Summers chock full of adventurous travel

  • summer plans Ian
    Ian Kaye Photo: Paula Fernandez
  • summer plans--Frank
    French teacher Frank Vaissiere Photo: Paula Fernandez
  • summer plans--Maya
    Maya Spalding-Fecher Photo: Paula Fernandez

Summer brings warmth and sunshine and most importantly, freedom from the confines of school. Summer is an excellent time to take a break from the busy, fast-paced lifestyle we tend to live during the year.

The two month period allows for some to venture past American borders and experience new cultures. Many students at ARHS will vacation in exciting places or study in foreign countries.

For couple Zach Hatiras and Izzy Wardlaw, summer 2016 means traveling to Greece to visit Zach’s family.

“We are bringing Isabel [on our family vacation] because I love her so much,” Hatiras said. During their visit, the young couple plans on visiting Athens and Euboea, a Grecian island where the majority of Hatiras’s extended family lives.

Wardlaw is most excited about “being able to experience another culture,” she said, “but I am also excited and nervous to meet his family.” Hatiras looks forward to showing Wardlaw Greek cuisine, especially Makaronia me kima, Greek spaghetti with meat sauce.

Junior Maya Spalding-Fecher will go backpacking out west with her family. They will visit Glacier National Park in Montana, Yellowstone National Park in Wyoming, and Grand Teton National Park, also in Wyoming.

Spalding-Fecher anticipates enjoying her time in the parks and being out in nature. “I’ve never done popular backpacking like this before and I am looking forward to it,” she said.

Marley Friedrick, a sophomore, will head to Key West with a friend to celebrate with his friend’s parents as they renew their wedding vows. “I am most excited about going to the beach and really enjoying the ocean’s sound,” he said. “I also really want to do yoga on the beach.”

French teacher Frank Vaissiere, will travel to France, Spain, and England this summer. In addition to visiting family and friends in France, Mr. Vaissiere will perform in a music festival in southern France.

“I’ve been recruited by my ex-band members,” Mr. Vaissiere said. The lead singer of the band, The Killmisters, a reference to Motor Head, has gone missing, so they need a replacement.

Mr. Vaissiere will be helping them as the new lead vocalist at the Southern France music festival, Xtreme FEST, in July.

Another teacher engaging in some summer fun is physical education and health teacher Elizabeth Haygood. Ms. Haygood will relax on a cruise departing from Barcelona, Spain and stopping  along the way at Spanish, French, and Italian cities. “I’m looking forward to experiencing different cultures,” Haygood said.

While some students and teachers will go on vacations to relax and enjoy new parts of the world, several students from ARHS will participate in intensive summer programs far away from home.

Ian Kaye, a language enthusiast and junior at ARHS, will spend two weeks in Salamanca, Spain studying Spanish at the University of Salamanca. Kaye will be joined by close friend and fellow ARHS student, Jonah Weinbaum. Both will lodge with a host family. The summer program consists of 40 classes spread out between two weeks.

Despite the high level of academics Kaye will experience, he is looking forward to the opportunity to be on his own in a foreign country.  “It will be really cool to be in a foreign country without my parents or teachers from our school,” he said.

Kaye looks forward to exploring Salamanca and meeting new people. “I am going to spend a lot of time getting lost in Salamanca,” he said, “Jonah will have to come and find me!”

All in all, Salamanca will be the highlight of Kaye’s summer. The only downside? “I’m upset I can’t see Beyoncé in August in Barcelona,” he said.

Another ARHS student studying in Europe this summer is Delia McHale. McHale will study French and international relations in the French Alps for one month.

The summer program is one of the many programs offered by Tufts University. McHale went through a selective application process before being accepted. She is most excited to “be away for a month and get to be myself,” she said.

The president of the class of 2017, Ben Gilsdorf will go to Russia for six weeks on a state grant to learn Russian. Gilsdorf has a knack for languages. He speaks English and Japanese, studies French and Latin in school, and learns Italian and Spanish on his own.

Gilsdorf views this opportunity as a “good chance to experience a country so different from our own,” he said.

While some will spend their summer working, vacationing with friends, or studying abroad, junior Lauren Phillips-Jackson has decided to take time out of her summer to help others. Phillips-Jackson will volunteer at the infamous refugee camp, “the Jungle,” in Callais France for a week.

Phillips-Jackson is one of the founders and leaders of the Refugees in Distress club. While the club has raised awareness and funds for refugees, Phillips-Jackson wanted to experience and help firsthand.

Phillips-Jackson is eager to see the migrant crisis up close and to be able to help a fraction of the millions who are struggling. “I’m only nervous about the way European authorities view Refugee Camps.” She said. “There can be a lot of violence from the police towards the refugees.”

She said she hopes to make “a lasting difference for someone” she meets.