Archive for the ‘travel’ Category

This year was my second time to attend and present at the European Council of International School (ECIS). Last year was in Nice, France and we experienced that glorious Mediterranean climate.

This year was in Hamburg, a lovely city in Northern Germany. Not a lot of photos from this work-related trip. My few photos were taken with a shaking (cold) hand holding an iPhone. So best kept hidden in my iPhoto events and not shared on the interweb. I didn’t really see much of Hamburg during the day except during the 5-min walk from the hotel to the conference site.

I attended a whole-day pre-conference workshop to be trained to serve as a member of the accreditation team for the Council of International Schools (CIS). This is my second accreditation training for/from two different international organizations and it was interesting to note the similarities (and differences) between the two in the approach to an accreditation visit. For me, another advantage of being in this accreditation workshop for CIS is meeting administrators and teachers from international schools that follow different curriculum models/programme. In a way, during breaks, conversations about education and the future of education is enriched by these different perspectives.

My colleague and I gave two 1-hour presentations on (1) new curriculum developments, and (2) current and future initiatives in the organization. Although we use PC at work, we now have access to a ‘floating’ macbook which can be loaned, so this time, the presentation was done on Keynote. The presentation looks so much slicker!

Apple was one of the sponsors in ECIS and they ran a few workshops. I went to one on podcasting as I have been meaning to start a project on getting Dan North to podcast his spectacular blog.

To me, one of the best things about ECIS this year is the keynote address. Wade Davis spoke about the extinction of cultures and what it means for the legacy that humanity leaves behind. In his book, The Wayfinders: Why Ancient Wisdom Matters in the Modern World, he argues that “the myriad of cultures makes up an intellectual and spiritual web of life that envelops the planet and is every bit as important to the well being of the planet as is the biological web of life.”  He lamented on the lost of language and predicted that of the 7,100 languages spoken today, half will not be passed on.

This makes me think about the death of the beautiful Filipino alphabet baybayin. Our alphabet was one of the casualties of the Spanish occupation. It’s a beautiful script and to me, it looks like waves of water – how fitting for a country of more than 7,100 islands!

The quote below was attributed to the Philippine national hero, Dr Jose Rizal (1869):

This language of ours is like any other,
it once had an alphabet and its own letters
that vanished as though a tempest had set upon a boat on a lake in a time now long gone.

“To My Fellow Children”,
English translation by P. Morrow

Here is a good link, maintained by Paul Morrow, to the ancient script in the Philippines: http://www.mts.net/~pmorrow/bayeng1.htm

Wade Davi’s book is a good read and comes with an annotated bibliography. Or you can also watch him here on TED talking about endangered cultures.

Oh, and I had a tweet-up with the lovely @gravesle who went to see our presentation. We had a lovely chat about collaboration and master’s classes and, of course, time for photo ops! Look on Leigh’s flickr. And here is her awesome site that should be on your RSS reader!

tweet-up @gravesle and @kloza

tweet-up @gravesle and @kloza


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Day 2: 18 April 2009, Saturday

This day was spent exploring the nature trail at Jozani Forest, a protective reserve which is nearly 3% of the whole island.

forest ranger

forest ranger © kloza

We were taken around by a ranger from the local community with a real passion for the protection of indigenous creatures (big and small) in the reserve.

red colobus monkey © kloza

red colobus monkey © kloza

If you are lucky, you will find a friendly gang of red colobus monkey as well as a chance to feed sea turtles. Both animals are endangered and the community has many projects to make sure that these creatures are protected. Supporting their nature trail tours help in informing visitors about their projects.

baby sea turtle

baby sea turtle © kloza

More photos from Day 2 in Zanzibar here

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17 April 2009, Friday

We arrived in Zanzibar mid-day after traveling for more than 18 hours beginning Thursday, 16 April:

  • Bus from Cardiff to London Heathrow (LHR) = 3 hours
  • Wait for flight to leave from LHR =  3 hours
  • Flight from LHR to Nairobi Jomo Kenyatta Int’l Airport (NBO) = 8.5 hours
  • Wait at NBO airport = 2 hours
  • Flight from NBO to Zanzibar Kisauni Airport (ZNZ)= 1.5 hours
  • ZNZ to hotel = 20 mins

Airport is small and security is quite relaxed. We explored stone town in the afternoon and then back to the hotel to listen to traditional Traab music and watch the sunset. Dinner at the rooftop was fantastic; service was excellent!

Looking forward to meeting the participants to this project between IB and Aga Khan.

Here’s a slideshow of the day’s pictures:

Vodpod videos no longer available.

More Zanzibar photos here.

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travel pains

French Riviera © Kirsten

Finally back to my cosy flat checking my email, updating my twitter (which updates my facebook), uploading photos on iPhoto for export on flickr, did a software updates on my iMac, fashioned my Firefox (more on this another time), and putting my feet up!

I am back from the ECIS conference in Nice, France where I presented with S about the work we are currently doing. I thought it was a good turn-out and we presented well together. We attended a few other presentations as well as helped out in the company exhibition stand. I met new people and got on really well with H and E.

In spite of the nightmare of a journey, we all managed to keep our cool and resisted throwing a hissy fit. I mean, *I* resisted throwing a hissy fit!

Our flight from Nice to Amsterdam was delayed and then we heard news that our flight from Amsterdam to Cardiff was canceled. When we arrived in Amsterdam, we queued for about an hour and a half to get new boarding passes for flights the next day. After sorting our flights and making sure that our bags are transferred, we headed to book a hotel near the airport for the night. G (the only bloke at this point) decided to break off from the girls and head to town to get his room and we all headed to Hotel Mercure. A pizza, a bowl of peanuts and a bottle wine after, we said good night and agreed to meet at the reception in the morning to take the shuttle back to Amsterdam Schipol airport.

The flight from Amsterdam to Cardiff was on time and we are all looking forward to being home. Unfortunately, S, G and my bag did not turn up at the airport so we left with just our hand luggage. For me, this means that until I get my luggage bag, I will have to wear a skirt as the only 3 trousers I own are in the bag! Maybe this means I should go out a shop for clothes. I wonder if my insurance will cover that…

Anyway, I need to keep going for the rest of the evening so I have some energy to go to Spanish class.

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