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University of Florida College of Journalism and Communications
May 2011, Florence, Italy

Amanda Eatman in Florence,Italy

Myself in front of the Duomo in Florence, Italy

In Italy, I studied advertising and public relations. I had the opportunity to be gain experience with international public relations and be immersed in other cultures.

Traveling to Italy taught me more about myself than I ever expected. I always thought I would be too homesick to travel and live thousands of miles from home, but I found that my month abroad was one of the happiest times of my life.

I hope to continue to travel for work and pleasure. I can’t wait to see where my life takes me.

“Travel is more than the seeing of sights; it is a change that goes on, deep and permanent, in the ideas of living.”
~Miriam Beard


United Church of Christ
May 2008, Pucallpa and Machu Picchu, Peru

My youth group and the armed gunman on the houseboat we lived on for a week

My youth group and the armed gunman on the houseboat we lived on for a week

My youth group traveled to Peru the summer before my senior year in high school. This experience opened my eyes to the world around me. 28 youth group members from my church in St. Petersburg, Florida made the long trek to Peru. We spent a few days in Lima, the capital of Peru, experiencing the culture and delicious food.

After being in the city for three days, we made our way to Pucallpa. Once we arrived in Pucallpa, we got on a houseboat with 10 Peruvian people who spoke little to no English. It took us a day and a half by boat to reach our destination, a small village off of the Ucayali River.

We would spend the next week in this village of 250 people who had no electricity and running water.

Ashley K., Kelli T. and I at Machu Picchu

Ashley K., Kelli T. and I at Machu Picchu

We built a church and parsonage for the village people and joined them for church services every evening. Communicating with them was difficult due to the language barrier, but their gratitude was unforgettable.

It was overwhelming to be so out of my element. In addition to the language barrier, we had two Peruvian armed gunman on our boat, because the area we were in was so unsafe. The trip forced me to grow up and appreciate what I had.

We also had the opportunity to travel to Machu Picchu, one of the new Seven Wonders of the World. I can't explain the incredible feeling of walking through something built in the 1450s that was so intricate and immense.

I hope to see the other six new Wonders of the World during my lifetime, as well as hundreds of other new places.

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