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The news site of Glenbrook South High School.

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The news site of Glenbrook South High School.

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South students, staff discuss exotic vacations

From Tahiti to Pakistan, South students and teachers alike have gone to many unusual places across the globe.

John Skorupa, Drivers-Ed and health teacher, shares his many vacations.

“I have been to the Pacific, Tahiti, Hawaii, Fiji, New Zealand, Australia,” Skorupa said. “I have [also] been to Europe, South America, Latin America, Mexico, Bahamas, Caribbean, Puerto Rico, Dominican Republic [and] Canada. I have been around a bit.”

According to Skorupa, his personal favorite place that he has visited was Buenos Aires, Argentina, after his wife won a prize puzzle on the television show Wheel of Fortune. Tahiti was another vacation spot he enjoyed, making his top three favorite vacations, despite not being able to go again, since there is a warrant for Skorupa’s arrest in Tahiti.

“[My wife and I] rented a scooter in Tahiti […] and so I’m driving around the island and I get pulled over by the cops,” Skorupa said. “[The cops] were like, ‘Where’s your helmet?’ [I said], ‘I didn’t get a helmet.’ [The cop said], ‘It’s a 100 dollar ticket.’ We flew out the next day and never paid the ticket. Four months later I get a notice in the mail that I have a warrant. If I ever go anywhere in a Tahitian island I’ll be arrested and imprisoned for 30 days.”

Josh Koo, South science teacher, describes a similar surprising moment that happened to him while on a trip doing service in Africa.

“Me and my friend were walking down the street,” Koo said. “Suddenly it felt like somebody smacked me with a baseball bat to my shoulder. I just totally knocked down. I look up [to] see [a] bus come to a screeching halt with it’s rear view mirror just dangling. The driver looked out the window saw me, saw that I was conscience and awake, and just took off again.”

Despite getting hit by a bus, it was a very raw and enlightening experience to be in Africa, according to Koo.

“Once we were friended by [the orphans living there], they did everything to protect us,” Koo said.  “[The orphans] would do [anything] to protect us and put their safety in harms way for us.”

Senior Saadia Malik has visited Pakistan several times. According to Malik, her experience has changed her way of life.

“It’s very humbling, in a way, because you see people and they don’t have half as much as you do, and they’re just going about their daily lives,” Malik said.

According to Malik, she has learned a lot about differing ways of life, but when she travels down to Pakistan she also learns a lot about perspective.

“You’re living in the catastrophes [like hunger and war],” Malik said. “You see other people and what they go through everyday. It makes you put things in perspective.”

According to Kim Kiraly, South family and consumer sciences teacher, the biggest impact on a person while traveling is seeing people with nothing thrive.

“Looking at all of the resources I have that’s probably had the biggest impact on me,” Kiraly said. “Going some place and meeting people and working with people that have absolutely nothing.”

Jeffrey Rylander, instructional supervisor for the Science Department, had his perspective change from visiting new, exotic locales. According to Rylander, he went to Bogota, Colombia, with his family to do missions work with schools.

“We went down to work in the school for a week,” Rylander said. “My kids worked as teaching assistants, my wife taught preschool and I taught some science classes. In addition to that, we went to three different ministries that work with really the poorest of the poor.”

Freshman Sydney Dworak traveled to Australia through a People to People group, a program which sends a person a letter in the mail so they can then go to a meeting and pay for the trip to the specific destination. Dworak’s favorite spot in Australia was the Opera House.

“[The Opera House] was right by the water and it was like right in the middle in a whole bunch of bricks,” Dworak said. “And you went up a big flight of stairs, maybe three flights of stairs. So when you went up it was like a big landmark.”

According to Dworak, despite the different culture in Australia, she cherishes her memories of the country.

[My vacation] is one of the best things I’ve ever done,” Dworak said. “You can’t do that again, so it was a once in a lifetime. It was awesome.”

Emily Ekstrand, South history teacher, likes to explore jungles, rivers, and ruins. According to Ekstrand, when [she travels] she likes to push herself to reach her destination.

“The way I travel you have to suffer to get to the good stuff,” Ekstrand said. “I like to get to the far away places and to get there it usually requires a little extra effort.”

Vacations are rewarding, grueling and luxurious, according to Ekstrand. Vacations are like the places where she is more complete.

“[Vacation] is almost like I gain more of myself,” Ekstrand said. “[Who I am, what I teach, and what I do in my life here is so much a part of who I am when I travel. I become more myself.”

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