A river surrounded by red rocks, a diamond ghost town, Dune 45 at sunrise and a bush camp in Namib National Park, as a travel journalism student what place better then these to learn about photography? Since midterms and our departure from Cape Town the students have started their second article. Their main focus is to interview people we meet and learn how to seek out pertinent information and use it in their article. Before writing these pieces, the students learn what type of questions to ask and how to ask them in order to acquire the most information. On the photo side of class, we have focused recently on how to shoot photos to show emotions in people but in a candid manner. At the ghost town I had the students work on shooting a series. The series had to be 3-10 photos with a theme linking them together; the series of photos also had to tell a story of the old diamond mine. In the next few weeks we will focus on developing a query to submit their writing to different publications.
In true Traveling School style, we like to try and combine our activities with a physical component. We spent three nights and four days paddling the Orange River. The girls had to paddle through some enjoyable rapids, some flat water, and also battle the wind on the first and last days of the trip. All of the girls were amazing! Some more comfortable with water then others, they all supported each other and consistently showed improved paddling skills from day to day. After the Orange River, the P.E. class has been turned over to the students. In groups of two, each student will have an opportunity to plan and teach a P.E. class. This will help them learn how to structure their own workouts in the future as well as become comfortable with talking and leading a group. Though P.E. has been a challenging class for many of the girls, they have all improved their endurance, form and flexibility over the course of the semester.
–Brenna and Caroline
A new country means new greetings, cultural elements, politics and landscape. The past few classes Global Studies have focused on informing the girls about these different aspects of Namibia. Namibia is rich in diamonds and national parks as well as indigenous people. We reviewed the typical facts about Namibia’s landmass, population, imports, exports, government structure and historical facts, but then we dive under the surface and explore the bigger issues this striking country faces. One such issue, ethnotourism, was introduced. Ethnotourism is a type of travel conducted during a visit to experience primitive cultures and societies. One example of ethnotourism in this region is the famed San or Bushmen people of Namibia and Botswana. These nomadic peoples have survived in the desert for centuries, and in this century have had to change their ways and settle in villages. Our class discussion soon formed around the idea of whether or not it is beneficial for outside cultures to visit these isolated people and whether or not a culture such as the San could survive the onset of globalization. Needless to say, it struck a cord with the students and the teachers and by the end of class, the students were hotly debating the issue. You know you have a good class when you can't get the students to leave! As we move further into Namibia we will continue to experience new places, meet new people and explore the cultures of this magical land, leading our Global Studies classes deeper under the surface of Namibia.