Archives for June 2017

Iceland’s Independence Day

June 17 is the Icelandic 4th of July. They gained independence from Denmark and the city erupts into a city wide festival including live music, parades, Icelandic horses, a ton of children activities, kung fu, gymnastics and so much more. You name it, they do it. This is also the day when Icelanders take over Iceland from the tourist. This was the one day when no one spoke English by default. Kids took over the park, kinda scary. This was a pretty cool event and a must see for anyone craving a bit of Icelandic culture, not watered down by tourist.

The Ring Road of Iceland

Route 1, the Ring Road, is the highway that travels around the perimeter of Iceland. It is possible to complete the drive in 24 hours, but that is without stopping to see any of the amazing stops along the way; we completed it in five days. Leaving Reykjavik on Thursday, June 8th we traveled north towards Reykholt, the home of Snorri Sturluson. A very interesting man who we all compared to Mr. Monopoly spoke about the folklore of the land and so much more than our minds could handle at nine in the morning. This was our first exposure to the extreme intellect and story-telling capabilities that so many Icelanders possess. That same day we went to Eiriksstadir, where we again met a man who was well versed in the history of the land and the settlement era, and could tell stories better than anyone I have ever met.

On Friday, we traveled to Hólar, the church where both Sæmunder Frodi and Loftur the Magician studied. It is also the northern bishop seat for Iceland, the southern being Skálholt. After that, we traveled to Siglufjördur, setting for the Ragnar Jonasson book, Snowblind. We experienced how isolated the town feels, but could only imagine the effects that a heavy winter snow could have on the town. We also met with the mayor of Siglufjördur and University of Missouri-Rolla alum, Gunnar Birgisson. After he showed off the town and the amazing engineering companies that it holds we began to see how the town was so much different than the way Jonasson portrayed it to be. Mayor Birgisson talked to us about what it is like to be a mayor and how even while working in politics his degree in geotechnical engineering is still very applicable.

Day three, we traveled to Húsavik to experience what small town Iceland was really like. We spent an hour or so there people watching and enjoying some food from the bakery before leaving for our next stop, Botnstjörn. This was a small lake, fed by waterfall, tucked way back amongst tall cliffs. Our travels then led us to Dettifoss, the most powerful waterfall in Europe. The long hike to the falls was definitely worth the view. We finished our day at Jardbodin, a geothermal pool that in my opinion is way better than Blue Lagoon because it is less of a tourist attraction.

Sunday morning we woke up to go to Skútustaðagígar, home to a bunch of craters caused by steam explosions, and Hverjfall, a crater mountain created in the same manner. Hveraröndin was next on our list. A small geothermal pool where the water was black rather clear and closely resembled tar pits. There was also tall rock piles that constantly blew large amounts of steam into the air. The final stop of the day was Gunnar Gunnarsson’s house. Gunnarsson is a famous Icelandic author who was nominated for the Nobel Prize six times, and whose house was turned into a museum for not only himself, but for the monastery that was found right outside the home. This monastery, called Skriðuklaustur, was not only home to monks, but to a very large hospital. Over 300 bodies were found buried around the hospital and archeologists were able to trace most of their illnesses to create a very extensive list.

Day five consisted of going to the diamond beach and taking a tour of the glacier pool in Jökulsárlón. Diamond beach got its name for the large icebergs that flow out of the glacier pool and back up on the beach. I tested my luck with the ocean and lost. My shoes

The black sand contrasting with the glistening ice made for great photos at the diamond beach.

were wet for the rest of the day, but I saw a seal so it made up for it, I suppose. The tour of the glacier pool began by getting in an amphibious vehicle that I compared to the “ducks” in Branson. The tour was about a half hour long and we learned a lot about how these pools form and how long it takes for the ice from the glacier to reach the ocean (sometimes up to 300 years). After all the fun, we headed to Svartifoss, a waterfall tucked 1.6 kilometers into a mountain. The hike was long, but the few was worth it. We ended our day by traveling to Fjaðrárgljúfur, a huge canyon created by a river. We spent the night in Vík where we discussed our experiences as a whole so far and our readings for the end of the week.

All that leads us to this morning. We woke up in Vík and headed back to Reykjavik. We visited the Black Beach and saw some puffins up close. The waves here were much stronger than the ones at the diamond beach and no one even attempted to get near them. Then we went to a glacier that we could actually walk on, unlike one of the small stops we made the day before. The glacier was a lot different than what I expected. It was not a huge pile of ice, but rather a huge pile of ice covered in a huge amount of volcanic ash. After this we traveled to two amazing waterfalls, one of them we could walk behind. While driving from one waterfall to the other we stopped at a small building built into a cave. Our driver showed us how it was designed for keeping sheep. The cave had three levels. The bottom two levels were for feeding and keeping the sheep, and the top floor was where the shepherd lived. Our final stop of our trip on the Ring Road ended at Halldór Laxness’ house. Here we took a tour the Nobel Prize winner’s house. It was a very humble in size, but the library and artwork were beautiful.

We end our day here, back in Reykjavik at the University of Iceland. The past six days truly blew by, but I have memories I won’t soon forget. I am not sure these last few days in Reykjavik can even compare to the past week.

Icelandic Landscape

I think one of my favorite things about Iceland has been the landscape. It is absolutely stunning! Iceland is an island created by volcanic and glacial activity. Iceland is situated on the Mid-Atlantic Ridge, where the North American and Eurasian tectonic plates are diverging. This creates almost constant volcanic activity. Though most of it is small, the country experiences a large eruption approximately every 5 years. Because of this, instead of driving around the country and seeing extensive fields of grass or farm land like you would in the Midwest, you see vast lava fields. Sometimes the lava rocks are covered by moss, which Iceland has over 600 species of.

There are so many mountains on the island, as well, because of the tectonic activity. Out in the country, there were hostels we stayed in where we were completely surrounded by mountains. I loved this because it gave us so many opportunities to hike! One of my favorite hikes was when I woke up early one morning to climb a mountain directly behind our hostel. It was peaceful and relaxing. I only got part way up because I didn’t give myself enough time, but one of the biggest takeaways I got from that hike actually had to do with Dr. Bryan’s class on folklore and mythology. In one our lectures, we talked a little bit about how the landscape shaped some of that folklore. Hiking that mountain, I could completely see how people thought there were trolls that lived there or that they would’ve seen fairies, so much that I started to believe it myself. I really wanted to see a troll in the rocks I was climbing on!

Morning hike behind our hostel. I wish I actually saw a troll!

I never thought I’d see ice in the middle of June. Chunks of the Jökulsárlón glacier in the Atlantic








Glaciers have also helped shape the landscape of Iceland as well by shaping the mountains. I think the coolest thing about the mountains we saw were how many waterfalls there are! When the glaciers melted, they left behind numerous streams, most of which fall down the mountains. Some mountains would have 6 or 7 streams running down them. This also helps to form the numerous amounts of waterfalls Iceland has! We saw some incredible waterfalls. We saw some tall ones, small ones, powerful ones, adorable ones. We even saw the most powerful waterfall in Europe! I loved seeing the touristy waterfalls, but I liked seeing the waterfalls where we could get right up to them. One waterfall we went to, Goðafoss, we were able to climb around the stream before it fell off the cliff and as it flowed down the mountain again. We even drank from it (Iceland has extremely clean water- bottled water is literally just tap water).

Enjoying the delicious water down stream of Goðafoss

Lane admiring Goðafoss from down stream








I would absolutely go back to Iceland in a heart beat to explore all of the natural wonders it possesses. We only skimmed the surface of all the hiking and waterfalls and glaciers and endless nature Iceland has to offer.

Dettifoss- the most powerful waterfall in Europe




Iceland Road Trip Day 4!

The latter half of our Iceland trip consisted of a road trip around the country. I absolutely loved getting to see the different small towns and communities throughout Iceland, the beautiful landscape, and the history and setting of the literature we read in our classes with Dr. Bryan and Dr. Cotterill. One of my favorite days was June 11th. It was extremely cold and windy and rainy all day- so much that we skipped seeing a waterfall because we were all pretty miserable. After seeing some craters and doing some hiking in the morning, our last stop of the day was Skriðuklaustur. This was the site of an old monastery, one of the last built in Iceland. Next to the ruins was a house built by Gunner Gunnarsson, a famous Icelandic author. We got to learn about both the monastery and the author there.

