Learn with me.
With her bags packed, she said her goodbyes to her job, her students, her community, her friends and family, and boarded her plane for Amsterdam.
This would be the longest she would ever spend away from home, never having studied or worked anywhere outside of LA. She would spend six months in the Netherlands, conducting research, presenting at conferences, making new professional connections, and learning more about the global education landscape. In the next six months, she planned to travel around Europe, spend more time with her husband based in Germany, and decide what to do with the rest of her life. She smiled, imagining herself biking past tulip fields and drinking beer brewed by Belgian monks, when a voice interrupted her daydream.
“This is your pilot speaking. We have an unexpected situation. Unfortunately, we are unable to land at our scheduled destination. A Coronabomb has exploded, and the place we were headed to no longer exists.”
“Visibility is low, and we are currently trying to find a safe place to land,” the pilot continued.
“We’re lucky, you know.” An elderly woman held out an open bag of peanuts as she spoke.
“Yeah, we were in the sky when it happened. Think about the people on the ground. They’re running around, putting out fires, taking care of the injured, breathing in sickness and disease. All we have to do is sit here and wait.”
Sitting and waiting for an indefinite amount of time in the clouds of uncertainty was the last thing she wanted to do. She was a planner, who set and accomplished goals with ease. She craved security, and carefully formulated Plans B, C, and D in case things with Plan A didn’t work out. She hadn’t planned for this, however. Now, she was regretting ever stepping foot on this plane.
She shook her head, letting out a defeated laugh. Of course this would happen right now, the one time I take a risk.
She could feel her the energy draining from her body as it began to shut down, a strategic act of self-preservation for a mind too overwhelmed to function. She closed her eyes, desperate to escape reality for a while.
This blog is not an official Department of State website. The views and information presented are the DA Participant's own and do not represent the Fulbright Distinguished Awards in Teaching Semester Research Program, the U.S. Department of State, or IREX.