Today, we headed for the O'Hare Airport bright and early in the morning... at 2 AM. While most teenagers would still be up playing video games or watching Netflix, these rock stars were up with a positive attitude and a smile on their faces ready for the adventure of the day.
After a sleepy flight, we arrived in Miami with 2 goals. The students searched for food, while Mr. Molfino and I (Ms. Sato) searched for 3 student's bags. These bags were checked in at O'Hare yesterday and the airlines sent them, but not us, to Miami last night. Not good. (Do not worry, these 3 resilient students were able to go on a shopping spree at Target last night). In Miami, a very helpful airlines employee located these bags (YES!) in their storage area and took me there to retrieve them. The bags and their owners were reunited and we then divided into 3 travel groups.
Mr. Walker's group arrived first in Quito after a long (5 hour!) layover in Miami. The students were awesome, finding activities to keep them busy. From Heads Up to Uno, there was some fierce competition at gate E30.
Mr. Molfino's group had the opportunity to go to 1 more country than the rest of us! They traveled from Miami to PANAMA then on to Quito. These world travelers have another stamp on their passport, and the rest of us are jealous.
Mr. Koester, Ms. Schuld & I took the largest group that had the longest (8 hour!) layover in Miami to visit Ms. Schuld's alma-mater, The University of Miami. Education First supported us in offering this college tour for our students. Ms. Schuld took us on a private tour of the U, showing us their School of Architecture, freshman dorms, the union, and Lake Osceola. We then ate lunch at the union like a normal college student would! Josh, Rohit, Adam and Gabe were on the constant look out for DJ Khaled and Pitbull. Unfortunately, these gentleman were not spotted :(.
I have been consistently impressed by every single student on this trip. They have been patient, kind, happy, and respectful even though there have been some unavoidable circumstance. Additionally, all of these students are now pros at going through security efficiently!
*Note: Wifi in the Galapagos will be spotty. If you do not see a blog post, do not be alarmed. No news is good news! Photos are coming soon!
Today was interesting to say the least. After many goodbye hugs and tears we left Reagan at 6 AM without a hitch. We made great time and arrived at O'Hare with plenty of time to spare. Check in and security were a breeze, as was boarding the plane.
Unfortunately, our flight was held up right before takeoff, due to a mechanical issue. We unboarded the plane and eventually were told that our flight was cancelled. That's when our wonderful team of students and chaperones sprang into action. Ms. Schuld, Ms. Sato, and Mr. Molfino immediately started working with our tour agency and any available airlines to book the next available flight. Mr. Koester and myself stayed with the students and were blown away by their patience and positivity. The group stayed entertained and positive throughout the rebooking process. Their paitience rewarded with food vouchers, authentic Chicago deep dish pizza, and most importantly flights booked for early Thursday morning.
Thanks to everyone for their display of extreme patience and self-control in the face of less than ideal circumstances. The team is looking forward to recharging tonight and making it into Quito tomorrow!
By: Shalen T.
By: Sam M.
I am looking forward to going to the Galapagos Islands because I want to meet new people and learn about people's culture. Ever since my world history teacher freshman year taught about Charles Darwin and his theory of evolution I have been interested in it. So the opportunity to go to the islands where he made discoveries and researched was a dream of mine. When the school announced that they were going to the Galapagos Islands, a place that many people dream about going to but never have the chance, I knew that I had to go. I also like to go camping and to just go into nature and view its beauty and having the chance to go a place that has not been touched by humans seems so awesome. I will be able to see things that have not changed since the beginning of time.
By: Gabriel H.
By: Gabriella V.
By: Josie S.
This June, 35 Reagan students will be traveling to the Galapagos Islands. I am one of the lucky students that have been provided with this wonderful traveling experience! I’m very excited to be going to the Galapagos. I really enjoy traveling and I like to experience new things. Something that intrigued me about this trip is that I have never been out of the country. I’ve only traveled to a few states in the U.S. While in the Galapagos I hope to experience the culture there and I’d like to see wildlife. I'm super excited and I can't wait to go!
By: Kiley L.
I was really intrigued when I first heard about this trip because I really love biology and when I heard about it I instantly thought of Charles Darwin. For the past two years I have been really fascinated with the study of evolution. I thought it would be really amazing to go to the island where natural selection was first thought upon and where darwin stumbled across on his way to England. I am also really excited to be traveling outside of the Country. Especially to Ecuador as it is the smallest country in South America and it is basically in the “middle of the world.” I am very excited to be a part of this trip and I can’t wait to see a new part of the world.