Gunner Gunnarsson was born and raised in Iceland in the late 1800s but moved to Denmark for his studies and to become a writer since the Danish education system was much better than Iceland’s at the time. He received 6 Nobel Prize nominations in literature and almost won in 1955. His most famous work was Guest the One-Eyed. It was turned into a silent film. It was the first Icelandic work to be turned into a movie, the first Icelandic film by a foreign director, and the second movie filmed in Iceland. Gunnarsson had a falling out with this director because of creative differences and didn’t end up going to the premiere of it, which was a two day event since the movie was 4 hours long.

Gunnarsson came back to Iceland after his career came to a halt to build his house on the east coast of Iceland. The house wasn’t as big as he originally wanted, but is still the largest single home built in Iceland. After a while, he no longer wanted to live there and donated it to the Icelandic government, which to this day is still the largest donation to the Icelandic government by an individual. The project of building the house took several ten thousand man hours of labor. One man spent 200 hours washing rocks for the outside walls. He refused to come visit the house once turned into a museum because he was triggered so hard. Gunnarsson also spent over $72 million (in today’s currency) on labor alone.

Down the hill from his house is the ruins of an old Augustinian monastery. The site was unusual that it had the monastic quarters right next to the church, which originally threw off archaeologists. Archaeologists also dug the remains very differently. They would dig a 5cm piece of section, draw what the remains looked like, then dig 5 more cm and do the same thing. This allowed them to removed the ruins and accurately recreate the site. Icelandic archaeologists are also able to accurately determine the time period of ruins based on the lava layers. There are distinct layers of different kinds of dirt that correspond to different volcanic eruptions. Whatever layer the ruins are located in is the time period of the ruins.

There were also over 300 human remains found in the cemetery in the church yard. Scientists were able to determine the gender, age, and different diseases of each body. Based on different diseases and treatments to fractured bones, they were able to determine that the monastery functioned as a hospital. They had around 100 patients living at the monastery at any given period of time. They treated broken bones, helped with pregnancies, and even had some patients with stage 3 syphilis.

These are recreated ruins of the Augustinian monastery built in eastern Iceland. It was the last monastery built before the country converted to Lutheranism.


In the cemetery of the monastery, Dr. Bryan gave us a lecture talking about an old Icelandic Saga in which the valley we were standing in took place. The people of the saga ended up having to cross over the mountain that was behind the house we visited. Dr. Bryan also pointed out the only grave with a headstone there, belonging to Jón Hrak. There are many legends and folklore about him and they say that he was sort of the butt of everyone’s jokes, so much that instead of being buried east to west per tradition, he was buried north to south. Many Icelanders are familiar with this jingle about him:

Kalt er við kórbak,

kúrir þar Jón Hrak.
Ýtar snúa austur og vestur
allir nema Jón Hrak.
Translating to:
It’s cold at the choir’s back,
there lies old Jon Hrak.
Everybody’s buried lying East to West,
everybody but Jon Hrak.
Dr. Bryan claims it’s funnier in the traditional Icelandic; I’ll trust him on that.

Iceland 2017: First Time Traveler

Iceland has always been one of dream trips. I am not sure whether it was the thought of vikings, the wonderful music, or the way it is shown in the movies that persuaded me to travel here, but I am here, nonetheless. Being able to study abroad not only benefits me within my studies, but brings so much more knowledge than a classroom could. I have always been a hands-on learner and studying abroad definitely allows me to learn in the way I have always wanted to.

Traveling out of the United States for the first was a little unnerving, but Iceland proved itself to be the best choice for my first adventure. Stepping off the plane at Keflavik Airport in Iceland was like stepping into a whole other world. The entire landscape was black and rocky with not a tree in sight. Reykjavik was the complete opposite, though; a fishing town booming with tourism and city life, but still no trees. If there was one thing that made me feel so comfortable in this was the fact that I could understand what people were saying, not because I speak Icelandic, but because they speak English so well.

Reykjavik near the Old Harbor.

Like most European countries, Iceland has a much different city structure than that of the U.S. The streets are narrower and there is a lot more room to walk than say in St. Louis where I am from. Another thing that is a lot different than the U.S. is that there are very few hotels and a ton of hostels. The thing about hostel life that I was most worried about was being roomed with people I did not know. While this actually wasn’t the case because I roomed with my classmates, I did enjoy hostel life more as I had the opportunity to meet with other students and people from all over the world.

So far, Iceland has been an amazing experience and along from learning about the folklore and the culture with my fellow students, I am also learning life skills and embracing a new, but still similar culture.



