On Friday afternoon, we went on a 'hike' that was really more like a two and a half hour walk. (You know it's not going to be a real hike when your guide shows up in jeans and a long-sleeve button-up shirt.) About two-thirds of the way out, we crossed this really cool bridge. It was at this juncture that I discovered that my students play Pooh Sticks (!). Of course, they would never call it that, but the rules are the same. Everyone finds a stick or leaf or somesuch and drops it over one side of the bridge. Then they all run across to the other side to see whose stick floats out from under the bridge first. Here's a picture of all the boys leaning over the railing to see whose stick is going to win. Sometimes I forget that these families don't have the luxury of just driving out into the countryside whenever they feel like it. Any trip outside the city involves signing out vehicles or hiring a taxi. Then it takes several hours to get anywhere, not necessarily because you're going very far away, but because you have to navigate through crowded markets and befuddling streets that only travel in certain directions at certain times of the day. On top of all that, one must consider whether it's safe to travel at all... We don't any of us get out as much as we'd like.On the other hand, when we do get out, it's Africa we get to see. And she's a beauty! At one point, all the students spent an hour or so making 'land art.' The challenge was to create some sort of art using only things they could find lying around. Below is a raft some of them built using bamboo and whatever grasses/vines they could find in the surrounding field. If you look closely, you can see a heart shaped out of red grass. When the raft was completed, they launched it into the stream, where it got caught on one of the banks. It was still there on Saturday morning, when we left.
On Saturday, our plan was to see some cool waterfalls on our way back to the ship. What was supposed to take twenty minutes out of our travel time somehow turned into two hours, but the waterfall itself proved to be worth it as far as I was concerned. (We also got to wander through the streets of Kindia, which were colorful and exciting! We even got pulled over by the local police, but they let us move on after a few minutes.) Anyway, below you will find a picture of me sitting on the edge of the waterfall. One of the advantages of getting older is that when you go on school trips, you get to give yourself permission to do the fun but dangerous things. Ben, the Principal, later told me that he'd had to tell the boys that the only reason I was allowed out there was that if I fell over the edge, he wouldn't have to answer to my parents. This amused me very much. Bet you didn't know I was such a daredevil.
When I stumbled out of bed in the morning, I sure didn't expect to be seeing this in the afternoon. :)