Hey, it's Nick, checking back in again! I have had an amazing last two weeks, words almost cannot describe. If you did not get a chance to read my last entry, I am talking about the trip into the Australian bush for five days. I travelled with my host dad along with 11 members of his four wheel driving club.The club has about 50 or so members, but not everyone goes on each trip. So we had 13 in our convoy of campers and trucks as we hit the road into the western part of Australia in the search for wildflowers. We took a route which is called The Wheatbelt Way; it is a loop in Western Australia stopping through many towns and different campsites along the way. Our main goal of the trip was to find fields of wildflowers which show for about a month.
Along with searching for wildflowers, we stopped at historical sites, large rock formations (the best part) and searched for rare wildlife. The trip lasted five days with limited toilets and no showers, so you can only imagine how much deodorant I used. I did get a bucket and a towel to freshen up with though.
Anyway, we basically did some driving, would stop every once in a while to check out something cool along the road or if someone spotted wildflowers, and we would usually camp right at the huge rock formations that we went to see. One of my favorite rocks was called Beribooding Rock which was used to collect water during the early 1900s. Settlers built a huge water tank along the side of the rock which held up to two and a half million tons of water! Then, along the edge of the rock, they built small walls which would guide the rainfall down into the tank. It was really amazing to see how the angles of the walls were perfectly mapped out so that they collected as much water as they could, and the spots where water could have dipped down into the rock were surrounded with walls as well. But that wasn't the only cool thing about this enormous rock. There was also a giant round rock on the rock, which was sort of at an angle facing downwards, but it didn't fall! It was just sitting on a few tiny rocks. Then, we got word that there were some old cave paintings from early Aboriginals on other rocks. A few of us from the group went to search for the cave paintings but could not make anything distinct out, except for someone spray painting "Death Valley" on the side with a picture of a skull with bones crossing through it.
I found the most beautiful part of my trip to be the birds and gum trees that scatter the outback! Gum trees are trees that are tall but do not have any branches except for the very top which are filled with leaves.They sort of look like the trees you would see in Africa. I reckon they would be of similar ancestry but I am not sure. I saw plenty of Kangaroo; I was pretty close to one while taking a walk one afternoon but it hopped away too quickly for me to get my camera out in time. The way they act reminds me of our deer; they even stare in your headlights if they happen to hop in the middle of the road.
We had a few Emu running alongside our caravan on the second day, which was really cool, and we even saw an Echidna for a split second before it jumped into a hole. They are apparently extremely rare to see. And after our long, adventure filled days, we just sat around the campfire for hours, eating and drinking and having heaps of laughs. I was glad I went.
But back to reality, at school, where I be implementing some much needed 5e lesson plans (Engage, Explore, Explain, Elaborate, Evaluation). I have been trying to build my year 8's up to the ability to use labs and explore their own understanding without me having to tell them what to do. I think they will do well with this form of lesson.
I will talk to you very soon!