It was to be the field trip of their dreams, but things didn't come together in December for a small group of Watts high school students.
Luckiest break of their lives.
If not for scheduling and funding problems, several of Jordan High's brightest seniors could well have been on the southern coast of Sri Lanka on Dec. 26, right in the path of the Indian Ocean tsunami believed to have killed more than a quarter of a million people.
Upon hearing about the disaster — and the close call for Jordan students — Latrice Jones cried. "It was devastating," she said.
Jones and four classmates are finally set to leave tonight for Sri Lanka.
And with guidance from Medicines Global, the local agency sponsoring and raising money for their adventure, they will be making tsunami relief a centerpiece of their trip. Initially, Sri Lanka was the destination of choice because, with the help of a Sri Lankan Buddhist stationed in Los Angeles, the students were going to study the Sarvodaya movement of conflict resolution and social commitment.
The tsunami makes the mission more intense.