A by Aloma Jardine one-year adventure has turned into a second career for Donna Trafford (’73, ’74). “It is quite an undertaking,” she says. “It will probably have 1,200 kids when we’re through.” Working on the other side of the world has opened Trafford’s eyes to an important truth. “Globally we are more alike than we are different and we lose sight of that fact,” she says. “We all want our children to be the best they can be, to be better than we were. We all want to improve the quality of life in the country that we live in.” Trafford will be working in Cambodia until at least June 2015. “I think it is an adventure for anyone,” she says. “I think Asia is a really interesting continent and I don’t really think that you can understand where Asians are coming from until you live among them. They think differently from Westerners and I think in order for the world to become a better place we are going to have to work harder at understanding one another, supporting one another.” Trafford believes that international schools have an important role to play. Good schools provide an environment of mutual respect where young people of all cultures can realize common goals. “If they can learn from each other, and understand each other, perhaps new generations will achieve peace and global prosperity.” After more than 30 years as a teacher and administrator in New Brunswick schools, when Trafford retired in 2006, she decided to take a post teaching in China. The New Brunswick government has partnerships with several Chinese schools, which offer the New Brunswick school curriculum. “I said, ‘I should do that for a year,’ but I ended up staying for four,” she says. “I wanted to travel when I left, but I didn’t want to be a regular tourist — go and take pictures and it is over. I really wanted to know and understand the Asian way of life.” After four years, Trafford returned to Canada to spend time with her mother who was ill. But her mother could tell that Trafford’s heart had not accompanied her home. “She felt that I had left before I wanted to, left because of her, and that I wasn’t finished yet, and I knew in my heart of hearts she was probably right,” Trafford says. “I wasn’t happy as a retired person.” Trafford’s mother died in February 2012, after extracting a promise from Trafford that she would return overseas if that was still what she wanted. “I e-mailed my former boss and said, ‘I may be ready for a job next year,’” she says. “Within a month he e-mailed back and said, ‘Could you come to Cambodia by the end of May?’” Within three weeks, Trafford was in Cambodia helping to start a school that will eventually serve preschoolers through to high school. The Canadian International School of Phnom Penh currently has about 100 students aged 18 months to seven years. “ ” Globally we are more alike than we are different and we lose sight of that fact / 17