Saludos de Boulder,
Preparing to write this letter my mind has been drawn back time and time again to a morning in Guatemala nine years ago. While on a road trip with some friends I was focusing hard on the road, fighting to stay awake as my friends and I had left our hotel before dawn. Driving on twisting mountain roads is always a challenge, but Guatemalan potholes require extra diligence. Suddenly we rounded a corner and one of the most beautiful vistas I have ever seen was spread out below us. The morning mist had settled into the valley far below our road, and it was flowing like a slow river with the green jungle rising on either side like moss on a river bank. The sunrise over the mountains tinted the stream of clouds rose and gold. My friends and I took dozens of photos, none of which captured the glory of the sight.
Why have I bothered to write this anecdote for you? Since that morning I have travelled far and wide, and every trip has its own magical moments. I am looking forward to our course this summer and finding out what our unexpected shared joys will be. My friends and I had planned some amazing events for that trip I described a moment ago, but this one vista I described was far more spectacular than anything else we saw on the trip. This anecdote is also a reminder to me that while some things can be experienced again through media, sometimes the most vivid moments in travel live on in nothing more than our memories. We can’t capture every bit of beauty in this world on Instagram.
So, a quick introduction to who I am. While I was born and raised in Spokane, WA I have not lived there since I was 18 years old. I am a high school English and history teacher, but I spent 10 years teaching at schools outside the US that run the International Baccalaureate program. My first four years were spent in Honduras, where I learned Spanish and had the opportunity to go on many trips like the one I just described to you. Then I spent six years in Hong Kong, which still feels like home in many ways. Now I am living in Boulder, CO. My school here keeps me busy while I am continuing my own studies. While this will be my first course as an instructor for Where There Be Dragons, I have led numerous international student trips for the schools I have worked for. I love teaching in the classroom, but I love experiencing the world with students more. I am elated to be meeting you all soon, and look forward to returning to Guatemala to explore it with you.
Parker, Jochen and I are working hard getting ready for the course. Please keep track of updates on the Yak Board and introduce yourselves as soon as you are ready. Please feel free to reach out and ask direct questions of me through my personal email if anything comes up that you don’t want to ask publicly on the Yak Board. Trust me, you will be glad you asked 🙂
In the meantime, here are a couple of photos to help you get to know me. The first is of me on the Great Wall of China a few weeks ago, when I was there with a student group from my school in Boulder. The other is a photo of my travel partner Spooky (who will join us this summer) in Tikal.
Esperando saber de ti,