Welcome to Ms. R's Blog!

A big shout out to my old students from Savannah and from Duluth! I miss you guys, but I couldn’t pass up an opportunity to travel and see a very different part of the world.

The teacher in me can never resist a teachable moment. So, as you read my blog about living and teaching in Liberia, I hope you absorb some new knowledge. Please comment on my posts; feel free to ask me questions and to answer the ones I’ve posed. I want this blog to be a place of dialogue!

I’ve got a list already started of things to write about, but I would love your input. What do you want to hear about?

Saturday, March 3, 2012

A Field Trip...African Style

Yesterday, the Pre-K through 3rd graders at my school went on a field trip to Marshall, a city in Liberia about an hour from my school. Marshall is on a river that feeds into the Atlantic ocean.  While on the field trip, we took a boat ride.  The ride passed a small fishing village, which you can see in the first two photos.

The boat ride also took us past Monkey Island.  

Before Liberia's civil war there was a research institute that did pharmaceutical tests on chimpanzees.  These tests were illegal in the US, so companies performed the tests here and send the results back to the US.  When the war started, the institute shut down.  They left the chimps behind on 6 different islands; people still bring them food 2-3 times a week.  

As the boat approached one of these islands, the kids in my class began making loud "monkey" sounds.  Slowly, about 8 chimps came to the coastline.  They wanted to be fed.  They even used hand motions to show us they wanted food.  Unfortunately, due to the low water levels, we could not get the boat close enough to the shore to throw the chimps the bread we had brought for them. These showed us their displeasure by  jumping around and pounding their fists on the sand.  As we watched the chimps on this island, we could hear the sounds of monkeys on other nearby islands.

It was amazing to see these animals out in the wild, but a little scary too.  Their size was massive!  And, the echoes that carried across the water of the other monkeys on the surrounding islands was a tad creepy.

Can you find all 7 chimps in the last photo?

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