Today we rose early to travel to Tortuga Bay, a vast, white-sand beach accessed through a string of cactus lined paths. After a hike through the heat, we cooled off in a still water inlet feeding into the Pacific. Miguel and Felipe led us on a kayaking expedition to catch a glimpse of the marine life near the warm water of the coves. Donning our snorkeling gear, we were rewarded with the colorful shapes of several native fish as well as a giant tortoise.
We started our day with packing up camp and leaving Quito. After an hour or so bus ride, full of chatter and music, we ended up back at the Quito airport and went through customs. Finally, the squad boarded the plane and took a two-ish hour flight to the islands. Once we landed and got our passports stamped, we ran off to catch a bus. As we looked out the window it wasn't anything like Quito; it was very vast and dry, stretching for miles without any habitation in site. The bus took us to a ferry where many admired the varying blues of the ocean as we went to Santa Cruz Island.
The mountaineer’s curse: the higher one goes, the higher one wants to go. The high point of our stay in Munsiari was the tip-top of Mt. Khalia, 12,600 feet—by no means the biggest of the Himalayas, but the best of all perches to see them from. Under clear skies, not a breath of wind, the whole snaggle-toothed horizon was ours to take in, from Nanda Devi in the west to towering Nepali peaks in the east. The craggy faces of those inaccessible giants were suddenly right there to dance with, cheek to cheek…if only we had enough breath left to ask them.
Monday morning we arrived in Quito, Ecuador. The city seemed to be dead, no sounds, or people in sight, but then again it was 1 AM in the morning. When we awoke, we were able to see that our assumption of a ghostly city was just that. Though it was only about 8 AM in the morning, the people of the city were lively, and everything around us was colorful.
Over the past two days, Rodrigo, Erika, Anne and I made our ways down the steep hills and through the narrow, busy streets of Bariloche to visit two of our Patagonian partner schools.
We were warmly welcomed on the first morning by administrators and teachers from all three partner schools, showered with greetings, kisses on cheeks, and feasted with pastries and sandwiches. We shared our ideas and dreams, constraints and concerns, in building a shared program. How many students could visit at a time? How much Spanish should Dublin students have had before coming? Could we design exchanges around themes like environmental studies or history? What role should an accompanying teacher play? What courses are most important at Dublin for Argentinian students? Could we also exchange teachers, and if so, for how long? These questions and more launched us into classroom visits.
Mornings begin early at Himalayan Inter College. Mr. Rautella’s whistle cuts through the stillness at exactly 5:00 AM sharp (5:30 on Sundays so students can, you know, “sleep in”). Soon after you can hear evidence of the hostel students sluggishly beginning their morning routine. A door creaks as the younger students head for the bathroom, through the caged enclosure placed around their outdoor corridor to prevent any leopards from entering while they sleep. There is no snooze button in the Himalaya. A second whistle soon after calls the children out to the courtyard where they do their morning exercise routine, a mixture of jogging and stretching, all in the cover of darkness.
That was the question many faculty members were asking us as we frantically worked to finish up comments, grades, faculty contracts, magazines, and mailings before Rodrigo Villaamil, Sarah Doenmez, Anne Mackey, and I boarded a plane to Argentina. We were going to Bariloche Argentina as part of the EE Ford Spanish program to continue building our partnership between Dublin School and three private schools there - Instituto Primo Capraro, Colegio San Patricio, and Woodville in Bono Vince. Twenty-four hours after leaving campus, we found ourselves in morning rush hour traffic in Buenos Aires and two hours after that we were sitting at Cafe Clara in Palermo Soho, Buenos Aires. Sleepy but excited, our ideas and questions surrounding Dublin’s Spanish program flowed freely, and the possibilities these partnerships might offer became more obvious. We knew why we were there.
“If I had to describe myself, it would be as somebody who is changing, more than anything,” says James Bostrup ’21.
Bostrup, a freshman at Dublin School, elaborates, saying, “I’m always working toward something different or something new. Changing describes me totally because I’m able to see so much more of it here at Dublin—I finally have the choice to be this, to have the freedom to change.”
At Dublin, you can send an email to the entire community through the "Commons". Here are some of the interesting posts from the last week.
At precisely 12:17 AM, as I was laying in bed unable to drift into sleep, I had an epiphany: my favorite sheets are clean and ready to be slept in, mere feet from me in my unopened laundry bag. Without a moment's thought, I jumped out of bed, tore my less comforting sheets off of my bed, and tossed them into my laundry basket under the assumption that my clean, soft, soothing sheets were ready be to put on my mattress and slept in. Well, I was WRONG. I am writing to you tonight to sadly announce that my sheets have gone missing, and I have been forced to reapply the less favorable pair. If they somehow wound up in your laundry bag or if you have seen them roaming campus, please reach out to me. It feels as if a little piece of me is missing. They are tan, cotton and of Target's HomeGoods variety.
Please help, you're my only hope.
On Saturdays from as early as January and as late as April, different groups of students and faculty can be found collecting sap, tapping trees, adjusting the lines that run to the sugarbush. STEM classes have tested the maple syrup; one year, during Mind Fest, a class studied the history of maple sugaring; the school has invested in refractometers and hydrometers; many students and faculty members have been involved in the process of creating Dublin School’s maple syrup.
As a part of our expanding Spanish program, Dublin has been working with three schools located in the City of Bariloche, Argentina to create cross-cultural opportunities for our students. We have partnered with three private schools in Bariloche: the Woodville School, Colegio San Patricio, and Instituto Primo Capraro. All three schools have previously created cross-cultural exchanges in Aspen, Colorado and we have modeled our work on this prior experience.
