Barbara Purn is a 2nd grade teacher at Villa Academy, an independent Catholic school in Seattle. This summer, she is traveling to Kenya on a fellowship from the Earthwatch Institute, a nonprofit science-education group, to study the behavior and stress habits of Sykes monkeys. Ultimately, she plans to share her research with her students as part of a unique lesson plan on endangered and threatened species. In this opinion blog, she’s keeping a journal of her educational expedition. (My Summer in Kenya ceased publishing in July 2006.)
I left Seattle today at 7:10pm on British Airlines. Getting there three hours ahead was not too early—lots of travelers these summer days. The flight is completely full, a huge Boeing 747 that holds over 280 passengers. I am in a middle seat between two nice women. One is from Hungary and is flying home for a surprise visit with her mother. The other is traveling to Zimbabwe to help with medical supplies she is bringing for AIDS workers. We had some interesting conversations.