Preparing to write this letter my mind has been drawn back time and time again to a morning in Guatemala ten years ago. While on a road trip with some friends I was focusing hard on my driving, 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 unexpected vista I described was far more spectacular than anything else we experienced. 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. Currently I am a high school English and history teacher, and I am living/working in Boulder, CO. Before moving to Boulder two years ago I spent 10 years teaching at International Baccalaureate schools outside the US. My first four years were spent in Honduras, where I learned Spanish and had the opportunity to go on many trips in Central America that were much like the one I just described to you. Then I spent six years in Hong Kong, which still feels like home in many ways. My school here in Boulder keeps me busy while I am continuing my own studies, as I am currently working on an EdD at The University of Bath. This will be my second course as an instructor for Where There Be Dragons, and in addition to that I have led numerous 1-2 week long international student trips for the schools where I have worked. While I love teaching in the classroom, I love experiencing the world on trips with students more. I love it so much that experiential education is the focus of my EdD studies.
I am elated to be meeting you all soon, and look forward to returning to Guatemala to explore it with you. Nicte, Jochen and I are working hard getting ready for the course and we are really looking forward to working together again. The three of us led an amazing course together in Guatemala last summer and I am excited to make this one even better! 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 🙂
Esperando saber de ti,
PS- I have included a photo of me, modeling the depth of the snow on a powder day before hitting the slopes this winter. The rest are all snapshots from Guatemala during the course last summer.