Nancy and the “gurls” (as we affectionately call our counterparts from Hermosillo) are most looking forward to getting to meet people from other countries, shop at our malls, and experience our everyday life with our friends and family. Since they have all already been to Phoenix (and some of the places YAEP is taking us, such as California and the Grand Canyon), this experience will be more focused on the social elements I think. I think the only aspect Nancy may be concerned about is language differences—being able to communicate well with my family and the other kids. She is a little timid with English, but she isn’t scared to ask questions, which is great.
I personally wish I would’ve been more prepared with the types of clothing I packed for the trip and tried harder to fully experience Mexican life. I didn’t pack enough variety in types of clothing (for example, I packed no shorts—shorts would’ve been very useful!). Also, I think I could’ve experimented more with the food I ate instead of just sticking to the delicious basics (such as quesadillas, beans, etc.). At social events, I could’ve tried socializing more outside of the Phoenix group and with the counterparts.
I’m probably most excited to share YAEP events with my counterpart. I think getting to do activities almost everyday with 51 other students from around the world is a fantastic experience. I am excited for us both to be able to make friends across the globe.