Hi Glimpsers and Families!

I cannot believe our trip is upon us and we leave for San Cristobal in the morning! I’ve had the opportunity to personally connect with almost all of you, and I’m ecstatic to finally meet in person at SFO in eight short hours!

For those of you back home, I wanted to share a little about myself. I’m a teacher at Dougherty Valley High School in San Ramon and I also coach Varsity Water Polo and JV Swim. I grew up in Martinez and went to UC Santa Barbara for my BA where I studied Art, History, and Asian American Studies. After entering the working world for a few years, I decided that my calling was the classroom and went back to school to earn my MS in Special Education from Cal State East Bay.

Upon completing my undergrad, I had what I consider to be my most formative travel experience– I backpacked through Europe for two months with some friends and explored 14 cities in 11 countries. Being exposed to so many people, cultures, and traditions was humbling, as for the first time I realized how incomplete my understanding of the world truly is. That particular vacation was obviously very different than our upcoming trip to the DR, but part of my desire to be part of GG stems from that feeling of wanting to learn more and develop a broader perspective of our global community.

The other major factor that made me want to be involved with GG is that all of the students I know who have participated in the program are some of the greatest people around. Although diverse in many ways, they are consistently kind, bright, inspirational, and conscientious individuals. Perhaps it is presumptuous of me, but I am sure the Glimpsers of SC1A are all just as phenomenal human beings and I can’t wait to share in this once in a lifetime experience with them.

To close out my inaugural blog, I want to make sure to thank everyone that’s making this trip possible for us. First, to the wonderful staff of GG—thanks for all the things you all do to ensure our safety and to provide us with this amazing opportunity. Next, to the parents of my Glimpsers—thanks for trusting us with your children and trusting them enough to let them explore the world. Lastly, thanks to those who are personally making this possible for me—Jeanne Scheppach for being an awesome Co-Leader at DV and introducing me to this amazing organization, my Mom and Dad for being the best parents around and empowering me to develop a passion for the unfamiliar, and my super-awesome husband Dominic for holding down my real life and encouraging me to take advantage of the epic opportunity, even though it means we’ll be spending our second anniversary 3,379 miles apart.  I love you completely.

Cyndi Oji-Marchese