Our posts have been mostly reflective, describing what we have done, where we have been, telling the stories, etc. So, I thought to write a post that is looking forward to what is planned in the future. This is to answer the rational person’s question: “where the hell are they going next?” So, for a rational question, I provide a mostly rational response:
Our awareness is divided into primarily where we are now, what is going to happen today, and our long term plans (3-6 weeks out and 3-6 months out). The blog has been such a valuable tool to force us to reflect and write about what has happened, what we experienced – a cornerstone of experiential education – yup, I am an outdoor education nerd. It is great for our audience, but it is extremely important for us. Otherwise, the past is gone and we forget the stories. We have photographs but they frequently lose their storytelling power. So, the post is about looking forward and what’s in the hopper.
In the immediate future, like tomorrow morning at 6:00 AM, we begin a five-day trek on the Inca Trail to Macchu Picchu. We are excited and it shows with how much we are resting, sleeping, getting sick and recovering and zoning-out on reading, games, and planning the next few months of our trip. On Thursday we return from the Inca Trail. Our guide, Edwin, met us tonight and we are in-for-it. A native of the Sacred Valley, fluent in Qechua, Spanish and English – we have much to learn from him, the landscape and the next five days of challenges.
What, I think, we are all really looking forward to is seeing family – familiar voices, hugs and love. A few days after our trek, we fly to Buenos Aires to be with family. All of us can’t wait for this reunion. On December 2, we fly to El Calafete, Argentina in S. Patagonia where we will be until December 23. During this period we will head into Chile to trek the W route in Torres de Paine National Park for 8 days.
We are self-supported so we asked family to schlepp our backpacking gear to BA for us from the states. We hope Chilean immigration allows us to keep our freeze-dried food. We have heard that they may confiscate food coming into Chile. We’ll see. The kids have their own packs but we will keep it all as light as possible. Our plan is to stay in each of our four campsites two nights as to minimize moving camp too many times. Puerto Natales is our town before and after the trek. Soon after, around the 11th of December, we head to El Chalten, at the base of the Fitz Roy range. Here we have an apartment for over a week as this range is ideal for day hikes and a possible overnight trek to a refugio. While here, we will go to the Perito Moreno Glacier and get up close, or not so close to witness it calving. We fly back to BA for Christmas.
In January we will be in El Bolson, Argentina – a town further north in Patagonia than the December trip. We join family for two weeks in this town. It is just south of Bariloche. We fly out of BA on January 23 for Kilimanjaro via Istanbul – we actually get some time in Istanbul to break up the long flight to East Africa. Deb’s brother, Rick, and his family join us for a month in Africa. After a week in Tanzania, the eight of us drive camper trucks from Livingstone, Zambia through the Caprivi Strip to Windehoek, Namibia.
My father arrives in early March in Nairobi and we join him for time Kenya. It will be mid-March when we are faced with some non-planned time – time we are busily planning as I write this. It is looking like we will stay a month in Cape Town, South Africa. Deb and I have friends there and we are looking for a place to relax, stay put, speak English, learn more kitesurfing skills, drive the Garden Route, focus on math, reading, writing, etc. By mid-April, if it’s safe, we are looking at time in Jordan (Petra,Wadi Rum Desert), Jerusalem and Turkey before we head back to the US for the summer for important annual reunion with family, our dog, our trailer and some US road tripping.
All along the way, the planning process has integrated a number of aspects – but most importantly is the balance of challenge and success for the children. Just as Deb and I managed the challenge/success of many outdoor education groups in our past work, we use much of the same questions: how are the kids doing? is this too much? what do they/we need? right now they need iPad time? mom and dad need a bottle of wine? we need us and them bathrooms?
A thought for the next post: When Waldorf/Montessori children are given ample time in an Incan grain-storage ruin, what will they do with this opportunity? It’s wired to the reset button I’ll be writing about soon.