Monday, November 27, 2017

Opportunity of a Lifetime



Back in September, while we were on vacation driving from Nashville to Memphis, Bec excitedly texted:

Bec had just sat down for her first class of the new trimester and had just received her class assignment.  These were three countries to not only learn something about, but to visit!  I think Debbie and I screamed in the car when Debbie read this to me – this was the “class field trip” of a lifetime.

Let me take a step back – Bec is in college studying Travel – Tourism and Hospitality Management.  She has reach the point in her curriculum where she is taking a course on Tour Management Operations.  You know that you need to walk the walk, before you can talk the talk.  So, the cornerstone of the class is a Familiarization (FAM) Tour — where you learn the first day of class what country, or countries, you are going visit, to experience the components of traveling and spend a day leading the class in discussions related to their experience.

OMG – Bec is going to Africa!!!  We screamed again in the car! 

The beginning of November, it was a few days before the trip and Bec, who is usually reserved, was extremely excited.  She wrote out her exciting itinerary, which included visiting Nelson Mandela’s house, going on a Safari, visiting Victoria Falls and white water rafting down the Zambezi River.  I screamed again and posted the trip on my wall at work.  Our little girl was going off on a unique trip.  While they were focused on the trip, they were not heading off to the calmest part of the world.  While in Zimbabwe, a lady from New Jersey was incarcerated for tweeting something negative about the president Robert Mugabe.  After the group returned, a quiet coup happened in Harare, the capital of Zimbabwe, where they had traveled through, ending Mugabe’s 30+ year reign where poverty became the norm as he held the majority of the country’s money.  “Toto, we are not in Kansas anymore…”  We screamed again…and a valuable lesson was learned about how we take for granted the freedoms we get to enjoy here. The students were made aware of the situation and understood how to act when visiting another nation.

OK, I would be remiss if I did not share the highlights, which Bec held close to the vest until she showed us a video presentation of her trip, through her pictures, on Thanksgiving.  We were thankful for her to have this opportunity and thankful she is back safely with having had a wonderful experience!
Safari in Botswana

Soweto and Nelson Mandela's House

White Water Rafting - That's Bec's foot as they flipped!

Victoria Falls