Wednesday, August 30, 2017

Yala National Park - the Not So Nice Animals

A useful general rule for leading an international trip with students is that when they get grouchy just take them to the beach.  We learned that in Zanzibar a couple years ago.  It was hot and the students were beat down, but one trip out to Prison Island and a little time on the beach there dramatically improved their mood.  On last March trip to India and Sri Lanka we finally made it to the beach on the next to last day.  When Cyndi and I were researching the Yala National Park we found out that it touched upon the ocean and that there was a beach there so we thought we might just be able to let the students walk on the beach.  I remember our great Sri Lankan guide saying "You really shouldn't go in the water because of the undertow" as Sally and Carolanne rushed past him and dove into the surf.  I've been meaning to post a series of pictures of the students, both at the beach and riding along in the jeeps.  They were a good lot and we dragged them all over India and Sri Lanka, as well as facing the possibility of getting stuck temporarily in Sri Lanka or India because of a visa issue, and they were happy every day.

Hannah and Scott in the jeep looking for beasties.

John, who was unfailingly jazzed every day and was a joy to travel with.  He was also the one who would stand up at dinner and make the heartfelt speeches.  And to think that when I first taught him on his first day at Champlain I was certain that I'd throw him out the window.  Soon, soon, all too soon, my brother, I know you'll make it back to India and Sri Lanka.

Jacob celebrating his Sri Lanka book and Sri Lanka.  He started off the semester a bit shy, but he's one of those students that you can just see grow day by day.

John and Sam taking picture on the journey through the park.  He was disappointed that I wouldn't let him climb on top of the jeep.

Left to right: Jess (reflective), Max (giving me attitude), Hannah (loving the beach), Hattie (talking smack).

Jess and Sam showing restraint and not rushing into the surf.

The same could not be said for Sally and Carolanne who almost bowled over our Sri Lankan guide in their mad dash to the ocean.  I think I may have won them all over to my belief that the Indian Ocean is the best ocean.

Charlotte taking the requisite selfie at the beach.

Max officially losing his shit at the beach.

Sally and Carolanne after being dragged out of the ocean. In the background you can see a peak that Michael Manfredi allegedly climbed when he "went for a walk on the beach."

Cyndi sporting her excellent Quitters Coffee shirt at the beach.

Some old beach bum showed up, oddly wearing a Rising Sun, Indiana t-shirt.

Several women on the trip taking the opportunity to tan, and in some cases burn, before it was back in the jeeps in search for more beasties.

Jess looking slightly disgruntled/abashed after a wave splashed over her and interrupted her nap.  

I think this was the moment when it began to dawn on the group when the trip was coming to a close.  The look on Sally's face (far left) said it all.

And Carolanne deciding to flash the Indian Ocean.  I guess I can post this picture since Carolanne sent it to me and featured it on her own blog.  This interaction was reported to me: Carolanne: "Charlotte, come with me.  I need you to take a picture of me topless." Charlotte: "Sure!"  Apparently it's now Carolanne's goal to flash all the oceans of the world, which I guess is not any dumber than having your picture taken everywhere wearing a Rising Sun, Indiana t-shirt.

No comments: