Show and Tell

The kids and I have been putting together something to ‘show and tell’ the local kids about our travels and our home state.  Elizabeth picked out some photos and helped create a slideshow, while Michael looked up the meanings of the Colorado flag design.  We all looked around the boat to find anything we could bring with us to share bits of the countries we’ve visited:  a wooden blue- footed booby from Galapagos, a colorful woven bag from Colombia, a hand-stitched mola from Panama, a boomerang from Australia, and many more.  The school children loved touching these special items that had traveled so far.

We also brought peanut butter for them to taste, placing a dollop on nearly 90 kids’ fingers!  Some tasted it and wiped it on their shirts in disgust, while others savored every bit or gobbled it up in one lick.

 Elizabeth and Michael were wonderful presenters.  E narrated the photos in a confident and clear voice.  M surprised us all by belting out an a cappella solo of a Maori song he’d learned in school in New Zealand.  Both of them gained confidence in their abilities to present and it was wonderful to see them do so well in front of such a large crowd!  Mariellen was our documentary filmmaker, videoing our talk and taking photos for us to remember this day.

The school master, Mr. Ben, was very grateful and said they would think of something for us to take with us as a representation of Vanuatu to show children in other countries.   Then Grace, Christopher’s sister who taught grade 1, invited us to see her classroom.

Colored handprints were strung along the ceilings and the children had carefully planted cabbage sprouts just outside the classroom.  They’d also grown sugar cane, which grew taller than me!  One boy said he wanted to give us some, and we were given two entire stalks of it - much to the delight of Elizabeth and Michael.  Grace proceeded to show us how to bite and peel off the bark in order to remove a hunk of the pulp to chew on and spit out.  Fresh sugar cane!

We all returned to the boat, proud and filled up from our experience.  To blow off some steam, we donned our wetsuits and went off to do some snorkeling.  It would be the first time back in the water for me in months, and it felt fantastic.  Mariellen was a bit nervous and unsure of herself, but we watched out for her, Elizabeth especially playing dive guide.

We saw Christmas tree worms clinging to coral heads, a large stingray, a black-tipped reef shark, fat-lipped giant clams, and Mark was the only one who  caught a glimpse of an enormous sea turtle.

There were various fish surrounding coral heads and darting back into their hiding spots when they’d see us coming.  My favorites were the shy bright orange “Nemo” fish that guarded their anemone homes.  Of course, the camera battery had died, but these beauties warranted a return trip, just to get a photo!  And I got to see my first underwater octopus, too.  Can you spot it?  The reef had created a ‘show and tell’ of its own, especially for us!

Giant Clam


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