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Update: April 1, 2020
After nine days in mandatory quarantine on the coast of Peru, our 35th semester successfully made their way back to the United States on Saturday, March 28th. Staying in place inside their hostel grounds and abiding by curfew restrictions, students and teachers made the most of their last days together – they finished midterms, listened to podcasts to learn more about the global pandemic, de-stressed with yoga and meditation and even found time to plan a prom.
I am deeply inspired by the strength and resilience of the teachers and these young women. I doubt it comes as a surprise that these Traveling School women met Peru’s national state of emergency, quarantine and closed borders with open minds, perseverance, joy and grit. Our faculty are powerful role models and our students are strong, budding leaders. They have experienced a global crisis from a unique perspective and learned lifelong lessons during their days on semester, in quarantine and through the repatriation experience.
It took a network of people to help support the return of our students and teachers back to their homes. We cannot overemphasize our appreciation for the efforts made by our TTS35 families, key legislators and their staffers, the Peruvian government and national police, the US State Department and Embassy, The Traveling School Board of Directors and staff.
While the international portion of this semester was cut short, our students and teachers will continue to travel through uncharted territory – as the first Traveling School semester to negotiate online learning. We see this as an opportunity to expand our definition of community and meaningful academics. Teachers are excited to create a new type of educational journey to inspire curiosity and learning with technology. The Traveling School will embrace this challenge to make the rest of the semester an engaging and challenging educational journey.
This pandemic has shown us the power we all have to make a difference in this world – that we can connect rather than isolate; that we must engage and help each other, not only in times of crisis, but always.
While the world faces new challenges, we hold our community close and aim to support one another through the bumps. We encourage each of you to be intentional members of your communities, engaging and offering support to each other will help us all come through this time stronger. Now more than ever, we need the next generation of female leaders to step up and show us how to make positive change.