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By: Lauren Beaty, Director of Alumni Relations // MDS Musings Blog

This summer was a memorable one for many MDS students, faculty, and staff.  Several members of the MDS community traveled internationally and we’ve included a few of their stories below!


Director of Institutional Advancement Laura Johnson and daughter Bray Makowski (2018) took a wonderful cruise to Cuba! They spent the day in Havana touring the city in a Tiffany-blue 1950 Buick convertible. It was easy to see how magnificent Old Havana was in the early 1900s with its baroque and art deco architecture. They visited the El Floridita, a favorite of Ernest Hemingway, and visited the Hotel Nacional de Cuba, where Al Capone stayed and the site of the bunkers used during the Bay of Pigs invasion.

Their favorite stop was “Fusterlandia,” a mosaic oasis created by José Fuster in his depressed neighborhood of Jaimanitas. His whimsical creations are everywhere – on the sides of homes, fences, and streets – and are a reminder that beauty can be found in the most unexpected places! The Cuban people were very welcoming and grateful for the increase in tourists; however, they live in conditions that are unthinkable for most of us. Many live on salaries of $20 per month without the modern conveniences of dryers and air conditioning.

Heather Yeoman, Upper School science teacher, and her husband also visited Cuba. Their favorite part of the tour was a visit to one of the oldest cemeteries in Cuba.  Their guide was very knowledgeable about the stories of the people buried there particularly a very special grave that people visit for many reasons but especially those battling infertility.

Europe and England

This summer Georgia Olson, Upper School science teacher, and her husband traveled to England to see her family for 6 weeks. Four of those weeks were spent in England, and then two weeks were spent traveling through Eastern Europe. They visited Budapest, Vienna, Bratislava, Prague, Berlin and Hannover.  As well as lots of beautiful old churches and castles, they also visited some important historical sites like the Great Synagogue in Budapest, the Pinkas Synagogue in Prague (both have powerful Holocaust memorials), the Berlin Wall, and Bergen-Belsen concentration camp, just outside of Hannover, where, among thousands of others, Anne Frank perished.

They enjoyed watching the World Cup football and also got to enjoy the Royal Air Force flyover Buckingham Palace to celebrate their 100-year anniversary, and meet up with Dr. Mike Franklin, Upper School division head, and his family in the historic village of Lavenham.

Italy and Greece

Michael Muth, Upper School English teacher, and Samantha Silva Roberts (2000), former Middle School art teacher, along with Sharon Silva, main office administrative assistant, guided a group of MDS students through Italy and Greece at the end of May with Educational First Tours. Tour highlights included stops in Rome, Florence, Ancona, Delphi, and Athens.

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