Thursday, September 24, 2009
Summer Time ... and the Livin's Easy
Summer is every child's ... and teacher's ... favorite time of year. It's not that we don't enjoy what we do; in fact, we LOVE what we do, but Summer provides for a new and fresh kind of learning. Summer is time for the hands-on, experiential learning that is so hard to come by inside the 4 walls of a classroom. We strive for it during the 10 months of the school year, but we get hit in the face with it during these 2 months of bliss.
Dan spent 10 days at Kennedy Space Center at "Teacher Space Camp" and has now deemed himself a future astronaut - NASA's official stance on the matter has yet to be determined.
Erin went back to Pensacola and spent a week training the U.S. National Deaf Soccer Teams in preparation for the Deaflympics in Taiwan; as well as visiting with friends and family.
After nearly 2 weeks apart we flew out to Los Angeles for a visit with Dan's family and to celebrate and remember the life of Dan's good friend, Michael Brownstein.
Finally, to top off the summer we travelled for one month through Ecuador: summitting volcanoes (check out the photos of Cotopaxi!), whitewater rafting into the Amazon Basin; mountain biking down the Avenue of Waterfalls; camping inside of volcanic craters; surfing the points along Ecuador's Pacific Coast; spotting humpback whales migrating off that same Coast; meandering through the streets of Ecuador's colonial capital, Cuenca; or motoring in a canoe half way down the Rio Napo towards Peru and into the dense Amazon Rainforest to spot the pink freshwater dolphin (and to perfect our skills with the blow gun!). It was another trip of a lifetime!
It is the adventures like this that make learning, and therefore teaching, so exhilirating! Life is full of incredible lessons and experiences, and not only in nature, but also within the human spirit that is woven into this rich tapestry along the Equator. From the indigenous people of the high Andes working their fields at altitudes where we could barely breathe, to the colorful and resourceful spirits of the Amazonian tribes, the wealth of the human spirit is as evident in this small country as it is any other place in the world. We hope our pictures (you can see a slide show on the right column of the blog) and our spirit inspire you to get out and see this beautiful world you live in!