April 1, 2017

Jordan Pryor: Our final day in Bolivia was spent at ruins close to Lake Titicaca called Tiwanaku. I enjoyed getting to be outside to experience the different climate while also getting to see and hear about the culture of the ancient Tiwanaku people. After Tiwanaku, we traveled back to La Paz and again visited the Witches’ Market. Some of us had some last-minute presents to search for, but we also all wanted to test out our Spanish on the “witches” again. I was so scared at first to make mistakes with the language or not be able to understand the women, but after a little practice it was way more fun than I expected. They really are very helpful and try to help you understand them while also being very understanding. I mean why wouldn’t they be if someone like me is willing to buy eight pairs of alpaca socks? Later, we strayed a bit from Bolivian culture and ate at a Swiss fondue restaurant for our last meal in Bolivia. I have absolutely no regrets though, because the food was amazing! Finally, we ended the night a bit earlier than usual, because of the impending early flight, with gelato.

Anna Meyer: We woke up really early for our day trip. At breakfast, I gave a presentation about Tiwanaku. We were taken there by bus, and the bus was pretty cool. It was much more comfortable than the land cruiser. I got to have my own seat, which has been quite the luxury during the trip. The trip lasted about an hour and a half. We drove through the same town as the day before, El Alto. One can easily see the difference in social class from La Paz to El Alto. La Paz seems to be a much nicer area, and El Alto has much more visible poverty. The Tiwanaku tour was given in both Spanish and English by our guide. It was fun for me to try to understand the Spanish translations, but I also had the English translations to rely on. The tour was both outdoors and indoors. We saw some of the original ruins, but most were reconstructed to some degree by archaeologists. My favorite part of the tour was seeing all of the faces in the Semi-Subterranean Temple. Some of the faces look alien, which has caused many speculations over the years. We also went inside to look at other statues in the museums. These were much more impressive, but I wish that the ruins could be outside where they were originally found.

Connor at Tiwanaku

Connor Yarnall: The people who had once lived at Tiwanaku were deeply intertwined with nature. Their gods were based on the sun, moon, mountains, and the lake. They created complex temples that utilized the sun to help them plan crop yields and create calendars. As I walked around the ruins, it was easy to imagine the people who were once there. You could get a sense of their daily life and understand why nature was so important to them. If you looked around you’d be greeted with breathtaking views of the mountains and altiplano.

This trip to Tiwanaku was a great way to end the trip. For the entire trip we focused on the how the modern Bolivians interacted and lived, but after Tiwanaku we had a sense of where they came from.

Lupalaya and Lake Titicaca

Lake Titicaca

March 31, 2017

Lauren Reynolds: Today was incredible. We met for breakfast at 7am and were on the road with by 8am to Lupalaya to see Lake Titicaca, scope out a possibility for a future water project, and visit the children at the orphanage there. The 3-hour drive was awesome because we got to go through La Paz, El Alto, and then more rural areas. The scenery in all three was completely different! Upon arriving at Lake Titicaca (the highest navigable lake in the world) we just stood by the water for minutes taking in the sight. The lake is a deep blue and looks as though it could go on for miles. Marco, who is a professor at UMSA, has a vacation house on the water and so he took some time to show us around. One thing I have learned while being in Bolivia is that the people are extremely hospitable.

Handing out candy at the orphanage

In Lupalaya there is also an orphanage. We all bought chocolates before going so that we could give them to the kids. They were skeptical of us at first but as soon as they saw the chocolate they loved us. They were fun to be around, but it was difficult to see how they lived. There were about 9 kids in each room and they live in such a high altitude that it is very common for the children to get skin cancer from the sun. I actually held a six-month-old who had skin cancer. Something that also got me thinking was the attitudes of the children. Sometimes it seems as though the problems in my life are so big when in reality I have it so good compared to many people around the world. The kids we saw were so happy, they make the most of what they have, and they have really kind hearts. It is such a humble reminder that I have so much and am in a position to give so much and without this experience I don’t know if I would have ever had that realization. Those children left a really big imprint in my heart and I really hope to in the future get to go back to Lupalaya and help with the water sanitation project and then hope to also help the orphanage with their other needs.

