NOLA; Bolivia; Kenya; Nepal: Mission Driven

Dear Parents,

Positive news is reported daily from each of our trips, reminding me to comment on our trip leader training. Not only do our returning leaders have over ten years combined experience with SStS, their direct experience with students in experiential learning, including international travel, extends well beyond that amount. This background informs SStS’s trip leader training program, a three-day-two-night retreat. Twelve hour training session each day include topics in risk management, group dynamics, SStS’s Five Lens Curriculum, and program mission. The training is intense, thorough, and specific to our sites, often driven by “potential issues” from our recent past. Although we have some trips still in-country, I hope that you will take a moment to thank each leader as the groups return.

Quick Updates:
NOLA – returned on Saturday with reports from Kelly and Nicole of many successes.
Bolivia – I heard from Slade last night via Satellite phone: all is well; project is going as planned; they will be sending blogs by Thursday/Friday.
Nepal – I spoke with Joely this morning and received an email from Ryan yesterday; after a goodbye (always tough) to their host families they have started their trek back toward Kathmandu.
Kenya – I spoke with Mike today; they will be blogging Wed/Thurs (always power dependent); all is on schedule and positive.

Instead of repeating the following refrain for each trip, I am delighted to report that all trip leaders emphasize the quality of their group, using adjectives such as positive, thoughtful, curious, respectful, amicable, and hard-working.
Another motif: they are making (“did make” for NOLA) important progress within their projects; and all of them assume responsibility for advancing the work – and mission – of their partner NGO.

We can all look forward to reading blogs from trip leaders – including NOLA’s – and students within the next few days.

Bob Bandoni
Executive Director

Please reflect in the space below: