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Monday, July 21, 2014

Brazil bound!

Our UA travelers to Peru and to England have now returned to us in Dallas, forever changed and enhanced by their recent experiences abroad. But, before we wrap up all of the summer delegations, we have one more adventure. In just a few short days, our Brazil delegation (14 students and 3 teachers) will be departing for Sao Paulo, Brazil to visit our sister school, Colegio Santa Ursula, in Ribeirao Preto. With all of the recent World Cup excitement and with the upcoming Olympics, Brazil is exactly where we want to be. Follow along with us here to see what we learn and experience in the land of Samba, soccer and surprises!


Thursday, July 10, 2014

The Museum of Archaeology in Lima

The learning and adventure continues for our Peru delegation. Today in Lima, our group visited the Museum of Archaeology and learned more about the food, clothing and history of the ancient civilizations of Peru. Every day is a new thrill  and we are so grateful to our sister school for planning this marvelous experience for us! 

Wednesday, July 9, 2014

Back in Lima

 Our Peru delegation has now returned to Lima and has sent us the news below:

Today we toured Colonial Lima.  We visited the Cathedral of St. Francis of Assisi and visited the catacombs that are underneath the Church.  We also walked around the central plaza and were able to see the changing of the guards at the presidential palace.  

Later in the afternoon, we toured the Museum of Peruvian Gastronomy which showcases the different culinary regions of Peru. Of course, that made us really hungry so we were very ready to enjoy our wonderful lunch of roasted chicken and ice cream!  It was delicious and just added more wonderful memories to an already fantastic day in Lima!  

Monday, July 7, 2014

Weekend in Peru

We had  great weekend full of fun and exploration in Southern Peru!  Our group traveled in a bus and so we were able to stop in many exciting places along the way to the Ica region.  On of our first stops was "the man in the mountain".  If you look closely at our photo, you can see his profile! 
Along the way, we also learned how to make Tejas, a delicious traditional candy in Peru.  Here we are posed with the granddaughter of Rosalina, the women who invented them!  
On Sunday we headed to the Nazca lines and were able to see the ancient aqueducts that the ancient Nazca civilization used to irrigate their farmland (around 2000 years ago!).  You can see how green the vegetation is behind us as a result of the still working aqueducts. Another highlight of the trip was learning how to make a ceramic pot using the methods of the ancient civilizations.  We all enjoyed getting our hands dirty and learning the different techniques!  

Today was our last day in Paracas.  Since the weather was good, we were able to visit the Islas Ballestas (the Ballestas Islands, known as the "Galapagos" of Peru!).  On the islands, we saw many different birds including pelicans and penguins as well as Sea Lions. It was another thrill of a fantastic weekend! 


Sunday, July 6, 2014

Cooking & Serviam at Ursuline High School

Today we are posting our last blog from our Wimbledon delegation as soon they will be (reluctantly) headed home to Dallas. This reflection is from last week and comes from Elizabeth:

Today was a very satisfying and unusual day.  We started off with a cooking lesson.  Cooking is an important part of the curriculum at the Wimbledon Ursuline, and it was interesting to see how the school combines science with the useful skill of cooking.  We made muffins, scones, cheese twists, and tarts which we took to the retirement home at Wimbledon.

The senior citizens at the Wimbledon Retirement Home were very enthusiastic to see and to talk with us, and we learned a great deal from what they shared with us about their life experiences.  One lady told me about how her parents were happy about Pearl Harbor because that meant that the U.S. would join the war.  We also met the oldest senior there who is an active 105 years old.  She is the sister-in-law of a famous English composer, Benjamin Britten.  It felt good performing a service activity, and it was clear that serviam is a value that unites us with our English Ursuline sisters.

After visiting the retirement home, we walked to Wimbledon Common for a picnic. While we were there, we played a game of rounders which is similar to baseball, though the bats are much smaller.  The weather was glorious as it has been all week. After the picnic we left the common to spend our last weekend in Wimbledon with out host families.  It's hard to believe our adventure is coming to an end.

Saturday, July 5, 2014

Excursion to Southern Peru

Our Peruvian delegation has left Lima for a couple of days and is currently visiting the Ica region in southern Peru. Here is their first report from Ica:

Today we left for Paracas and, after a 5 and a half hour bus ride, we arrived at our wonderful hotel. Soon we were off to learn more about Peru.  First, we went to a museum that walked us through the Peruvian ancient civilizations and showed us the different pottery styles, textiles, and mummification processes that were used by each civilization.  We also heard a lecture on how the fruit flies affect the fruit industry and what the government is doing to decrease the amount of fruit flies that are infecting the different species of fruits.  We were able to look through a microscope at the different developmental stages of the fruit fly. The whole experience was very interesting! 

Adventures in the UK

Our Wimbledon delegate, Mallory M., has written about several of her adventures while in the UK. First, she describes her visit to the Churchill War rooms and touring London:

This morning we visited the Churchill War Rooms.  Because most of these underground rooms had been left untouched, it really made history come alive.  It's one thing to read about Churchill and another to see the tiny room where he actually slept and planned strategy at the height of the Blitz.

My favorite room was the Map Room because I learned from the audio tour that when the war ended the men there simply turned the lights off the first time in six years and walked out.  What an anticlimactic ending to their heroism!

 I learned several interesting factoids about D-Day, my topic for Ms. Ide's class presentation.  Evidently, Churchill originally planned to present in one of the ships at D-Day. The museum was really interesting as well and we learned about De Gaulle's reluctance to allow France to help the Allies cross the channel.

We really enjoyed seeing Buckingham Palace.  The flag told us that the Queen is in residence.  After a long and intellectually stimulating day, Krystal, my host sister, and I went to Harrods.  It was much more fancy and expensive than I had expected, but I still loved it.  I was getting yet another taste of Britain's unique culture and way of life. 

And here Mallory tells us about her excursion to Oxford:

After school on Friday, my host family and I  drove to Oxford. Surprisingly, we only saw a few people dressed up for Alice Day (celebrating Lewis Carroll and the Alice in Wonderland books) and almost no Alice Day related events-probably because of the rain!

Because my host mom attended Oxford, we got to stay in a Keble College dorm. The campus was stunningly beautiful, lush, and old! Then we walked into town and bought some candy at a local sweetshop. We walked around town and visited Bodelian library, the oldest in the world, then ate at a pub. While eating my fish and chips, a group of Americans walked in, set an American flag on the bar, and-I couldn't hear exactly what they said, but I think they declared the bar's independence! Anyway, we laughed for a while.Later that night, we walked to Oxford Castle to watch a dramatization of The Canterbury Tales. Even though we had to move inside because of the rain, I enjoyed it immensely!  Not much Lewis Carroll, but I got to experience Chaucer.

 This morning, we at breakfast in the University dining hall, also beautiful! At noon we were given a tour of Oxford: I saw many of the places Harry Potter was filmed (Griffindor common room, the ferret scene, Hogwart's infirmary) old city walls and many other wonderful places. At 4 o'clock, in honor of the Mad Hatter, we had afternoon tea and I tried my first scone! After tea, we headed home, content but sad to see the vanishing spires of Oxford..