Bolivia: Spirit of the Andes
New York, NY
Hi, my name is Anna Dudina! I am currently a junior at the Nightingale-Bamford School. There is a quote that Ziggy Marley said that has helped me navigate and understand my identity, and describe my background to new people: “I was born by myself but carry the spirit and blood of my father, mother and my ancestors. So I am really never alone. My identity is through that line.” I was born in a small city called Kalnas located in Lithuania. However, I was raised by two incredible parents who come from very different backgrounds. My father was born and raised in Russia and my mother in Lithuania. I lived in Lithuania for 10 years and then moved to New York city in America where I have lived ever since. Therefore, I am Lithuanian, Russian, and American. Traveling, discovering new places, and adapting has defined my life since I moved to a new country when I was 10 and dived into the unknown. My passion for traveling and learning about the unknown has lead me to Dragons and has inspired me to go beyond my trip and working with the alumni community.
The craziest thing I have ever done is…
The craziest thing I have ever done is hike El Chorro in Bolivia with Dragons. This hike was one of the hardest things I have ever done, both mentally and physically; however it was also one of the most rewarding experiences. El Choro is a three day, 57 kilometers (36 miles) trek starting at the snowy mountains at an elevation of 14,941 feet and descending into the jungle-y yungas at an elevation of 4,278 feet.
Something you would like to tell a prospective dragons student…
GO FOR IT, TRY SOMETHING NEW! I know its scary, I have been there. I was terrified, I couldn’t sleep the whole night before I left for my trip. But, it was really a transformational trip for me. I learned things about myself that I couldn’t have done inside my comfort zone. I challenged myself physically and mentally, and my perspective on the world has changed. And I got to travel to a new place! All these aspects that are part of each trip have shaped me into the person I am and my memories and friends from the trip will keep challenging me daily and help me become the best version of myself.
My next big project is…
Working hard and graduating school. Also, pursuing things that interest me, such as being a dragon’s alumni ambassador, part of the round square committee, and playing 2 varsity sports. And working on becoming the best version of myself while doing things that are challenging and scary.