By Jim Lambert
The recent trip to Iceland by several Union Catholic students and staff members left quite an impression on UC rising senior Sara Tennant.
Tennant was joined on the trip by UC students Matt Bansiak, Molly Bonner, Nick Giuditta, Shaun Keating, Jacob Kress, and Julia Pecoraro, UC faculty members Mr. Bill Boyar, and Mrs. Donna Hofmann, and UC alumni teachers Marybeth Boyar, Laurel MacKenzie, and Maryjane Whitehead.
Tennant was in awe of the natural beauty and history of Iceland.
“To me, the most impressive thing was the sheer number of sights and natural wonders in Iceland. Of course, everywhere has its landmarks that are unique in their own ways, but Iceland went above and beyond my expectations of geographical phenomena,’’ said Tennant. “During our five day trip, we visited 3 waterfalls, a glacier, a beach, several hot springs, and multiple spots of the tectonic plate split, along with some of the most beautiful national parks I've ever seen. Wherever we went, we always saw something new and amazing and, in every sense of the word, awesome.’’
Tennant said her favorite part of the trip was glacier walk.
“On Day 3 of the trip, we got the incredible chance to climb the Solheimajokull Glacier, the fourth largest in Iceland,’’ said Tennant. “We went in groups of 10 on an hour-long journey to the summit of the glacier. The view was incredible-- even in the rain, we could see miles and miles of the Icelandic countryside and shore! All of us agreed that to say we climbed a glacier (an Icelandic glacier!) at 16-17 years old was mind-blowing, and I don't think any of us will be forgetting the experience any time soon!’’
The nature and technology in Iceland also fascinated Tennant.
“Iceland perfects the art of connecting the past and future, nature and technology.’’ said Tennant. “The heart of Reykjavik was high-tech and modern, but there were constant tributes to the past, from monuments to museums to monasteries. Iceland is an extremely innovative country, yet they've still managed to stay in touch with and protect nature by learning to work with the land instead of against it, such as with the geothermal power plants that run the majority of the country. To see a place so ready for the future and still closely tied to its past was a real eye-opener to how we have to know where we've been to figure out where we're going.’’
Tennant was very grateful and thankful to Union Catholic for the opportunity to visit Iceland.
“I don't think I could've dreamed that I would have such an opportunity in my whole life, much less in junior year,’’ said Tennant. “Everything about the trip was incredible and mind-blowing, to the point where the other students and I constantly whispered to each other, "We're really here! We're really in Iceland!" I wish all schools got an opportunity like this, but I'm definitely grateful that out of the few that did, one of them was UC.’’