International Travel at Dublin
Reports from Recent Trips
Frutillar, Chilean Patagonia
Today was a bitter sweet day... after 12 days in Peru where we have been on the beach, in the mountains and a little bit in the jungle, our time here has ended. We have been able to go back in time with the Incas and learn about their history and culture, we have met incredible people, tasted delicious food and listened to the Andenian music.
Our time here helped us not only to improve our Spanish but to helped us immerse ourselves in a new culture full of colors and contrasts.
Today was our first full day in Ollantaytambo. Our morning was spent
working with students of the local school on a service project. It was an
amazing experience being able to give back to the community and create a
bond with the children there.
Today has been another incredible day.
The archeological site was amazing, it is unbelievable that the Inkas were ahead of time in so many ways, specially with architecture. We learned a lot about that in Saqsaywaman. Saqsaywaman is a citadel on the northern outskirts of the city of Cusco, Peru, the historic capital of the Inca Empire.
Today we woke up with a lot of energy and very eager to learn about Peru.
We had an Incredible breakfast at the hotel and after that, we did a food tour at a local market and learn about other types of vegetables and fruits that we didn't even know exist, And try them all.
Following our tasting of new fruits, we visited Chef Luciano we prepared some delicious Ceviche. And we all loved it. In the afternoon, we had lunch in Francesco Restaurant where we had the opportunity to cook our own Ceviche and Causa with what we bought at the local market and with the guidance of chef Jair.
Dublin School will be sponsoring two trips for students this year. As a part of the Spanish language initiative, they will be focussed on Spanish speaking countries and cultures.
The first trip, to be offered during the March break, will be a twelve day trip to Peru. Students will visit Lima and then travel on to the Andes and the countryside of the Incan Empire: visiting Cusco (the Incan Capital), the Sacred Valley, Ollantaytambo, Aguas Calientes and the world famous Machu Picchu at dawn. The second trip, to be offered during June, will be a fifteen day trip to Spain. Destinations include Madrid, Granada, Corduba, and Sevilla.
The Incredible Journey
For the past twenty days we have been on a quest. Initially, this trip was about being briefly immersed into a different culture, resuming the relationships established by previous trips and creating a shared experience between a small, but representative, group from the Dublin School community. We certainly accomplished these tasks while also establishing new expectations and views of ourselves and those around us. Not surprising given that we were halfway around the world in a place defined so deeply by religious, cultural and historic roots. Each of us came on this adventure for separate reasons and with different goals, but we all return home with new ideas and an increased appreciation for what makes us human.
We are currently in a swanky hotel in Nanital. We left Munsiari yesterday morning after some hugs and best wishes from our home stay Moms. We stopped for lunch at the HIC in Chaukori to catch up with "old" friends. There were more tears, hugs and pictures and we made our way to Baijnath. There we found a Hindu temple dating from the 10th century. We happened to be there for their evening prayer ritual at sundown and were invited to participate.
Members of a Global Community
We have spent these last couple of days in Munsiari with a mix of classroom and hands-on activities. Monday opened with a discussion with Malika about the human relationship with nature, specifically animals. We looked at the different ways humans use and interact with our fellow members of the animal kingdom. The question was raised regarding any actual or perceived differences between domesticated and wild animals. Are the roles and purposes of animals in the human experience a necessary or merely justified relationship? There were some contemplative thoughts and ideas exchanged, and many of us reflected on our own perspectives and experiences.
Because It's There
As we began stirring on our last morning in Chaukori we received notice that our plans in Munsiari were to change slightly. Weather forecasts were calling for thunderstorms and precipitation on the scheduled days of our trek so we would be heading out a day earlier. This meant we would need to pack up and leave the HIC ahead of our original schedule. No problem, time is a relative concept in India. Our bags were loaded onto two jeep style vehicles. We took many pictures with our new friends, shared hugs and even shed some tears. We took consolation in the idea that we will try to stop for lunch at HIC on our way back through town after our time in Munsiari.
On Wednesday we got ourselves out of bed once again and made the short trek to what has now affectionately been named ‘Sunspot.’ While the mountains in view of our own Sunspot in Dublin may not be as grand, the meaningfulness of both places holds a place in our hearts. We soaked in the sights and sounds for a bit and then as we found contentment began to individually head back to the school.
We woke on our first full day to meet for tea and then headed out on a venture to see the sunrise. It was a bit cloudy, but after a short hike we did find the sun. The high peaks remained shrouded by clouds but we took advantage of the warm and dry morning for a walk around the property bordering the school and a quick jaunt through the village. A handful of HIC students joined us and shared what they knew about the area. We returned to warm water having been prepared for bathing and then sat for breakfast. The food thus far has been excellent with a mix of flat breads, fresh fruit, vegetables from the garden and traditional home cooked Indian fare. No one is going hungry as the food is seemingly in endless supply as our hosts want nothing less than to make sure we are all over full at each meal.
Our first experience of India is that at 2am local time Delhi Airport is a busy place. Not overwhelmingly, but still much more than one might expect for being an ungodly hour that no human should be awake for. Nonetheless, the procedure through immigration, the baggage claim and currency exchange was virtually stress free and we moved off to meet our drivers. We boarded the mini bus as our bags were stuffed into the back and thrown on top. No tie downs? No worries there will be a car following us in case anything falls off.
The Dublin School's Ancient Rome in Modern Europe trip arrived in France yesterday. Today we explored Arles and visited the sites and witnessed the light that inspired Van Gogh. The students loved the Roman Amphitheater and the Museum of Ancient Arles (lots of Roman artifacts, including a wooden Roman barge salvaged from the bottom of the Rhone River). We had an epic grocery shopping experience on the way home. Leah, Hannah, Somali and Matt prepared a delicious pasta dinner.
When we create an international travel experience, our goal is to provide Dublin students with immersive and authentic language and cultural learning experiences in a setting that will inspire, challenge, and enrich them as citizens of the world. We aspire to avoid the tourist model. Instead, we want our students to connect with culturally different communities that will challenge their thinking and allow them to understand the culture that they live in with new eyes. We want students to not only be enriched by the experience but to increase their curiosity on their return. Fundamentally, we want travel to be a window on the realities and possibilities of the world.
We have found that local integration and acceptance happens most naturally when students go somewhere with some larger purpose than simply to visit and sightsee. We will be sponsoring future travel to local communities coupled with a combination of athletics, the arts, science, and education. Our travel will increasingly be aligned with either our groundbreaking EE Ford Foundation sponsored Spanish immersion program or our PRISM science program.
What does that mean? It means our Nordic and Alpine ski teams training and living in Patagonia with the Club Andino Bariloche in Bariloche, Argentina or our dancers collaborating with the Teatro Del Lago in Frutillar, Chile. It means science students monitoring environmental change in Chaukori India with students from the Himalaya Inter College. It means science research trips in places where only Spanish is spoken. It means using sports, the arts and science to break down cultural barriers.
Planned trips 2017/18
- Himalayan India
- Bariloche, Argentina
Planned trips 2018/19
- Spanish immersion science trip
- Bariloche, Argentina