My full name is Rebecca Leigh Rolston, but I go by Leigh, I don’t know why, blame my parents. I have a 19 yr old brother, Will, who (regardless of being an idiot sometimes) I absolutely love and adore. My mom, despite sometimes butting heads, is an incredible woman, and I am proud to say I’ve inherited some of her traits: resourcefulness, stubbornness, a love for learning, and I could go on. My dad is best known for his heart of gold, always volunteering at church and Adopt-a-Block, going on mission trips, donating time and money to charities, and really just living a life of service to God and the community. Last but certainly not least is my darling cat, Oliver. I have been begging my parents for a dog since before Oliver, but for one reason or another they have always rejected my request. Oliver was their form of compromise when I threw a series of temper tantrums in first grade and everyone eventually became sick of my attitude. Although Oliver is not a dog, I love him with my entire heart and I can’t imagine life without him. The last thing to know about my family is that despite my parents being divorced since before I can remember, they remain good friends to this day and for that I am ultimately grateful. Also just incase you’re wondering, Oliver lives with my mom.
As I’ve mentioned, I love dogs, but more than that is really an endearment for all animals from flamingos to anteaters and excluding spiders. I have self diagnosed arachnophobia which means I don’t do spiders. Imagine Scooby and Shaggy from Scooby Doo when they run away from the monster at, like, 60 mph. That’s me when I encounter a spider and no amount of Scooby Snacks will persuade me to face that fear so it’s probably best if we don’t try, thanks. Another interesting fact about my likes and dislikes is that I like heat and dislike cold. Well, I think it would be better said that I have a high tolerance for heat and a very, very low tolerance for cold. Unless I’m running. Then I like a nice 50-60 degree weather. I’m going to go ahead and apologize in advance for another dislike of mine and that is most foods. I am an incredibly selective eater. I don’t drink milk, I don’t eat yogurt or cheese, I’m not a fan of salads, I don’t like guacamole, most spicy foods, and condiments. I stick to very basic foods like rice, pasta, chicken, most fruits and vegetables, fish and some seafood, protein bars, and waffles.
What excites me most about Bolivia is also something that scares me: the unknown. I’m a bit of an adrenaline junkie and I can be kind of in the moment sometimes. I want to do a lot of crazy things like skydiving, bouldering, and cliff diving. I don’t know what opportunities we’ll have in Bolivia to do any of those things, but if I’m lead to a waterfall, expect me to want to jump off of it. Really my worst fear besides spiders, is somehow managing to lose my passport, but it’s whatever. My greatest expectation for this trip is having as much independence that is safe for us as individuals. I understand the responsibility to keep everyone safe, but I don’t want adults to always be hovering around and treating us as children. I babysit children, I don’t need to be babysat. And maybe this won’t be a problem at all, but I just mention it based off of past experiences. Another goal, one I set for myself, is to come back from this trip with a somewhat better understanding of spanish. I take french as my foreign language in school, so I’m really going into a foreign country with an unsettling language barrier. While I don’t expect to be speaking fluent Spanish after two weeks in Bolivia, I expect to be able to pick up on a basic amount of the language.