At the Lupalaya orphanage

Anna Meyer: Today I woke up early and ate with my group at the hotel. We left the hotel at 8 in the morning and piled into a land cruiser driven by Ricardo, from Engineers in Action. The destination was Lupalaya, another 1,000 feet up from La Paz near Lake Titicaca. The village is rural and is occupied by a fairly small population, including many orphans from La Paz. We were in the land cruiser for 3 and a half hours. Many of us tried to sleep, but it was merely impossible due to the bad road conditions. We drove through El Alto, a much poorer region of Bolivia. Many of the roads on the way were severely beat up, and some were not paved at all. A normal car would not have made the trip.

At the orphanage, our group gave candies to the kids. I saw the rooms that the children stay in. There were over 20 beds in each room. No privacy, no space. It makes me sad to think about how much less many people have than I do. I have never seen poverty that severe. The caretakers at the orphanage told us that a few days out of the week they sometimes go without water. There are rations in Lupalaya because there is not enough water for everyone there.

That night we went to Martín’s house for dinner. His wife made us such a delicious meal. She made a lasagna with several different types of meat in it. It was a late night on account of us having such a great time. We talked a lot about the differences in education between Bolivia and the United States. It is interesting that in Bolivia, college is free, or mostly free. I think about it a lot when thinking about the different ways governments spend money. I still wonder why the Bolivian government does not prioritize wastewater treatment, but it prioritizes education. This is something I will be looking into more as I write my research paper.

Last Day of Spanish Class

With our Spanish instructors on the last day of class

March 30, 2017

Lauren Reynolds: Today was the last day of classes! It was really fun because we did 3 hours of tutoring and then got to end an hour early to play a Spanish game and eat salteñas! I was absolutely terrible at the game but it was fun to get to use some of the new Spanish vocabulary that we had developed over the last few days. It was bittersweet because our professors were awesome, but it will be nice to have the last two days in Bolivia devoted to all cultural experiences.

There were some moments today that really opened my eyes to how much I take for granted in the States. I take for granted things like getting to have a bed to sleep in every night, always having clean drinking water, and the privilege of going to school. A conversation with a friend about the poverty in Bolivia got us thinking about how we truly didn’t realize how many people did not have homes to go to after a long day of trying to make some money. Also, the issue of clean drinking water is huge. I have been getting used to drinking only bottled water, but if this was going to be a forever thing of not being able to brush my teeth with tap water or simple things like that, I would get really frustrated.

Witches’ Market

Jordan Pryor: Finally, we went to the place I had been looking forward to, El Mercado de las brujas! Also known as the Witches’ Market, this section of streets is filled with all sorts of things to buy, from dead, dried animals (for traditional practices) to keychains and jewelry. It was a bit overwhelming at first, but once I got going and started to buy things I realized that the “witches” like you to bargain! It was fun to know that our Spanish classes were actually paying off, and I think the experience was way more interesting being able to understand and talk with the vendors. Our favorite type of product was anything made from alpaca or llama. Seriously, you won’t think that you’ll want alpaca socks until you feel them, and then you’ll KNOW that you need them. The whole experience gave me a new confidence speaking Spanish. I think that the fear of messing up is what holds a lot of people back in language learning, because this is one of my biggest issues too. The trip to the Witches’ Market also gives a good taste of the culture, specifically that of the indigenous people. If you look further into the shops than just the exterior, you can get a glimpse of what it may be like to be an indigenous woman in Bolivia, which, for me, was a very humbling experience.

On our way to a few museums in La Paz

Connor Yarnall: Today was a day filled with history. We traveled to three museums: Museo de Historia Natural, Museo de Metales Precios, and Casa de Murillo. The first explained crucial events that led to the creation of Bolivia. The second had Bolivian artifacts made of gold, silver, and bronze from various time periods. It showed the importance of mining in Bolivia’s history. The last one was a tour of the house of Murillo. Murillo was a patriot of Bolivia and fought against Spanish rule and advocated for Bolivia’s independence.

After the museums we went to La Iglesia de San Francisco and El Mercado de las brujas. I had created a short presentation that I gave to the group about the church and was very excited doing my research on it beforehand. The church was beautiful, with great gold decorations and beautiful carved stones. After the visit I was able to buy some merchandise for my friends back home in the Witches’ Market. This was another example of being able to use my language skills to communicate with the vendors. Shopping in the market was a great time and I was confident to use my abilities.

