Sunday, May 11, 2014

YRSC 10th May
We were all onto our coach at 7am and after an emotional goodbye to everyone, we headed for Dainfern College. Our driver knew the back roads of Johannesburg so avoided all of the morning traffic jams. We switched onto a different coach that was to take us to the local Lion Park. There we were treated to a short drive through different lion gardens and entertained by a very informative young guide. The real highlight was entering the lion cub enclosure where we all got to stroke real lions. The girls found wonderful shoulder bagsAs souvenirs. After lunch in the Lion Park cafe we headed for the airport with another 8 schools. The destinations included Australia, India, Canada, France, England, Germany and of course Switzerland. There were several more goodbyes before we boarded at 7pm. Ermitage school from Paris were on the same flight so we spend our waiting time together. Only one pupil managed to lose his boarding pass ( but it was later found in The Body Shop. After an Air France dinner we all settled down for a film then a good nights sleep. We were woken at 5am with the offer of a drink and a bread roll. It was not long before we were onto the Geneva flight which passed very quickly. Customs and passport control were no problem so it was onto the train to Aigle. Our half hour wait in Aigle showed that the Aiglon group of 4 had jelled together as a very happy bunch. It was sad to end a very successful trip. Everyone had lunch and a quick shower before getting straight back into school life with a drama rehearsal. There will be a few tired people tomorrow .......but it was worth it.

Leaving Camp Discovery

 Great souvenir bags.

 The end of a happy week.

Friday, May 9, 2014

YRSC Blog 9th May
The boys survived the game drive and were lucky enough to see lions. It was cold but the sun soon warmed them up. There was another rotation of activities this morning to complete everyone's experience. The afternoon had the final two discussions with a time to reflect on the highs and lows of the week. These have been passed on to the organisers for their own debrief. Everyone is now cooking their supper in the traditional potjiekos pot. This evening it is the closing ceremony in number one uniform so we will see how clean the white shirts look. I am sure there will be a few tears as people say good bye to their new friends. Emails addresses will be swapped and promises to keep in touch made.
We are on a bus at 7am tomorrow and will visit a lion park before we reach the airport. I am sure that we will not have any bother sleeping in the planes tomorrow as we fly back rough the night. If the connections go well we will be in school by 1:30 on Sunday afternoon. There will be plenty more stories to tell.
Student led Baraza.

The potjiekos pot

Everyone making dinner.

Thursday, May 8, 2014

Thursday's photographs

Just before breakfast.
 Can you name these animals?

Can you spot the jackals?

Something to do with the heart shape between their antlers.

Rhino in the distance.

Comfortable travel.

Look closely at the photo. My camera has turned it into a painting. Clever?

The Olympics just about to start.

The flag bearers.

The Swiss team

Swiss team with their facilitator.

YRSC Blog 8th May
This morning the two girls went on a game drive in the Mongena Lodge safari park after a 5:15am breakfast. I joined them. It was cold in the morning air before the sun got up but gradually warmed up. We saw a variety of animals, most impressive being the rhino. By 9am we were back in camp as the park was just 15 minutes down the road. The children were given two hours to go away and have a sleep if they wanted to before a morning activity. The boys were introduced to the E-ball and I have forgotten the other activity but I will update it tomorrow.
In the afternoon the YRS Olympics were help in glorious sunshine on the large playing field that form part of the camp grounds. Switzerland did win a medal in the sack race but India took the most medals of the afternoon. A good time was had by all and at least with only 4 in the Swiss team they all had plenty to do.
In the evening everyone met again in their baraza groups to have a debrief. The groups are getting livelier as they get to know each other.
It's the boys turn to sleep out so at 10pm they were ready with their sleeping bags and headed out to the edge of the camp grounds in the trees. They will leave on their game drive before we wake up tomorrow morning. The girls were very tired to were straight into bed.
Wednesdays photos.

Wednesday, May 7, 2014

YRSC Blog 7th May
This morning there was another rotation of 4 activities. The raft builders found out how difficult it was to work on such a big construction, the target was hit a few times by the arrows, the drums were beaten, first aid was learned and a very large pile of sandwiches was made? After lunch we were shown various snakes and taught many interesting facts about them.
Many of the discussions are student led. The various groups had to discuss and devise a pledge to take back to their school. This had to do with some aspect of the Endangered topic that is the theme of the conference. Our thirteen year old coordinator did very well but claimed afterwards that she did not want to be a teacher when she grew up because it was so difficult when the group did not give her their full attention.
Before dinner there was time to experiment with e-balls that were going to be introduced later. In the evening we were all in the big tent to hear a presentation on 'The Rhino Ride' , 'The E Ball', Kwalata project and a project to supply computers to schools where children have never even touched one. All projects can be found on the Internet. The African days have been warm but the evening was becoming quite cool by the end of the talks so it was great to get up and be taught some African dancing by a very energetic group of dancers.
The evening ended with our girls going out on a sleep out on the edge of the camp ground under the stars. They have a special space surrounded by a natural brush fence that they use for a group every night. I joined them. With clear skies we were glad of the sleeping bags that the camp lent us but would have loved to have our 4-season bags that we use at school. We did however have a wonderful sky to look up to.
Check the Young Round Square page on Facebook for some more stories about this week.

Tuesday, May 6, 2014