I took a few hours to work during my b-day trip to Boston. I felt guilty leaving my family, but the gift of meeting a person like Cindy Beams is not something one gets often.
On Friday, Cindy was kind and changed plans to meet at Harvard Square to a meeting at the Sheraton Hotel where I was staying. It was like we had known each other for ever. We had in commom a passion for Global Education service for our schools and Ollanta's Land of Children. After a short period in which we shared our personal histories and sharing a bit of how the programs got started, we had to cut the meeting short because Cindy had a meeting that day. Cindy gave the book, she had inspired the kids from Groton to write about their home stay and work in Ollanta. Seeing that book was rewarding and inspiring. I will consult with the teachers going this year, but a requirement for such a book to be produced a few weeks upon return from Ollanta should be somethig we need to consider, not only as a reflecting tool, but as a marketing tool for future trips.
The second day, Cindy and I met for breakfast and we worked for a couple of hours sharing resources and stories. Three things I will follow-up:
1. Attempt to have a phone meeting with the teachers who went to Ollanta last year for Kari and Matt to have some background of how to handle the homestay from the experience the Groton group had last year.
2. Ask student to get the Spanish booklet provided by Cindy and teach that curriculum to the children in Ollanta. The kids from Groton will do the same.
3. Get Cindy to talk to the kids and parents going this year and answer questions at a meeting. Have her explain to the group the value of creating a bilingual picture book of their group adventure trying to preserve Andean culture through economic development through service tourism.