A Visit to UMSA

Meeting with faculty and administrators from UMSA

March 29, 2017

Connor Yarnall: My day began with another Spanish lesson; however, we had to cut this one short for a meeting with the chancellor of UMSA. UMSA is a large university in La Paz with eighty thousand students. We went to one of their many campus buildings that hosted the offices of many administrators. The meeting with the chancellor went very well and he was very hospitable. He even came with us to lunch.

Afterwards, I decided to do some shopping and was able to find some good items for my friends back home. But that only lasted a little while as we had another meeting with EIA (Engineers in Action). I was really impressed with the work conducted by EIA, a non-profit organization. They care for many rural communities surrounding La Paz and had more communities to care for then they could supply. It really opened my eyes about what type of work was needed and the problems Bolivia has with their water, infrastructure, and energy.

Traffic zebras help pedestrians cross the streets

Lauren Reynolds: In the afternoon, Connor and I visited the Witches’ Market. We were supposed to be back at the hotel by 6:00. We departed from the witch’s market with 20 minutes until 6:00 thinking that would be plenty of time to get back to the hotel and it would have been if we had not run into the traffic zebras! Bolivia uses traffic zebras to help pedestrians be able to cross the streets safely. We couldn’t continue heading back without a selfie with a zebra!

Anna Meyer: We got back to the hotel and I scrambled to get some homework done. Shortly after returning to the hotel, we left again for the movies. We got there by taxi and teleférico. I was surprised by how easy it was to understand the film despite it being in Spanish. I enjoyed the movie very much, but it was not a happy movie. It was extremely suspenseful. Going to the movies in Bolivia was an interesting experience because I saw a lot of teenagers there. I have not seen that many in the city. I liked seeing the couples all dressed up for their dates.

Jordan Pryor: While the rest of the group went to experience a movie in Spanish, Lauren and I decided to explore the mall. Malls here are quite different from malls in the United States. They are way busier through all hours. For example, as the mall came closer and closer to closing time, the human traffic did not seem to decrease at all. I believe that this is a great example of how different people are socially here in Bolivia and really Latin America as a whole. They are, in general, more social all of the time rather than just on the weekends. You will find that in most Latin American countries, there will be people out and about way later than you will find in the United States. This is especially noticeable during weeknights, and we often found ourselves saying, “Don’t they have work tomorrow?!” It is quite interesting how differently people interact with each other according to the country that they are from.

Viva Bolivia!


March 28, 2017

Lauren Reynolds: Today was a beautiful day because I got to pick what we ate and that was salteñas! I love salteñas. If you’re reading this, you probably read my introduction, which mentioned that I had been to Bolivia before, so knowing how wonderful this Bolivian dish is I could not bear to not have it on this trip. They did not disappoint. After lunch we went back to the hotel and waited in the lobby because the Bolivian national fútbol team was staying in our hotel! They were playing against Argentina. Latin America has the coolest fútbol atmosphere. Fans crowd around the doors of the hotel to get pictures of the team getting on the bus, and those that can get into the hotel race to get pictures with their favorite players before they have to leave for the game. We then embarked on the longest walk ever to the stadium in the rain. The altitude is around 12,000 ft above sea level in La Paz (the altitude in Denver, CO is under 6,000 ft), which makes it very difficult to breathe when trying to walk anywhere. Once we got near the stadium there were people lining the streets selling Bolivian and Argentinian gear. Of course, I had to get a scarf! Something I thought was interesting was that since it was raining, there were people outside the stadium selling pieces of styrofoam for you to sit on to. The game was amazing! What a totally different atmosphere than any professional sporting event I have been to in the States.

At the Bolivia vs. Argentina soccer match

Connor Yarnall: Thousands of people were surrounding the stadium. It was a Bolivian tailgate with people cooking, banging on drums, and selling merchandise. I was able to talk to a native woman and buy myself a Bolivian flag. I was feeling the excitement to root on the home crowd. As we approached the stadium, the Argentinian team bus pulled up, receiving loud applause from the Argentinians. But I told myself I was on Bolivia’s side today; as a guest in this country I have been treated great.

The game was electric. Bolivia was able to take the win 2-0, which made being in the crowd even better. I felt like a Bolivian, joining in on the crowd chants, applauding the goals, and sitting in the packed stadium. It was truly an experience I’ll never forget.