In February, six students (two from each school) and a teacher spent three weeks as part of the Dublin community. They lived life as Dublin students, going to Morning Meeting, attending a full class schedule and participating in sports and evening activities. They brought a lot of life and energy to the Dublin campus and developed lasting friendships throughout the community.
The Dublin contingent has headed north: two queasy stomachs notwithstanding, we caught a 6 a.m. train from Delhi to Kathgodam, passing from agricultural villages on the floodplain of the Ganges to the first line of the Himalayan foothills make their northern wall. Noses were pressed to train windows to watch monkeys climbing over the station telephone wires, but other images were tougher to take: makeshift shelters atop Delhi landfills; women collecting cow dung for fuel and fertilizer; dogs, pigs, and cattle struggling to eke out a living: the hardship of life in these rural places was all too clear.
When the pilot comes on the intercom to say, “We have received word that the airport is now closed,” that’s the moment you know, there’s no turning back. After three hours of cooling our jets on a snowy Boston runway, Qatar Airways flight 578 to Doha somehow miraculously took off, and with it, fifteen Dublin School adventurers bound for India. At this point, time began to scramble. Dinner took place around midnight, somewhere over the Atlantic. Our flight path made a beeline over London, Brussels, Cologne. Some of us slept, others read. Ella Rutledge was watching Thor: Ragnarok for the third time. Then Budapest, Bucharest, Istanbul. Breakfast—or was it lunch? Ella Rutledge is on her fourth straight viewing of Thor: Ragnarok: “Totally worth it,” she says.
Boys' Varsity basketball, marking Dublin's first appearance in the NEPSAC tournament since 2013, traveled to East Greenwich, Rhode Island, on Wednesday for a quarterfinal matchup with Rocky Hill School. Dublin, seeded seventh in Class D, drew a tough opponent in second-seeded Rocky Hill, who controlled the tempo of the game from the opening tip. A trapping full-court press gave the Wildcats fits, forcing turnovers and poor decisions in transition and putting them in an early 16-5 hole from which they never recovered. In particular, the visitors had no answer for Rocky Hill's standout forward Tedrick Wilcox, who scored a game-high 36 points and wreaked havoc on the defensive end.
In their last regular season game in the 2017-2018 Season the Dublin Wildcats traveled up to Tilton, NH to take on the Rams JV team during their senior night. The Wildcats have not played a game since last Friday and it took a little time throughout the first half for them to find their rhythm. Senior Stella Davis started off the game on fire, scoring 18 of her game-high 22 points all in the opening half. Ball movement was clearly a point of emphasis for Dublin, as they tallied 10 assists on their 12 first-half field goals. Clare Fowler found her self on the receiving end of some tremendous Imhoff assists (7 for the game) and knocked down 5 of her 7 shots to tie a season high of 10 points. Senior Seo In Cho tallied 8 points of her own, including 4 of 5 from the foul line throughout the game.
The boys' Varsity basketball team finished out its regular season with a 42-33 defeat of archrival Putney School. Dublin's third consecutive victory gave the Wildcats an overall winning record (9-8, 4-3 RVAL) for the first time in four years.
On Sunday it was announced that the team had earned a berth in the New England Class D Tournament. This will be Dublin's first appearance in the post-season NEPSAC tourney in five years, a terrific accomplishment. As the #7 seed, Dublin will face #2 Rocky Hill in East Greenwich, Rhode Island. Tip-off time on Wednesday, February 28, is 6 pm.
Friday Night the Dublin Varsity B team, in their final game of the year, got the chance to end their season on a high note. Having only played a handful of games this season, the girls have done a wonderful job of forming their identity through hard work and resiliency. High Mowing proved to be a very challenging opponent, taking a seven-point lead into halftime while limiting Dublin to just seven first-half points. Throughout the first half High Mowing relied on starter #14 Kera D who scored a team-high seven points all in the first half. Dublin having a difficult time finding their offensive rhythm relied heavily on their defense to keep the game close. Sam Pfeffer and Olivia Klien both showed amazing toughness on the defensive end and helped spark an exciting run to close out the half. Then with just under a minute to go, with Dublin trailing by 11 points, they received a much-needed spark before halftime as junior Tayiana Dunkers scored a layup. Then second later, teammate Hannah Spindler made a shot of her own at the buzzer cutting the High Mowing lead to just seven points.
Facing a must-win game, Dublin boys' Varsity basketball drove into New York State to take on the Hoosac School on Wednesday night. The visitors needed a win just to keep their end-of-year NEPSAC championship hopes alive, and the odds looked stacked against them. Hoosac, a former two-time Class D NEPSAC champion, was a strong opponent playing on their home court, and co-captain Wyatt Switzer '19 (Marlborough, NH) was forced to leave the game early in the first half after taking a charge and sustaining a mild concussion. But the Wildcats picked up the slack, winning the first half on the strength of seven three-pointers and some strong defensive efforts from Fabryce Joseph '18 (Easton, PA) and James Wolpe '19 (Dublin, NH).
The second half was nip-and-tuck the entire way, with Dublin leading the whole way, but never by more than a few points. Crucial defensive plays in the final two minutes and four clutch free throws by Nate Gryczka '20 (Keene, NH) pushed the lead to five, and Hoosac's buzzer-beating three-pointer was inconsequential, as the Wildcats pulled off the upset, 56-54.