Sophomore Jonna Capone of Asheville
- What was your favorite experience on this trip?
“One of my favorite experiences was in Rothenburg, Germany. A group of us went to the gardens and the wall surrounding the city. We all went out in one park and did our own exploring. I decided to lay down in the shade under a big beautiful tree overlooking the city of Rothenburg. I was dozing, more relaxing in the cool grass adoring the view and sky. Suddenly, I felt something playing with my hair and a tiny, cold, wet tongue all over my face. It was the tiniest puppy I have ever seen – it looked like a giant brown cotton ball. I got to wrestle with him and have a small moment just for myself. Although playing with a puppy seems like a very common experience, for me it was bigger. The owner smiled continuously and this idea hit me: ‘I’m in Germany in a garden playing with a puppy, and everything is simple and wonderful. I felt safe and welcome and I realized that I felt more at home there than I had in a while. I’ll never forget that feeling and the idea that even perfect strangers and their puppies from across the world don’t care where you’re from or what you are. They live their lives and welcome play dates anytime.”
- How has your perspective changed on this trip?
“A few things have changed with this trip. The first being the idea of health and my own body. The access to fresh produce and meat has shown me how much we lack this access in our country. Enjoying these things has opened my eyes to healthier options and supporting local farms and organic food. Another is the strength and power of music. The use of music as a tool for communication and connection proved to be the best in our toolboxes. The knowledge of music from both countries was incredible. Another perspective that changed is the idea of true hospitality. Complete strangers helping two crazy girls late to a bus. People looking up from the sidewalk and I phones to smile and respond or help. It was very strong on this trip and I believe we have our own job in watching out for each other.”
- What have you learned through your experiences?
“I learned a lot about the rituals of faith and their strength in every country. There is so much history that is incredibly interesting and revolutionary. I learned a lot about acoustics and the use of a room no matter how small or full. I learned about the history of many structures and their use in each country today. I also learned more about behavior and sociology – the behaviors of people, not only within our group, but with the interactions of the many incredible people we met along the way.”