Teaching has gotten a little easier now that I’m more used to their system of teaching. On Wednesday of this last week I got observed by Dr. Baxen. She is very centered around the idea of creating the environment for the student to learn in rather than teaching the student. I really like the idea of teaching like this and am working on creating more lessons that are built on that system, but am finding it difficult. She and I have spoken about ways to incorporate this into my classroom more, but are still trying to brainstorm. My cooperating teacher, Boudina, has been gone since Tuesday because her baby girl is sick :( I think they figured out on Friday what was wrong with her and are working on fixing it. 

Friday was the beginning of Founders Weekend, which is the birthday weekend of VG High School. It also acts as a reunion for the class that graduated ten years earlier. There was a relay among all of the students of the school in the morning, and then the girls got to clean the school until a formal assembly. At the formal assembly, there was a guest speaker from the class of 2003. She gave a really great speech! After the formal assembly the girls got to split up into their houses for one last rehearsal before they competed against each other in a singing competition! They are all such great singers! I don’t think I can get a video to upload on here, but I will try to upload one of the videos I took of one group to my facebook page. 

Friday night was the big concert of all the groups performing. The Victoria Girls’ Primary School joined us for the concert and had some groups of their own perform. It was a beautiful concert of all sorts of music. The concert lasted until about 8 pm and then it was time for bed! 

Saturday morning there was a hockey game between the current first team hockey team and some of the old girls who came back for Founders weekend. The old girls definitely gave the high schoolers a run for their money, but thankfully the high schoolers pulled through and won the game. Laura went with me to the game and then her, Libby, Libby’s dog Archie, and I went to the market for a little bit. After the market we came home to get ready for our exciting afternoon!

Yesterday (9 March) we went to the Kwantu game reserve and elephant sanctuary! We didn’t actually go to the sanctuary part of the reserve, but we did get to go on a 3 hour game drive and see nearly all of the big 5! We saw zebras, wildebeests, and various antelope animals right away. Then we saw a giraffe!! And then three more giraffes!! It was so exciting! While the three of us were looking at the giraffes, our driver told us to look the other way at a bush. None of us could see anything at first, but then we all saw the lion staring back at us! There were three lions laying down in bush not very far from us! Our driver, Lucas, took us even closer to them! We were less than 50 feet from a mom and her son and daughter! The mom had just eaten and still had blood on her mouth! It was the craziest thing ever! We sat there watching them for a very long time. Then we went closer to the giraffes so we could look at them more up close. They are huge! I knew that giraffes were big creatures, but I didn’t realize how big they are! We kept driving and saw a lot more zebras and antelope like creatures. We saw a few ostriches, the males who are pitch black and the females who are a drab grayish, brownish color. 

The next big sighting were two White Rhinos! We also learned that they were originally “wide” rhinos, but the Afrikaans didn’t have a word for “wide” so it was translated into “white.” The ‘wide’ described the shape of their mouths, which are wide for grazing on the grass. The other kind of rhinos, which are now known as the black rhinos, have a mouth shaped to better allow them to eat their way into bushes, which is their only source of nutrients. On our way back to the start we saw one lone water buffalo! He ran away from us the closer we got so the one picture I have of him is really blurry, but we still saw him! 

After the game drive, we got to walk around the predator camp at Kwantu. Here there are tigers, African lions, White lions, and cheetahs. They have these animals in very large enclosures because they are keeping them safe before releasing them into the wild. There are only about 900 tigers left in all of Asia, so Kwantu is a breeding ground for them. They will stay at Kwantu until they are about 4 years old and then they will get sent to Asia to be put into the wild. The African Lions are in captivity because they would be killed by the wild lions if they were to be put out into wild at too young of an age. The White lions are rejected and killed by the African lions in the wild because of their coloration. They are thought to be a danger to the pride because they stand out too much. Therefore, Kwantu keeps the two White lions in their own space inside the predator camp. The cheetahs were napping, so we didn’t get to see them run, but they were smaller than I thought they would be! They are also trying to breed the cheetahs to increase their numbers in the wild, but the female they have doesn’t like the male, so she won’t breed with him. I say, good for her! Standing up for what she believes in! :) 

After seeing all the gorgeous animals, we got to go in and eat a huge meal! We had soup, tandoori chicken, and a salad for our starters. Then we had mutton curry with rice and grilled veggies as our entree. Finally we had a custard-like dessert. None of us really cared for the dessert, but the other food was good! We also got sparkling apple juice to go along with our meal! We paid one awesome price for everything we did while at Kwantu and it was another unreal experience. 

The sun has now gone down here, so I am going to make sure I’m ready for school tomorrow! 


I spy....a lion!


Aunt G
03/10/2013 4:23pm

Absolutely stunning!
Proud of all your new creative teaching ideas and your adventures!

03/17/2013 6:20am

What a great life experience, thanks for sharing!


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