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Week of December 9, 2018

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Today we went to Abuye and had the ride of our lives (literally). The roads outside of Addis Ababa are unfinished and very difficult to travel on. So a trip of only 12-miles took us over an hour! In Phoenix, we could have arrived in less than 15-minutes. The car ride was bumpier than our airplane ride last weekend. Geo got a little sick, but he felt better by the time we arrived. When we arrived at Abuye, there was a bodyguard standing on the road to enter the village.

The bodyguard was a very large Asian-looking man, but he spoke English. He was obviously not a native of Ethiopia. There was also a teenage boy with the bodyguard. The boy came out to speak to us. He saw our computer and was amazed because he had never seen a computer. Holy Idaho! Can you imagine never seeing a computer?

Anyway, we couldn't get online in Abuye, but we still let the teenager take a look at our computer. He looked at our computer for a few minutes, and then he went and whispered something to the bodyguard. Meanwhile, we told the bodyguard that we were looking for a missing dog. We also told him that we believed that the man and woman who stole the dog were now staying in Abuye. The bodyguard told us there was no way that they were staying in Abuye. He said that no one could get past him without his knowledge, so he was 100% positive that we were wrong: the Equators were not in Abuye. He told us to leave and never come back.

We tried to reason with him, but he just stood there with his arms crossed. He said nothing. Holy Idaho - how rude!! We were kind of surprised at how he responded to our questions. But we were happy that our driver hadn't left us in this place - because we wanted to get back to our hotel in the capital city of Addis Ababa ASAP! As we were pulling away in our car for our slow (and bumpy) ride home, the bodyguard pulled something out of his pocket (either a phone or walkie-talkie). We could hear him say the words "rid of them". Holy Idaho! "Rid of them" - what does that mean? Something seemed fishy about the bodyguard, but Geo and I went back to the hotel anyway because there was nothing else we could do.

     - Meri

The village of Abuye (as close as we could get)!

We saw this

Another picture of our journey to Abuye


This morning Meri and I got up and headed straight to the U.S. Embassy to ask for help getting into Abuye. The Embassy is very close to our hotel, so we just walked over. While we were waiting in line, we received a text message from Uncle GT.

Text Message from Uncle GT: C & P heading to S. Africa. U2 need to go to airport ASAP. Tix at gate J-9. HAGD. Pls call when you get to S. Africa.

Thankfully, we received this message before we headed back to Abuye. So now Meri and I are on our way to the airport. Uncle GT sent us a map of South Africa (check it out). He also emailed us some really cool pictures of South Africa. Now we are heading to Cape Town. We will write more when we arrive in South Africa.

     - Geo

This is the 'Big Hole' - a cliff found in South Africa. Holy Idaho!

The beautiful landforms of South Africa


South Africa Map
Take a look at the map of South Africa. What cardinal direction would you travel going from Pretoria to Cape Town?


Last night we arrived in South Africa. This is an amazing country. True to its name, South Africa is found on the southern tip of Africa. South Africa is the only country in the world with 3 capital cities. The capital city of Cape Town (where our hotel is located) is the largest capital city. Other capitals include Bloemfontein, and Pretoria. I wonder why one country needs 3 capital cities? South Africa has 11 official languages. Holy Idaho! I wonder if South Africans can understand all of the 11 languages? If not, I wonder how they can communicate with each other?

The country of South Africa is rich in natural resources. Holy Idaho! Did you know that South Africa is the world's largest producer of platinum, gold, and chromium? Besides jewelry, I wonder what other products are created using chromium, gold, and platinum? There are also other natural resources found in South Africa: coal, iron ore, manganese, nickel, tin, phosphates, gem diamonds, uranium, copper, salt, natural gas, and more. Holy Idaho! They have a ton of natural resources. I wonder what natural resources are found in North America and South America? South Africa also has a large agricultural base including wool, beef, vegetables, fruit, sugarcane, corn, wheat, dairy products, and others.

Text Message from Pandora: Where R U? RUOK? I M bored.

Text Message to Pandora: We R OK. In Africa. BBFN.

Poor Pandora, I wish we could tell her more about our adventure. But she is safer, not being involved. Surprisingly, I actually miss my little sister (a little bit).

Today we spent our time visiting various hotels and other tourist locations looking for Dewey. After a frustrating day of investigation (with no leads), we returned to our hotel around 5. There was a voicemail waiting on our hotel telephone. The message said "hotel restaurant - 6 o'clock." We didn't know who left the voicemail, but we figured we'd be safe in a public place. We headed to the restaurant a few minutes before 6:00 to find out more. We were both too nervous to eat anything, so we just ordered sodas. When the waiter brought out our sodas, he handed us our bill in a leather folder. When we opened the folder, we found an envelope addressed to Geo. He opened it and it said, "You are too late. 20 00 S, 47 00 E." Holy Idaho! Those numbers look like map coordinates for our next stop on our search for Dewey, the truth-sniffing dog. The 20 00 S represents the line of latitude, and the 47 00 E represents the line of longitude. Now we have to go back to our map and see if we can figure out what country Dewey is actually in. Take a look at the attached map and see if you can figure it out. We have it narrowed down to Egypt, Madagascar, or Congo? The country has to be south of the equator, since any coordinate that is S (for south) is below the equator. Can you help us? Look for the line of latitude directly under the equator (20 00 S). Which country does that line run through? If you need a review about longitude and latitude go back and reread our posts from South America. Should we go to Egypt, Madagascar, or Congo?

     - Meri

The City of Cape Town (one of the three capitals of South Africa)

The view of the Atlantic Ocean from our hotel balcony

Check out this goat that we saw downtown while we were investigating!


Map of Africa
Which country is located at 20 00 S, 47 00 E? Is it Egypt, Madagascar, or Congo? Can you help us?


Visit this TOTALLY AWESOME site to see a virtual tour of Cape Town.

Tell Geo and Meri what to do:

- Are we heading to Egypt?

- Are we heading to Madagascar?

- Are we heading to Congo?

Links to learn more :

Exploring Africa
Exploring Africa brings Africa into your classroom through numerous interdisciplinary lessons. There are 20 modules (within 4 general units of study). The general units include "Why Study Africa," "Studying Africa Through the Social Studies," "Studying Africa Through the Humanities," and "Regional Perspectives." Each module contains a teacher version that includes objectives, focus questions, activities, background information, and more.

The Africa Guide
This website provides a colorful interactive map of Africa. Users are able to click on any country in Africa to learn more about that particular country.



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