Monday, February 10, 2014

Michael climbs a volcano

Last Monday morning, Michael got up at 3 AM, 
packed last-minute essentials in his bag, 
and headed to the airport.

There he met up with his classmates, and boarded a plane for the island of Luzon
to participate in his second Outdoor Education experience.
Photo by Michael
 They traveled by bus to "Base Camp" where they joined with students from Manila to make a group of over 200 middle schoolers.  From there they split into three travel groups, 
rotating to visit three different locations during the week.

Michael's first day's trip was to Taal Volcano, about 30 miles south of Manila.
(Okay, Michael didn't take this one!) photo credits: Wikipedia
 Taal is the second most active volcano in the Philippines, with 33 recorded eruptions.
It's been pretty quiet since 1977; long enough to make it an interesting but safe place to explore!

 His group boarded a barge (above) pushed by one boat and pulled by another (see below) 
toward the island volcano (which you can also see in the photo below)

 Here they set up camp, and then hiked across the island 
of volcanic rock to the volcanic lake in the center.

Michael and a friend at the overlook
They swam in Lake Taal
Michael poses by a steaming hot fumarole
and explored the beach around it, carefully avoiding hot spots in the rock,

and these burning fumaroles; cracks in the earth's crust emitting steam and gasses.
Michael said that this one (above) was a little frightening, with no bottom in view

He had other adventures last week too, including learning to dive,
killing and cooking a chicken for dinner, 
ministering to kids from a local school,
snorkeling, competing in games,
and sleeping out under the stars, on a bed of coral rock.

He was happy to get back to a mattress, a hot shower and flushing toilet, and something other than PB 'n Js for lunch, but he loved the experience, and has some fabulous memories as a result.

Thanks to all of the adults who led these kids on such an adventure!  
We're thankful for each one of you!


Judy said...

WOW! What an awesome experience!!! Thanks for sharing the photos!
Your kids will have some amazing memories to take with them into adulthood!

us5 said...

yes! thanks for stopping by, Judy, to see Michael's pics of his trip! :)

Anonymous said...

Wow! Not your ordinary field trip, that's for sure. What a wonderful experience!

us5 said...

it's true, Hank...i never did anything so cool when i was in middle school!

Rosalie said...

What an adventure!! Thanks for sharing this.

us5 said...

thanks for stopping by to share it with us, too, Rosalie! ♥