The beginning of summer here could not be much better - sunny, cool, slight breeze - and the beginning of winter in Colorado could not be much worse! Rachel and Jonathan were scheduled to leave Denver this morning, headed for Miami and then on to Buenos Aires, arriving early on Friday morning. Well, that didn't happen! On Wednesday morning, it became clear that the winter storm warnings were accurate, and that the blizzard was on its way. The airlines at Denver International Airport started to announce mass cancellations in the morning, and a complete shutdown was inevitable. Rachel and Jonathan worked diligently on alternatives - drive to Las Vegas to catch a flight to Miami - too much snow in the Colorado and Utah mountains; head south and then east to Dallas/Fort Worth airport - Colorado Highway Patrol closes Interstate 25 from Denver to the New Mexico border. They had to settle for rescheduling for the coming weekend, arriving in Buenos Aires on Monday morning, Christmas Day. And, although it is very disappointing that they will not be arriving tomorrow morning, it is good that they have secured alternate travel plans leaving from and returning to Denver. We will miss the bistro dinner tomorrow night at Maru, but we will no doubt make up for lost time when they arrive! And to all you blog-readers: Feliz Navidad, año nuevo próspero, bendiciones y buena salud
Monday, December 11, 2006
In whirlwind fashion, finals were completed, stacks of term papers were graded, the final banquet was enjoyed, and the students scattered hither and yon. Rhonda was a great helper as we carefully graded 30 ten page essays, twelve by the students in human genetics and eighteen by the students in science and religion - interesting reading, but none escaped the reviewers' sharp pencils! Finals ended on Wednesday afternoon, and the Banquet was Wednesday evening. There was a grand buffet, tango demonstrations by the students who have been taking lessons all semester, singing, awards and recognition, videos by Joe and Skip [check out the link below], and an audiovisual recap of the jam-packed fall semester. Goodbyes were exchanged, especially with those few students who will not be coming back for the spring semester. After a Thursday afternoon asado, the Casa quickly emptied as the students headed back to the states, or to Peru and Chile, or to . . . . .
Scott & Joe
Britney, Brittany, Britney & Brittany
Joe & Skip
Saturday, December 02, 2006
It really is hard to believe that the semester of classes is now over. Rather than closing down the Casa from midnight until seven, we are keeping the Casa open straight through the weekend as the students prepare for their final exams and complete term papers. There was academic action all night long, with at least five students crashed at various places around the Casa when Rhonda and I made our "rounds" this morning. This last week of classes was not all about school however. The final Wednesday night group dinner was a sushi and stir-fry fest; Thursday was Step Forward Day - a Pepperdine University tradition of a day of service by the students, faculty and staff to the local community; and Friday afternoon we had a lovely tea and snacks with Glen and Gloria Holden. Glen is a former Ambassador to Jamaica, and a polo enthusiast; hence their annual visits to Argentina for the beginning of the polo season. As some of you know, the Holdens are the benefactors of Casa Holden. As I am typing this entry, I note that some students are needing a break from their studies and are heading out to bowl "just two games!" It is six o'clock now, and the bowling should wind up by seven, which gives the students plenty of time for a bit more studying before their 9 pm dinner time with their host families. Most will be back at the Casa by 10, order some more food by midnight, and hit their stride at about two am!