March has been a busy month with some very special events taking place. A little under two weeks ago we welcomed Emelie Chace-Donahue to Dubai and Acaciawood from Maine USA. Emelie is a Grade 12 student at the Merriconeag Waldorf School in Freeport, Maine. She is here in Dubai on her Grade 12 internship to gain work experience and an insight into the Arabic culture and language before going to college in September. It is a great pleasure to have her here with us at Acaciawood and to be able to benefit from her skills as a Waldorf grade 12 student. This last week Emelie and I took The Acaciawood children on their first school trip without any of their parents. It was a tremendous success and made possible by Emelie's visit to us. Emelie worked along side me to plan the trip and prepare the children in class with work on the mangroves, the special natural areas of coastal vegetation that we visited in Um al Quwain, one of the other Emirates. Emelie took the drawing class for a couple of days before we went and taught the children (and me!) how to draw the beautiful birds that we hoped to see in the mangroves. Indeed we did see some of them and so beautiful and graceful they were. Emelie, a huge thank you for all your hard work and support that helped to make this trip happen.
The Mangroves are bushes and trees that grow in coastal regions but that require very specific conditions in which to grow e.g. a tidal exchange of 0.6 m and coastlines that are sheltered from waves and coastal erosion; mangroves do not actually need saline water to survive but as they can grow in saline waters they are often the only plants seen in such areas. As with cacao beans they only grow between certain distances above and below the equator. Such conditions are found in quite a few places within the UAE and the resulting mangroves provide beautiful and peaceful natural havens for a variety of wildlife and birds, whilst being a welcome change in scenery from the more arid desert areas in the rest of the country for us.
|The houseboat that we took into the mangroves with a great slide on the back!|
|BBQing on the first night!|
|The mangroves at low tide|
Having returned from our trip on Thursday, the parents and children came together at school this weekend to build our 4th grade 3 house! Much designing, hammering, sawing, cutting and heaving, later we now have the following addition to our school garden.
May I wish all of our parents, friends, readers and fellow Waldorf teachers and homeschoolers a very Happy Easter.
|Grade 3 Mums|
|The grade 3s taking a break for a lollipop!|
|Fixing the tree door.....|
|and a Dad|
|Quick game of a sailor went to sea sea sea!|
|Two days later and nearly there.....|
|One beautiful tree house|
|And finally, Emelie and Mel riding on a camel in the desert!|