Growth in Freedom

It’s 72 degrees this Monday morning. A rarity here in Scotland that we luckily got to experience often during our stay. 

Bright blue skies with the occasional white cloud speckled throuout. Arthur’s Seat gloriously connecting the sky and city streets with it’s widely shaded green grounds and rustic browns in the near distance. 

These are the views from the slightly opened windows surrounding the receptions lobby, where we were meet to drop off our luggage for holding. Some of the group separates to squeeze in a few more hours of exploring the city. The rest of us stayed behind and shared our experiences in Scotland.

What I heard was inspirational and proud as their TA.

One student described how she fell in love with the city of Edinburgh and not wanting to leave. From the views from on top the city’s castle, to the cliffs from the volcanic mountain it sat on, I could tell she had been able to find something here I wasn’t been able to. 

Her eyes, lit up but hazed as she described the midevil building architecture, the locals hospitality (she stops for a sigh),and then the men in kilts. As she spoke I could see her get lost in the images flashing before her eyes of all her memories she was leaving this city with. She had found her nirvana. 


Stewart and I worked countless hours on this program for this exact moment I was experiencing. As odd as it may be, I had finally felt that sense of accomplishment a teacher feels when one of their students, who has been struggling in class, is able to pass a test. She had let her guards down and allowed herself to be immersed and flooded with the new culture around her. 

It’s an odd feeling, but similar to that when I had when finally reaching the top of Crough Patrick in Ireland. All the work, pain and sweat it took to climb myself up were all worth it for those few minutes I got spend up there. Nobody can prepare you as TA for moments like this with your students, sharing in their triumph. 

I’ve grown to love these students as an older brother loves his little brothers and sisters. Hearing them describe their experiences in Edinbourgh comforted me knowing that they had allowed themselves to adapt in it’s culture like some of them hadn’t let themselves do in the previous cities. 

Going to museums outside of the program.

Watching Bring It On the Musical (totally jealous by the way).

Visiting Edinburghs Deep Sea World.

Leaving the city to watch a big soccer game that they were so passionate about. 

Climbing Arthur’s Seat on their own.

Going on tours of the Loch Ness Lake. 

I continue to listen to more stories from other students over some chocolate and suddenly 2 hours have passed. I notice some of the group begin to trinkle back into the receptions lobby and I’m snapped back into reality. 

We recollect our luggage and make our way to a line of black taxis waiting to take us on our continuing journey. 
Written by Angel A. 


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