Garret Badeau discovered he was lost. He was kayaking up a river in Bolivia,.  he looked around in the pitch black. Then somebody yelled out to him saying he was almost there. 

Garret Badeau is a graduate student at UVM, working as an intern with Julie Kiefer in the math department at U-32. 

Garret grew up in Barre.  At Spaulding High School he started out as kind of a loner. He didn’t play sports, so he was more focused on his academics, primarily Spanish and math. He wanted to get more involved in the Spanish trips they offered at his school. 

“Everyone told me I wouldn’t be able to afford it,” he said, “because my parents couldn’t afford that much.” “But I was able to afford it and make it happen.” He made this happen from working at Bond-Auto. 

After high school, his passion for math and Spanish broadened. He graduated from R.P.I (Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute) in New York where he took all math classes, and spent two years after that in a math program at the University of California-Davis.  

After paying off his debt, he turned to his Spanish interest.

 “I was able to do something I had been dreaming about doing,” he said, “to go traveling by myself.” 

He traveled throughout South America. He spent a few months in each country. Not only working on his Spanish, but helping on farms wherever he went. 

One of his adventures even included almost getting stuck in Argentina. He needed to use his Spanish and math to get out of this one. He had everything he needed to get through the border, but when his money had a tear in it, he had to go to 9 different Casa de Cambios until he finally got all the right money. “So I gave him all of the stuff he needed,” he said, “and he stamped my passport and I was in.”