My morning walk between the Villa Moderni and my apartment revealed the morning rituals of a small town in Ticino region of Switzerland – Riva San Vitale. Although it is likely that these customs and morning activities are common in other towns I could feel the essence of this town awakening to a new day. The street cleaner using straw brooms to clear the small trash from the day before. The postal worker delivering the mail and newspapers to the homes along the alley. Greetings offered to everyone who passed by including me, a familiar stranger in this town. The butcher receiving the meat delivery and other cold goods. The bread and cheese already delivered to be consumed with morning coffee. Stores and restaurants opening. The rain has stopped and the fog is lifting to what will be another “beautiful day in paradise.”
The day of departure for GPP15 has come and gone and in fact, we’re close to the end of this phase of the global perspectives program. Over the past 10+ days, we have experienced the awakening of new days, not just with the rituals of the morning but also of new revelations, insights and questions to explore. Each day we have learned some things new (and anew), passionately discussed issues and examined our own biases and perspectives. We have continuously reflected on that has been shared with us through our visits to the universities. We have, I hope, learned to see things differently and understand through a different lens.
Today the UniBasel participants arrive in Ticino and the GPP15 experience will expand. A rich discussion of “global higher education: accountability and relevance” is expected along with lively more social conversation in the garden. And then onto the Swiss Embassy in Washington DC.
The GPP15 experience began some days ago and it will continue. GPP provides not only a challenge but also opportunities to effect change in global higher education. Please join me in finding ways to continue the journey.
I will miss the morning walks to the Villa.