Upon reflection, I realize our group is actually quite prepared. We may all be haphazardly throwing items into a suitcase the night before we leave (I know I will), but we have spent this entire spring semester meeting each week – all 8 students who will be travelling, me, and Dr. del Prado (who will not be travelling with us, but will join us in spirit). We have learned about Chile, developed research projects to complete while there, studied language learning, developed instructional activities to use in our service learning, engaged in a few basic Spanish lessons from Dr. del Prado, and handled program logistics (itineraries, flights, packing lists, safety precautions, paperwork, etc.). It has been a busy semester!
We even had Chilean visitors from our Santiago partner, Universidad Mayor, join us in class for a couple weeks in February. We have all had the opportunity to connect – in person and through e-mail – with faculty and students at UMayor. I know we are all so excited to get a chance to spend more time with our friends in Chile. It will be nice to have warm, welcoming faces awaiting our arrival.
At our last day in class this Monday, I handed out folders with helpful information such as a tentative activity schedule, packing list, and maps of Santiago with key locations marked. We discussed last minute questions and concerns. We made plans for meeting up at the airport. Everything is in order (or as much order as it can be given the many unknowns of this type of travel and learning experience). Checka, checka, checka. Estamos listas!