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Traveler Series to feature Egypt, Kenya and the American Institute of Foreign Travel

Jordyn Sanko
Pratt Tribune
Pratt Public Library activites director promotes the next Traveler Series which will feature Egypt, the American Institute for Foreign Travel and Kenya the next three Mondays in September.

The Pratt Public Library is offering an international escape from daily life for those who have found it difficult to vacation during the coronavirus pandemic. The Traveler Series, which will take place for three days, each on a Monday, at the same time and with different speakers, is set to start on September 14. It will feature real-live travelers who will share their  experiences, culture, and even food of other countries. The volunteer speakers have 40 minutes to describe their unique experiences and 10 minutes to answer any questions. There will be souvenirs, videos, and photographs available for viewing.

Derese McAbee, Pratt  Library activities director, manages this program. 

“The purpose of this program is to introduce to the people of Pratt various countries and traveling experiences,” she said. “Not everyone is able to take a trip to Europe. It helps them see things they can never see on their own. It is also good for the people who are sharing.”

McAbee said the Traveler Series is a way for people to share their experiences and educate others who may never be able to step foot off American soil. 

Billie Jo Rhone will be the first speaker at 6 p.m. on September 14. Flo Parsons, a member of the American Institute for Foreign Study, will be speaking the next Monday on the 21st and Louise Pelzl on the 28th.

Each meeting will begin at 6 p.m. and end at 7 pm.. Rhone will describe her trip to Egypt and Pelzl will discuss her time at an actual safari in Kenya. There will be a scrapbook put together by Parsons during her 20 years as part of the institute.

Anyone is eligible to attend or even have their own traveler’s day. McAbee hopes to make the series something that occurs more often.

“We hope to do this twice a year every year, maybe once every few months,” she said. “Even if people have been to the same country, they can still speak because everyone will have a different experience. We have fun talking about another country from another’s perspective of their trip.” 

The event was inspired by Eric Killough, the director of the library and a veteran who has navigated the globe. He had spoken to one of the earlier events hosted by the program. 

The library still plans to have people physically in attendance, although fewer than usual will be allowed in the meeting room.

“In the past we’ve had up to 30. I feel like it will be less than that right now because the situation we’re in, we won't have as many,” McAbee said.

Instead, more people may be in attendance virtually. The library is considering recording the sessions and posting the video or live streaming through FaceBook Live. The actual sessions will also be in the main area of the library instead of in one of the auditoriums. 

To adhere to covid guidelines, there will also be sanitizer available at all times, masks are mandatory, and there will be no cultural food to try. Multiple tables will be set up with individual chairs to maintain social distancing.