TTS20 on Safari

Monday, October 15, 2012

Update from Aunge

We had a great day in Maputo today- we did a tour of the monuments and learned about revolutionary history in a modern city before enjoying some lunch in the botanical gardens.  Now the girls are busy designing their own commemorative monument, choosing who they want to remember as a leader in the complicated Mozambican history.  They will also write a press release for their monuments announcing the new place and explaining its significance in the Maputo skyline.

On the way into town, the US Embassy in Maputo finally got back to us, and we arranged an afternoon visit to the cultural education center of the embassy with a woman named Marrit.  Interestingly, her daughter goes to the American School we visited last semester, so we chatted about her school life and how it was to go to school overseas.  Marrit had planned to give us a quick presentation and show us around - but in true African style, her schedule was rearranged. She was in charge of teaching English club while we were there.  It worked out splendidly - the girls talked with a group of about 30 Mozambique students ages 20 -30 about cultural differences, dances, food and what each one appreciates about Africa and travel.  Then we had a dance lesson from one of the young men who had just returned from a Lindy Hop course in Sweden   Do you know the Lindy Hop?  It was popular in the States in the 20s - 40s, a little jitterbug and swing combo.  Pretty funny scene really.  Somewhat middle school dance style with girls on one side and boys on the other, but we all embraced it and finally practiced a few steps.  Brooklyn and her partner were naturals!  It was fun for the group to see a sassy dance from the States and remember we too used to have dances with specific steps and styles as opposed to the current teenage trends.  (all insights from the girls on the truck ride back home)

Africa's Big Five
 Spirits are high as we prepare to head to South Africa and go on some game drives over the next few days.  The girls just received their totems from Ngwenya and are ready to find themselves out in the wild. (For more on Shona totems: We have various birds, members of the Big 5, and even a few unique spirit animals in the bunch!  It will also be a new perspective for game driving and national parks in general as we tour through Kruger National Park in big blue.  We will be sitting high above all other cars and will be able to spot animals farther into the bush than most other cars.  Imagine watching a rhino munch on grasses with a baby nearby while the car next to us has no idea the rhinos are there.  Plus, with 16 pairs of eyes in one vehicle, we are bound to spot some greatness.

Mozambique has been a special place - we climbed mountains, met local conversation legends, dove beneath turquoise waters, nestled our toes in butterscotch-colored sand, rejuvenated in the humidity and experienced the first big rains.  We met fantastic people who wanted to share nothing more than a smile and a handshake.  We met others who spent hours sharing knowledge with our group as if we were family.  The group became a family and learned the power of communication and support.

Our best to all of you back at home,

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