Tips from Alumni to Help Pack Light and Travel Smart

If you’re signed-up to ship-out this summer with AFAR to Belize, Spain, Portugal or Greece, you already have the official packing list to prepare you for fieldwork.  But those in the know will tell you, there are certain essentials you’ll want to make room for – and a few things you may want to leave behind. 

 We reached out to AFAR veterans and alumni to ask them “what’s the one thing to bring?” besides your passport (duh!).

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Sherri Johnson
Summary of the 9th Annual Maya at the Lago Conference

The 9th Annual M@L Conference was held at Davidson Day School from April 25-28, 2019. This year, this legendary conference was co-organized by Mat Saunders (AFAR; Davidson Day School), Maxime Lamoureux-St-Hilaire (Boundary End Center; AFAR; UNC-Asheville), and George Bey (Millsaps College), and highlighted recent research in the Northern Maya Lowlands. The many participants to the conference heard from 16 different presenters about all aspects of the archaeology and epigraphy of the Northern Yucatán Peninsula. Here’s a recap…

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Sherri Johnson
Hello???  Here’s How to Stay in Touch with your AFAR Archaeologist

After the big airport send-off, waving and blowing kisses and thinking of all the fun that you’re, ahem, your child, is going to have, it’s normal to feel apprehensive about staying in touch.  Hands-on technology is replaced with shovels and tools and time away from screens.  But don’t worry, there’s plenty of down time, which is the perfect time to dial-up dad. Here’s a few tips to bridge the gap, not to mention the time zone, and stay closely connected. 

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Sherri Johnson
Packs with Pride: The Story Behind AFAR's Amazing Artwork

Patches are a way to show off the dedication, hard work and accomplishment that goes with each project.  As students move through the projects (students are eligible in 8th grade and can jump to new projects as they get older) they achieve new patches.  These symbols of pride are sewn on each student’s hydration pack, which is essential in the summer heat, and visible on-site and throughout the student’s global travels.

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Sherri Johnson
Operational Excellence: Meet Deb Strachan

Deb Strachan is a mother of four, former financial analyst, friend to many and for the past 8 years, Operations Manager for AFAR.  She never set out to be point-person for an archaeological non-profit.  The job simply found her – by way of her children. 

Rewind to nearly a decade ago…

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Sherri Johnson
Announcing New AFAR Publications

The AFAR program is excited to introduce new handbooks to acquaint students and volunteers with each archaeological site. The publications for Belize, Spain, Portugal and Greece took just under four months to create, with Davidson Day students serving as part of the editorial staff.

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Sherri Johnson
EXPLORING THE NORTHERN YUCATAN AT THE NINTH ANNUAL M@L, April 25-28

Maya at the Lago is an inclusive conference that brings together members of the public, lifelong learners, pre-collegiate students to listen and interact with established and young scholars of all things Maya. The event is centered on Davidson Day School, 20 min north of Charlotte – an easy 10-minute stroll from the nearby conference hotel, the Davidson Homewood Suite. The conference includes hands-on workshops on hieroglyphic writing (both introductory and advanced), along with interactive lectures and fun social gatherings.

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Sherri Johnson
At AFAR, It’s One Big Family

AFAR recently welcomed it’s first grandson into the family of friends and colleagues, who do more than simply stay in touch. Among the many job and college recommendation letters written, there are as many texts, with birthday wishes, condolences for losses and congratulations for reaching milestones. It’s part of the reason that AFAR boasts an 87% return rate. 

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Sherri Johnson