Getting ready for a long international trip can be a huge task in general, but add in creating lesson plans for over two weeks of AP classes leading up to the exam, coordinating ongoing collaborative projects between my students and Senegalese students, collecting resources for the school and students in Senegal, planning what I will teach while I am there, trying to leave things somewhat in order around my house for my wonderful husband is who flying solo with the kids during a busy time... and it has been a busy few days! However, in the midst of all that has been going on, there are many people who have offered to help and who have shared in the excitement of this adventure.
Last week was my last advisory meeting with my group of 10 seniors since they finish with classes before I return. They surprised me with a celebration, complete with food and a cake decorated with the Senegalese flag. I seriously hit the jackpot with this bunch of kind, caring, and remarkable young people. My colleagues and administrators have also volunteered their time and talents to make this trip possible. Two different people are covering my classes, another colleague is watching out for my advisory group, and I am sure that many more will step up tocover the small things that come up during the course of a school day.
My children have been wonderful and are truly excited about my travels. James even chose to read a book about Senegal for his class’s culture unit. A huge thank you goes out to his teacher who picked the book up for him at the public library since the school didn’t have one. Mary Russell left me little notes with sweet messages on them all through my luggage, which I am discovering as this trip begins, and they both surprised me with a special “movie night” together the day before I left. Amidst some unplanned last minute travel changes (more on that later), Jay took my Target list and went shopping for me and then cleaned the house while I packed. I would not be on the plane right now without everyone’s help and generosity. Thank you!