2016 Summer Artena Kristen Schlegel Temple Summer

Starting Fresh

The most exciting part of preparing to leave for Artena, Italy on my excavation is realizing that this month long excursion will leave me feeling fresh: Fresh full of life and adventure. As time gets closer to departure, which is now only a week away, the excitement is growing. I’ve lived in cities all my life, so I am absolutely THRILLED to stay in a small town in Italy. And let me tell you, it’s also been extremely fun to prepare for my trip.

Preparing is an adventure in itself. I got to buy items I never would’ve normally bought, like steel-toed boots, sunscreen for my face, a dorky hat, and any clothes that aren’t black for that matter. I got to buy these items knowing I was going to be achieving my life goal of participating in an excavation. I know this program will change my life and perspective, and that is so utterly refreshing. I went shopping with my cousin for all the necessities, like shampoo, hair ties, and pants that archaeologists wear (which I only guessed because I have no idea). I also happen to love packing….. just not the unpacking part….. but I put on some music, jammed out, grabbed what I thought I’d need, and started packing. The little fun things truly make life awesome!

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I also got the opportunity to get my passport for the very first time, which was much simpler than I thought it would be! All I needed to do was contact a post office that took photos for passports. I then needed to print out a form, fill it out, and bring it with me, as well as proper documentation. Then I got my photo taken at the office and received my passport in as little as 4 weeks. Easy, right?

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Though the little things like shopping and packing were fun, I must say: the support I got from everyone was truly inspiring and heartwarming. I had a fundraiser event at my job, where I raised a lot of money for my program; thanks to all my friends who donated. I also had a going away party with family, and I also got more support than I could ever ask for. They all chipped in to get a gift bag full of essentials for my trip. I was so afraid that I wouldn’t be able to afford to study abroad, but everyone should realize that there will be people around you that are willing to help you. You may be surprised!

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I am ready to embark on my journey! Pictures and experiences shall be shared accordingly. Let’s see where this adventure takes me!

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