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!