Dear friends and family,
After a wonderful 10 weeks traveling the length of the great Colorado River, our semester has parted ways at the airport in Phoenix.
These ten weeks together have been a powerful time for all of us. As you prepare to welcome returning students, we ask for your patience and understanding as they work through the immediate challenge of travel fatigue and the slower process of reintegrating, especially in this chaotic time for our world. We often like to talk about reintegration as similar to a splash landing—there’s an initial, disorienting wave when you land abruptly in a new space with new routines but without the people who have come to feel like family. Then, there is the longer term challenges of integrating our new learning, shifts in values, and shifts in perspective. We’ve talked over the past few days about how to stay on our feet while the initial waves settle so that we are grounded, calm, and oriented enough to address that integration in an intentional way.
We hope that in the days following your student’s arrival, you can slowly find the time to ask them about their variety of experiences and their perspectives on the world gained from the places where we have immersed ourselves. Our group thrived in asking the big questions: probing into why the world is the way it is, about economics and government, about the water and food we are made of, about how we build happy lives and happy communities, and about where our world is going and our personal role in it, both through our personal actions and through larger, systemic actions. Most importantly, every student on this course developed a deep connection with the land: our common Mother Earth.
Each of your students carries with them a plan they wrote for themselves for their immediate shift in environment, and also their goals for the next weeks and months. We encourage you to use these plans as a touchstone to connect to you student’s experience. We know that they will appreciate your help and support as they move forward in the effort of integrating their learning into a life that encompasses both new and old interests, perspectives, values, and ways of being.
With love and care,
The Colorado River Basin Semester instructors:
Keshet, Emily, and Jeff