Marjorie and I attended the same college and even lived a few apartments away from each other sophomore year. Marjorie says she would walk by my apartment all the time, without us knowing one another. Our spring semester of our sophomore year, we made commitments to go on the same school-sponsored study abroad trip for Spanish immersion, destination Quito, Ecuador.
Marjorie’s Perspective: Bridget and I attended the same college and unbeknownst to us, lived a few apartments away from each other sophomore year. In hindsight, I realized that I walked past Bridget’s apartment multiple times every day, without us knowing each other. Our spring semester sophomore year, we made commitments to go on the same school-sponsored study abroad trip for Spanish immersion, destination Quito, Ecuador. Although the details are a bit hazy, the first time we met was probably during one of our Ecuador Informational Meetings. I had a class right before the meeting so I arrived late. Once I arrived, I proceeded to ask our professor all of the questions that apparently had already been answered. The repeated questions annoyed Bridget so much that when I turned around to start meeting people, Bridget was not receptive to having small talk with me. Fast forward two months to the morning of 16 May 2011. All of the Clemson students had successfully made it to Quito the night prior and we were preparing for our first day of school. On the morning of 16 May, my Ecuadorian sister led my roommate and me to Bridget’s house to link up before making the trip to school. Within the first 15 minutes of meeting Bridget in Ecuador, I determined that my primary goal for the study abroad trip was to be the best friend that Bridget had ever had. I was mesmerized by her. Bridget brought so much peace, love, and gentleness to the atmosphere. On the bus ride to school, I was so impressed with how easily she was able to converse with her host mother, in Spanish. She was so intelligent, humble, kind hearted, quietly strong, and an angel of a person- everyone on the trip noticed these qualities, except for her. Since I have the tendency to be an aggressively, intense friend, I am incredibly surprised how well I was able to suppress my desire to befriend her. Four days after our first meeting, I invited her to see Pirates of the Caribbean in theatre with my host family; however, our true bonding did not begin until that weekend, when a large majority of our student group decided to travel unchaperoned to Mindo. The night that we arrived in Mindo, Bridget and I bonded over our love of musicals, sports, nature, adventure, and God. After that weekend, our friendship was sealed. During the next three weeks, we overcame obstacles together, sacrificed for each other, grew into better people, and developed a lasting friendship. Our relationship endured its challenges for almost two years before we finally realized that the special bond that we had developed was more than friendship.