Endless green scenery, historical towns, and an endless supply of potatoes sum up the Scottish culture pretty well. Ok, well that’s definitely not all Scotland has to offer, but with a new cultural experience around every corner, it’s hard to choose just a few to write about! I’ll start with how absolutely beautiful Scotland is. Everything seems very untouched, raw and natural. Scotland seems to be such a slow paced and laid back place to live, which is very refreshing coming from the fast paced town of Athens, Georgia. Our first full day was spent exploring the area, touring an organic farm, hiking to a water fall and just taking it all in. This was probably one of my favorite days because I think I could drive around Scotland all day and never get tired of the scenery. Words can’t even describe it.
While the landscape in itself is worth every penny, once we began working at Troqueer Primary, Scotland had officially stolen my heart. I knew Scotland’s school system would be different, but I had no clue to entire morale of the students, teachers and environment would be leaps and bounds over our typical elementary school experience. I was so amazed at how quickly we were able to build bonds with these kids. They are all so invested in our presence and GENUINELY enjoy learning. The children are SO intuitive. That’s something I don’t see as often in the states, most likely because we focus so heavily on short term achievements in the form of testing and following strict curriculum. These kids were forced to problem solve and be creative in how they were learning. I would love to see this model of education in the American school system because it was truly inspiring!
By day we we were teachers, mentors, and friends to 300 elementary students, by night we got to spend time together while taking in Scottish culture in the form of FOOD! While their food isn’t necessarily my style, it was definitely a unique experience. When I say potatoes are served with everything, I am not kidding. We went to an Italian restaurant and PASTA was served with “your choice of potatoes” on the side (carbs on carbs on carbs haha).