When Work, Travel, and Study Intersect

Two weeks ago, I was lucky enough to find myself chaperoning 13 high school students as they learned about sustainable agriculture, rainforest biodiversity, and cultural diversity in Costa Rica. A very sweet gig. Together we visited organic farms, one of which was in the highlands above the cloud forest. Cows were milked, chickens and trout were fed, cassava, cilantro were picked. We chased capuchin monkeys off our beach side picnic while listening to howler monkeys. Saw vipers in the field, and sloths abound. And then there was the day of community service – painting, pouring cement, hanging eves troughs at an elementary school in the tropical heat and humidity. Hikes in the uniquely exquisite paramo forest, and a day doing rainforest biodiversity experiments. Making chocolate from seed pod to chocolate bars and hot chocolate – nectar of the Gods, indeed. An exquisite trip. And on the bus, or late at night after my students went to bed – there I was, completing course work. My partners and I completed a group project, and I submitted reading responses. Not to mention skyping in to classes (to be honest, part of the skyping in was to show off the views). A crazy blending of education – mine and my 13 students. This trip is the apex of my teaching career, transforming participants, hopefully shaping their world view that will be a part of their core identity as they develop into informed global citizens.

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Banner Image by Heather McPherson

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