Nailah Barnes ’18 shares the groups first exposure to the Arabic language while looking ahead to new experiences in Jordan.
The 2018 Jordan Trip has officially begun! Eleven* eager Deerfield Academy students arrived at JFK earlier tonight equipped with luggage full of lightweight clothing, various levels of Arabic, and a collective excitement. With the guidance of our fearless leaders, Ms. Moushabeck and Mr. Flaska (from hereon to be known as Ms. Samar and Mr. Jan, as per King’s Academy’s tradition), we set the tone for these next ten days in the mere six hours we’ve spent as a team.
Between learning the origin story of Matt’s infamous nickname, “Matty Ice,” and struggling to get a bit of charge on our phones before boarding our ten-hour flight, Niki and Gabriella struck up a conversation in Arabic with a woman and her daughter also headed to Amman. In their brief chat, Niki learned that not only was the teenage daughter, Natasha, a swimmer, she also lives just under thirty minutes from Niki’s hometown in the States! In Gabriella sparking the conversation and Niki’s commitment to building a relationship with Natasha, they’d already begun pursuing our purpose and achieving our goals set for this trip, which includes “[exposing] students to the Arabic language.”
With great privilege comes great responsibility. In understanding that mantra, we are all committed to ensuring that the lessons we will learn and the experiences we will have in Jordan will translate to continued growth and reciprocated knowledge upon our return to Deerfield’s campus and beyond.
Stay tuned for nine more days worth of living, laughing, and learning with us as we embark on this journey to this remarkable region!
*Khalyse Benjamin ’21, Gabriella Hu ’21, Mike Shalaby ’20, Niki Pelletier ’20, Justin Tang ’20, Helen Feng ’20, Greg Berces ’19, Matt Popkin ’19, Erin Hudson ’18, Anna Harvey ’18, Nailah Barnes ’18