TTS20 on Safari

Tuesday, September 11, 2012

On the Road in Zambia

Big Blue arrived in a whirlwind of excitement and with Ngwenya as the captain our group set off eastward to explore rural Zambia.  Fire charred brush lands interspersed with small villages and bustling towns highlighted the first long truck day.  The group rapidly adjusted to truck life and is mastering crew and tent duties

Ngwenya  and newest son
We spent our first night living off the truck on the banks of Lake Kariba  in a serene campground with zebras grazing lazily nearby.  The following day we hopped aboard a houseboat and chugged through an island channel before settling in for the night in our cozy cabins.  We toured the shores of many islands on a small pontoon boat and ooo-ed and ahhh-ed over kudo, hippos, bushbuck, and impalas before switching to a pristine safari camp along the banks of a deserted island.  The girls dubbed the island camp – swamping – swanky camping, a term that has come to describe other sights along the way.

Impala Pronking

A few quick, on the spot quotes from some gals:
Megan L - “Swamping - It’s like camping but glorious.”

Brooklyn - “I was in awe by the zebras grazing around our lake side yoga studio.”

Jane - “I received two hundred waves from the truck during our first 9 hour ride.  I felt the warmth of this country that I don't always feel in the USA.”

The Math Concepts class started the semester talking about how and why we make certain decisions from different choices.  Each decision is based on various factors based on lifestyle, values, family and friends, and the girls studied why these factors and others affect their decision-making. We then moved our discussion to how people make choices about finances and budgets.  The class focused on budget sheets – how to create a budget and how to deal with unexpected expenses, pay stubs, and keeping a balance sheet for daily transactions.  These topics set the stage for the upcoming Game of Life.

The ladies quickly formed an interactive class environment – sharing ideas and problem-solving tactics amongst one another.  Each student shows extreme capability in her math skills and offers a different perspective to share with the class.  The class just finished the prerequisite chapter and refreshed their Algebra knowledge.  The chapter covered algebraic expressions, real numbers, exponents and scientific notation.  We also covered various rules and problem-solving methods to solve rational, linear and polynomial equations.  Next week the class will begin to study functions and their corresponding graphs.

Throughout the first three weeks of the semester, the students reviewed Algebra 1 skills and are quickly approaching polynomial equations and solving for variables.  The class works well as a team with each one helping another work through word problems using order of operations.  As an additional challenge, the students enjoy choosing unique class settings such as dangling their legs in the pool or finding the best shade for a Crazy Creek circle.

iLife & PE
iLife class helps strengthen our community by addressing many difficult issues faced during a Traveling School semester and beyond.  In the first weeks, we studied self-defense and the power of the word “NO”, organization strategies to master school and group-living stressors, self-awareness in a group setting and time management skills.  The class is also addressing the various stages of group development and the ways to navigate various personalities and expectations.  

Students are enjoying the variety of PE opportunities throughout southern Zambia—from running on a local golf course to practicing yoga alongside zebras to plyometric exercises in whispers in the middle of a sleepy campground.  The students are setting personal athletic goals using the SMART goal format and have challenged one another to try 1% harder each day.

Global Studies class is a forum for thought-provoking discussions about southern African culture, politics and lifestyles.  The class created skits to demonstrate American culture and the idiosyncrasies we don't even notice about our own culture before studying Zambian culture and current events.  During discussions, we also engage in how various sights and events we witness impact our view on tourism and the global community.  Our driver Ngwenya is also teaching the girls aspects of his own Shona culture such as greetings and ways to show respect which are important to our interactions in Zambia, Mozambique and South Africa.  The girls are beginning to greet him each morning with a proper “Mangwanane”.  TTS20 is quickly realizing how fast we experience things along the road and how various points affect them differently.  To help aid in the reflective process, the girls wrote their first weekly R,R,and R essays (Reaction, Reflection, and Response) last week about something that has impacted them individually thus far in the semester.  


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