After a couple days spent in Durban, most of the teachers went home for their ten day vacation while the students and the other staff went on their ten day safari trip in KwaZulu Natal. Several days at the camp were spent completing our Learning Optimization Course during which the students really got the opportunity to reflect on their experiences traveling around the world and understanding their place in a community both globally and aboard ship. They will hopefully carry this perspective and their critical thinking skills throughout the rest of the journey to continue to grow and get the most out of every experience.
Being surrounded by wildlife at the two different camps we stayed at made for the perfect immersive environment to learn about animal and plant species, animal behaviour, and the conservation efforts to preserve such an incredible ecosystem. We also had the opportunity to learn about Zulu culture and experienced first hand how lively it is through watching and dancing with traditional Zulu dancers and attending a spiritual healing ceremony in a small Zulu village. We are very grateful to the staff at Bhejane Nature Training for their engagement, hospitality and making our stay so fulfilling!
When we arrived back in Durban, we met up with the first rotation of crew along with some new members: Dan, the third mate, and Jan, the Chief Cook. They informed us that our departure had been delayed due to adverse weather so we celebrated Christmas quayside on the 24th. During the day, we went ice skating at an indoor rink nearby and, in the evening, we gathered in the banjer which was decorated with festive lights, ornaments and a Christmas Tree surrounded by our Secret Santa gifts. Our celebration included a family dinner, exchanging gifts, and dancing around the banjer to Norwegian holiday music.
On Christmas Day we took in the mooring lines, took up the fenders, and set course to Cape Town. This short sail went smoothly and our normal routines of classes, watches and galley duties were resumed. Yearbook Committee had its first meeting during which the students enthusiastically contributed ideas for the brainstorming session!
We reached the southern most part of our journey around the cape meaning we will be heading north all the way to Kristiansand.
Upon arrival in Cape Town, the students had an emotional and joyous reunion with their families. Most stayed off the ship with their families to catch up and go on various adventures, including shark tank diving, helicopter rides, and visiting the penguins at Boulder Beach! For those who stayed on the ship, they did a beautiful hike up Table Mountain and went on a tour of Robben Island. They also brought in the New Year watching the fireworks aloft at midnight!
In this port, we also welcomed our new Math and Physics teacher, Ms. D, our new Spanish and ESL teach, Ms. Rodriguez, and our new Cook, Robert!
“Traditional Spiritual Healing Ceremony” Vlog: Watch this energetic ceremony the students experienced during their culture day spent in a small village in Zululand!
“A Wild Holiday in KwaZulu Natal, South Africa”: KwaZulu Natal is as exotic as it sounds. After coming alongside in Durban we left the ship for what would promise to be the experience of a lifetime.
We are currently on our way to Namibia and plan to arrive January 11th.
We are about to embark on our longest sails yet from Namibia to St. Helena then St. Helena to Fortaleza.
End of term two is coming up around February 20th, when we arrive in Fortaleza, and exams start the day after departure.
The students are well into their global research and their first draft of their extended essay is due January 11th.