“Cusco feels like home,” says Molly Krifka ’13, one of the recipients of this year’s Salisbury Summer International Internship Stipend. “I have been easily navigating the impressive Incan streets.”
“I have been able to meet many more people than expected,” Krifka continues. “The daily conversations I have with certain taxi drivers –in a delicate mixture of Quechua and Spanish– help me. Every day, I feel that much more fluent in Spanish, that much more apt in conversational Quechua, and most importantly, that much more in tune with the musical practices of Cusco and the surrounding communities.”
At Taki, Krifka is responsible for producing a museographical guide that details the entire museum’s collection. She is also organizing workshops and concerts, maintaining public relations in Cusco, and participating in the development of current musical outreach programs for local youth. Krifka is also traveling to various locales in order to record, collect and catalogue firsthand ethnographic information about contemporary indigenous instruments that Taki has recently acquired.
In addition to her internship, Krifka has taken advantage of the cultural opportunities that abound in the region. “At the very beginning of my time here, I walked to the base of a mountain glacier called Ausengate with the community Hatun Q’eros to celebrate el Señor de Qoyllur Rit’I,” says Krifka, who explains that “the holiday is syncretic with some communities celebrating a Catholic Mass and others worshipping the mountain gods, the Apus.”
Krifka, who travelled to South America in the fall of 2010 through the Colleges’ Global Education program, credits Professor of Economics Scott McKinney and Assistant Professor of Anthropology Brenda Maiale for encouraging her passion for Andean music and reaffirming her interest in the study of people and culture.
A third-generation HWS student, Krifka’s mother is Kathy E. Ford ’80 and her grandfather is Robert E. Ford ’54, GP’13. Her uncle, Theodore Ford ’66, also attended Hobart.
The Salisbury Stipend is one of the most ambitious programs in the Colleges’ history. Created by Honorary Trustee Charles H. Salisbury Jr. ’63, P’94, L.H.D.’08, former chair of the HWS Board of Trustees, the fund provides up to $20,000 in financial support for each of three students interested in pursuing an international internship experience in a location of the student’s choice. By supplementing classroom education with internship experience, students gain a practical understanding of the demands and rewards of future career opportunities as well as an opportunity to test their skills and realize their potential.
In the photo above, Molly Krifka ’13 enjoys the festival of Señor de Qoyllur Rit’I in the Peruvian Andes.