Kasia had more work to do to prepare for this trip than the rest of us.
None of of it gave her the slightest hesitation.
Originally from Warsaw, Poland, Kasia has a Green Card and needed a visa and some other documents that those of us with U.S. passports didn’t. She also flew on her own because of a holiday trip to Florida.
The Lawrence, Kan. resident is a senior majoring in human services. She has an interest in gerontology and took the opportunity to ask specific questions at the community center we visited.
In El Limon, she worked hard during work time and enjoyed every minute of being pampered by the young girls in her host family. They intricately braided her hair daily, gave her a manicure and a pedicure that rivals any salon and made sure the coffee enthusiast always had a tasa de cafe (cup of coffee).
“I’m having a great time. It’s better than watching television,” she said during reflection time in El Limon. “I’m under the shock of experiencing what’s going on. How much labor everything requires! They’re leading very basic lives, but they are living all together, supporting each other. Everyone seems happy.”
At the end of our trip she was still reflecting on her experience with the family: “They play with nail polish because they have nothing else.”
Kasia would be a wonderful travel companion in any environment. And her willingness to share her European perspective on government and history enriched many discussions among the group.