In May 2000 I was lucky enough to be part of a school exchange trip to the USA. Students from the Kentucky School For The Blind had previously visited our school for the visually impaired in Exeter (today known as the WESC Foundation), and then later we had the opportunity to visit them in return. I bought an S-VHS camcorder especially for the occasion, and ended up recording a lot of footage. It’s not professionally shot or in high definition of course, but I’m pleased I captured so much.
So here I want to share some of that footage. It’s the first holiday video I ever made, and to date it’s still my favourite, as it’s the only time I’ve ever visited the United States so far. The videos are all in my travel playlist as well. They’re not audio described, but if you are able to see them then I hope you enjoy them!
During the first week my college group explored New York and Washington, then stayed at a Youth Hotel in the Blue Ridge Mountains on our way to Kentucky. The most notable aspect of that first week was of course going to the top of the World Trade Center, as the events of 9/11 just over a year later meant the experience was even more special in hindsight than it already had been at the time. But in New York we also enjoyed the views from high up in the Empire State Building and took a long walk through Times Square, while in Washington we saw the Washington Monument, Lincoln Memorial, White House and Capitol Building.
The following videos are from our first week:
- World Trade Center – I’ve also posted a version with audio commentary.
- Times Square & Other Streets – There’s an audio commentary for this too.
- Empire State Building
- Blue Ridge Mountains
We then went on to Louisville, Kentucky, where we spent a week with our friends at the Kentucky School For The Blind. Some of the time was spent staying on campus, but we also got to stay with some of the families of the students too. As well as spending time at the school with them, we were also taken to see attractions like the zoo and the baseball museum.
So these are the videos I’ve uploaded from our second week:
- Louisville Slugger Museum
- Louisville Zoo
- Big Mouth Billy Bass – This was a musical fish I bought during my trip. I don’t have it any more.
I did do a bit of filming around the school as well, but naturally I’m not going to upload footage of people without their permission. But I hope you enjoy all the videos I have presented here. They do bring back great memories for me.
And as an added bonus, here are a few documents that I saved from the trip, including my personal itinerary for the week (with surnames redacted for privacy), our food menu for the week, a hand-drawn map of the school, and the letter we received when we left.