Thursday, December 4, 2014

Heartfelt thank yous!

Dear Friends and Family of TTS24,

The teacher team wishes to thank you. Below is a note from each fantastic role model.

To all those who care about these particular young women...

As Academic Program Director and returning TTS teacher, it is difficult to enter a semester without preconceived notions. Yet the ladies of TTS24 continued to amaze me with their maturity and respect for one another. Their curiosity never ended, so neither did their questions. Each one not only pushed themselves physically over the past four months, but grappled with something much more internal, shifting perspectives. Thank you for the role you played in getting them to be a part of The Traveling School. They are fierce, witty, compassionate, and hilarious. I grew alongside them, and loved each moment as their teacher, friend, nurse, big sister, and mentor. It was an honor to watch each student work hard academically not only to please the teachers, but to set new standards for themselves, redefining their understanding of education. It was also an honor to be the one to listen to their fears and deep thoughts.

Adventure is a path. Real adventure - self-determined, self-motivated, often risky - forces you to have firsthand encounters with the world. The world the way it is, not the way you imagine it. Your body will collide with the earth and you will bear witness. In this way you will be compelled to grapple with the limitless kindness and bottomless cruelty of humankind - and perhaps realize that you yourself are capable of both. This will change you. Nothing will ever again be black-and-white.
                                                                                                                -Mark Jenkins

With gratitude,

Greetings parental figures and other supportive life figures,

I am particularly thankful this holiday season for the supportive family I have found at TTS.  At the beginning of the semester, I emphasized that I am drawn to teaching because of a strong attachment to learning.  Together with your daughters, I have amplified and reconstructed my perceptions of this world.  Via interactions with these young women, I have fueled my dedication to creating meaningful and positive change through education.  Thank you for encouraging them to join us: these last four months wouldn't have been as incredible with even one person missing. It has truly been an honor to share in this experience with 20 talented, intelligent women - this semester has been nothing short of magic. 

My gratitude extends to the other teachers on the team: each of you played an important role in making the semester smooth, safe, and enjoyable.  I am grateful for the doses of sanity and relaxation we have shared at crucial moments.  I know you will all continue to inspire and teach in new and beautiful ways as you follow your paths.  Another network that has anchored our semester is the home office staff - thank you for letting me wake you up in the middle of the night, for asking the right questions, for your trust, and for your patient and diplomatic replies to my late blog entries.

I count myself lucky to have family, friends, and loved ones that are willing to support me in my work and travels. Thank you for your patience with my long bouts of no communication followed by ten word emails, for your thoughtful encouragement, and for the unconditional love I can look forward to when I get home.

Lastly, to the students of TTS24, you have each touched me in ways I will start to comprehend soon.  Thank you for taking ownership of your semester, for treating each other with respect and love, and for singing the science theme song every time.

All the best,
Logistics Program Director

To the family and friends of TTS24,

Zikomo. Majita. Siyabonga. Thank you!

Thanks for your trust. I can only imagine what it feels like to wave your teenager goodbye for a semester, not to mention a semester far away in southern Africa. You trusted us with her physical, emotional, and personal well-being as well as her academic progress at a key time in high school. You trusted us to extend her comfort zone while keeping her safe. We appreciated this every day; it is not something we took for granted.

Thanks for your support. We could not have had the amazing adventure we've had without our loving friends and family cheering us on from the other side of the ocean. It is hard for us to be away from you, and it must be even harder for you to wait patiently for the next phone call or blog post. The girls looked forward to sharing their stories over phone calls, and these check-ins gave them strength to stay present in the challenges and beauty of the semester.

Thanks for making this experience possible. I am so grateful for your daughters. They are a very special group of intelligent, strong young women. They consistently impressed me with their kindness, hard work, and thoughtfulness about each other and the world.

Try to have patience with us as we return and adjust to our home communities. We have grown and changed - and we can't wait to share everything with y'all. See you soon!

Mary Reid

Dear family, friends, and fans of the Traveling School,

It's been a wonderful adventure and I'm sad to say goodbye to the beautiful family that I've been a part of the past four months. I'm incredibly thankful for the opportunity to serve as a member of the TTS24 community and it would not have been the same without the sixteen young women, four wonderful colleagues, a driver, a cook, an amazing Bozeman office team, and the parents.

In particular I would like to thank the parents for raising such mature, responsible, and supportive young women before they even joined our program. The sixteen individuals entrusted to our teacher team have been a joy to live, learn, and travel the globe with because of the values you instilled in them long before applying to The Traveling School.  I'm so grateful for the love and support they've given to each other and the sense of community they created early in the semester, and I commend all of you for being wonderful role models to aspire to. While I know you have been missing your daughters over the past few months, your kindness, understanding, love, and trust is what helped carry us all to the end of the semester. You've raised intelligent, caring, generous, and brave young women, and I thank you for the opportunity for introducing them in my life.

No matter where our travels may take us in the future, I will be forever grateful of the moments shared with my TTS24 family. The learning exchanged between students and teachers, is more than I could have ever hoped for, and I appreciate everyone's contributions and generosity along the way!

Sala Kakuhle,


To the family and friends of the TTS 24 tough cookies,

It's near impossible to express my gratitude and appreciation within a simple email to all of you who have trusted us throughout this grand adventure. We would not have learned or grown as much as we did without your undying support. Although my time with our TTS family was shortened, I am grateful for the time I had with these open-minded, considerate and strong young women. They taught me a plethora of ideas, kindness and generosity, and every Disney song that's worth knowing. And for that I am grateful. Thank you for allowing these creative young women to explore a new continent and new paradigms with us. I can not wait to see where these women will go next. They are unstoppable with the community and support you have given them. 


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