama, which was very new and interesting to them.

One of the highlights of the trip was going to the Galapagos Islands. Señora Lembree said, “we had sea lions playing with us in the water as we snorkeled, which was amazing. We also were swimming through schools of fish, and we could see friendly sharks swimming below us. It was incredible to be so close to all of the wildlife.” The most notable work project that the group did was help to build a school. “In a really poor community, this aid group had started to build a school, and were starting the second section of it. We were helping them to get ready for that. We spent the day doing hard physical labor but it was so awesome,” added Lembree.

Señora Lembree encourages kids to go on these trips because people can leave knowing that they made a difference. The 2018 trip is to Vietnam, Thailand, and Cambodia.   Lembree noted, “I wish I could take everyone. I feel like it would be so beneficial for a lot of the kids, especially the ones who won’t have the chance to take a trip like this. They are the ones who can benefit the most.”

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A Trip To Remember: SHS Students Travel to Ecuador