Hi everyone!  I’m Lee Else, one of your teacher chaperones (GGL’s) on our viaje to Guaranda, Ecuador.  I am a Spanish teacher at Scotts Valley High School,  In the picture (taken last summer in Glacier, Montana) I’m in the middle, flanked by my two sons.  Since school let out I’ve been spending my time connecting with family and friends, exercising, and walking the beach with my dog.  We’ve been barbequing a lot, and I am well into my second novel and have a jigsaw puzzle going on the coffee table.  In short, I’ve been doing some serious unwinding and with that I’m starting to really get excited about our trip.

I have traveled to Latin America many times in my life, but some of my most enjoyable and fulfilling trips have been the service learning trips I’ve taken with high school students in recent years. These trips have a positive impact on all concerned:  leaders, students, and local communities.

When I travel with students I see things with new, fresh eyes.  I really enjoy sharing what I know about Latin America with the travelers and I always learn a great deal from my fellow chaperones and our local guides.  It’s refreshing to be with high school students outside of school, where your senses of humor, your creativity, your sense of adventure, and your other talents really shine.  As a Spanish teacher, I love to see you maneuver your way using Spanish and I enjoy  practicing  the language with you and with the local people.  I hope you won’t find me too pesky–I love to teach little Spanish rhymes, sayings, etc.

Our trip to the beautiful Andean region of Ecuador will definitely be the big “TAA-DAA!!” of my summer. I look forward to our experiences together.  You’ll be getting a phone greeting from either me or Gabriela Esquivez (our other GGL) about two weeks ahead of departure.  Here’s my school email, in case you’d like to be in touch before that:  [email protected]

You made a great decision when you signed up for the trip!  Adventures await us!

Lee