Monday, March 26, 2012

Preparaciones finales

Arial view of Panama City, Panama, Central America
You may be wondering what we are doing to get ready for our trip.  Let me reassure you that we are doing A LOT.  In addition to acquiring passports and plane tickets we are also getting ready for a full-immersion learning environment.  Since we will be visiting Panamá as travellers, and not tourist, we will be fully immerged in all things Panamanian and that takes some training. 

There are 3 components to this trip that make it unique and meaningful.  One, students will be living with host families, two students per household.  They will be served, breakfast and dinner by their non-English speaking families and are expected to spend time with them to learn about their new environment.  Two, half of the students' day will be dedicated to learning the Spanish language in small group classes every morning.  Finally the third component is volunteering with Panamanian children at our community service site, Casa Esperanza.  The newly Global B.E.S.T. Boys and I will walk to school every morning and will take public transportation to and from Casa Esperanza.

Colorful Public Transportation Bus in Panama City, Panama

In order to prepare them for 10 days of full force full-immersion I conducted a culture course and administered the following quiz:  Are you ready for Panamá?  Take the quiz and check to see how well you did.

What to pack and what travel shots are needed are also an important topics.  I provided students and parents with the following document: What to bring to Panamá?  What shots to get? 

Tomorrow is our last parent meeting before our trip on Thursday.  Parents and students will be given phone numbers and addresses for their children's homestay.  We will finalize our meet-up time at Atlanta's Hartsfield-Jaskcon International Airport and I will answer last minute questions.  This trip will be the first of many for my B.E.S.T. Boys and we will make it a life-changing and fun learning-experience!

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