November 20th, 2021
When you hear that word, what emotion does it spark in you? Eagerness to bond with the people on your trip through late night talks and silly inside jokes? Excitement for the adventures, whether they consist of meditating by the renowned Rivers Ganges or exploring the theaters of London? Or maybe, it evokes fear and anxiety, worries about the “great unknown” or the “there is an odd number of girls, who I am going to room with?” dilemma.
Students work with little kids for the Hong Social Awareness Interim 2018. (Mike Ross/Junto)
Several students provided insight into how they were feeling about Interim this year.
Thomas Hughes (11) is getting his camera ready for the Capturing Morocco: Photographic Expedition Interim. “It featured activities I was interested in, like photography and surfing,” he explained. “I just hope for a good group and good travelers.”
Last year, Tommy participated in Thailand: Ricefields Service Project. Having transferred to HKIS in the middle of that year, he was unfamiliar with everyone on his trip. Thankfully, he made a lot of friends, all of whom he is still close with today.
Students at the Thailand Ricefields Interim Tommy went on last year. (Tim Gavlik/Junto)
Peony Kavowras (9) is facing one of her greatest fears, hiking, on the Japan: Trekking on the Nakasendo Trail trip. However, she chooses to look at the silver lining—the onsen, a hot spring, where she can relax both her body and mind.
Peony shot me a nervous look when describing her Interim group and eventually concluded, “I love them.” Her initial hesitation lay in the fact that “there are so many seniors,” and she only knew two people—a feeling most, if not all, freshman can relate to.
Tony Cao (9) is polishing his biking skills for his Japan: Cycling and Sushi Interim. However, as the trip nears, he prepares to encounter two challenges.
With biking, although he has enjoyed the activity throughout his entire life, he worries because “the distance we are going to [bike] is 90km, so it’s quite a challenge for me.”
As for sushi, Tony is allergic to seafood, an unfortunate irony, so he fears that he may not have a variety of cuisine to choose from. “I was hoping that one of my friends could come with me, but he didn’t get into the Interim,” Tony said with a sigh. However, Tony believes that Interim is the perfect opportunity to challenge himself and befriend new people.
Dexter Wan (10) is also participating in Japan: Cycling and Sushi. “I aim to be really active this year and hope that constant biking will improve my cardio,” he said.
Dexter also wants to discover a novel side to Japan and explore the thrilling experiences it has to offer. Before he met his group, he had fears regarding the people that he would be interacting with.
After getting to know them, though, the worry vanished. This happened to Dexter last year as well when he participated in Thailand: Habitat for Humanities. When asked about his experience, Dexter stated that “it was enjoyable meeting others and learning and helping to build a home for people who are need of [one].”
Needless to say, the student body has a variety of emotions regarding Interim, ranging from hopes to exercise more to fears of the intimidating upperclassmen.
But one thing is for sure: our experiences from this trip, whether they consist of laboriously scooping elephant manure or eating Cheetos to the point of no return, will forever change us and the way we perceive the world.