March 7, 2015: Capstone from a Parent's Perspective

Two years ago I left Merida, Mexico with my 5th grade daughter amazed at the experience. Now I have the opportunity to observe and participate as a parent with my son.  I wondered how the experience might be different or if it would be as wonderful. As I am sitting near the pool with other parents talking about meeting the host families and sending our children off on their homestay I am confident that this experience will be just as wonderful.
 
In the first two days of travel, heading to the beach and acclimating to the weather and time difference; it has been fun to see our students just enjoy being together and celebrate that they are "actually in Mexico"..."on capstone".  The glee and anticipation has been contagious.  As we waited with our children to meet their host families, they each expressed a measure of anxiety in different ways. it is natural to be uncertain about the unknown.  Underneath their anxiety was a quiet confidence that has been instilled in them during their tenure at TIS.  As I shared lunch with my son and his host family I saw a transformation in front of my eyes.  The student who refused to speak Spanish except when mandated began to converse eloquently in Spanish, translated for his mother when she stumbled and abandoned his English  to the extent that he addressed English speaking parents in Spanish.  The anxious facial expression melted into an excited grin.  A clear connection was established with his host family based on a mutual desire to explore another culture and get to know someone else. with the common ground of language they were able to rapidly build a rapport to the extent that when it was time to leave, he brimmed with excitement about the things he was going to share and do with his host family.  There was no hesitancy in embracing a new family, a new culture and an array of new experiences.  As I looked around at other families doing the same exchange others were having very similar experience.
 
As a parent, I felt proud and excited and a little overwhelmed by the graciousness of the receiving school and families.  I can't wait to hear about the week and to see how our children have grown in such a short period of time.  I am grateful for this opportunity and so glad that we chose TIS as our educational path.  Our children have become confident global citizens open to learn and willing to share.
 
 
Deidre Burton Crandell
Sam Crandell's mom