WCKA Newsletter - November 2007


The academics have been going really great so far this month. In British Literature, the class just finished up A Clockwork Orange by Anthony Burgess and is starting on A Long Way Gone: Memoirs of a Boy Soldier by Ishmael Beah. In American Literature we finally finished Invisible Man by Ralph Ellison and are now also starting on A Long Way Gone: Memoirs of a Boy Soldier. In Spanish 1, students are working on reflexive verbs and family members. In Physics, we’re just finishing up on energy, and now working on the Doppler Effect, Bernoulli’s Principle, and Archimedes’s Principle.

American History has just finished up on the Mexican-American War and the increase tension of slavery, and is now entering the Civil War and reading primary documents of history during that time period. Spanish 2 is now working on the preterit and reviewing the work over that year, after just finishing up on reflexive and action verbs. Government class is studying the due process and civil liberties/rights. They’re also beginning a letter to their local representative about a local issue of the student’s choice.

In chemistry, the class is learning the concept of the mole and how to calculate measuring quantities. They’re now working on how to balance equations, and studying five different chemical reactions. Algebra 2, the class is learning about the quadratic formulas and how they relate to real life, such as gravity and velocity. Biology has just finished the functions of cells and their organelles, and is now studying photosynthesis. In Videography class, we’re working on putting together the all the small videos we have of the first quarter for the semester video.

Algebra is working on rates of change, dealing with slopes and lines and how they deal with the real world. Algebra has just finished up on absolute value and inequalities. Geometry is just finished up on Pythagorean triples, and areas of triangles, trapezoids, and regular polygons. Pre-calculus has just finished with different properties of functions and is starting on exponents and logarithms.

- Chad Skogstad


Athletics are on the up and up. Today marks our first full day at The Hairy Lemon, the tropical island oasis we currently call home. After a few weeks on the Zambezi, everybody is excited for the relaxing change in pace. The river run back in Zambia was epic, as is the playboating here in Uganda. We had some interesting days in Zambia for sure, the mighty Zambezi is one of the best river runs in the world and its big water characteristic was amazing, but on the down side it is in an enormous canyon. Not to take anything away from such a sweet river, but now in Uganda, the put in is literally at the doorstep of our cabins. It’s niiiiiice.

- Sam Freihofer


In the past four weeks at WCKA we have done some extracurricular activities. Some of these activities included our two day safari in Chobe National Park, a dinner at one of the local villages in Zambia, a trip to Victoria Falls, and our work with Soft Power Education in Uganda. On October 25th and 26th we went on a safari in Chobe National Park in Botswana, it was a two-day drive around the park and a boat tour on the Chobe River. Throughout the safari we saw tons of animals including: lions, giraffes, elephants, birds etc…

After the safari with another week of paddling and school, the students decided they wanted to do a visit to one of the local villages. So the teachers set it up with some of the porters and we paddled on the lower Zambezi ending the day at one of the villages near the take out. The locals welcomed us warmly; they invited us into their houses and offered us food and drink. We hung out at the village talking with the locals and watching them make crafts. Later that night they made us dinner. It was probably the first time that most of us had the opportunity to eat with our hands. The meal was great, it consisted of shima (corn meal) with meat and veggies to dip it in. After experiencing the local culture and customs we headed back to camp.

Near the end of our stay in Zambia we headed to Victoria Falls one of the seven natural wonders of the world. While at Vic. Falls we hung out in the Devils Armchair, a pool at the top of the 300ft waterfall, and looked over the edge. Then before we left the falls we spread some of our dear friend Max’s ashes on one of the coolest places on the planet. Then after another couple days in Zambia we headed up to Uganda to continue paddling and school at the White Nile. Our project while in Uganda was to help Soft Power Education, where we had donated money from our Paddle-A-Thon on the Gauley River to build sanitation stations at local schools. We spent two days building sinks outside of bathrooms for the kids to wash their hands and taught them the importance of hygiene to good health.

- Nate Garcia

WCKA Newsletter - October 2004

October started out with an exuberant bang in Rock Island, Tennessee, where World Class participated in Nationals before heading back to North Carolina and the Green, South Carolina and sounds; and Atlanta and airplanes home (most of us anyway) for a well-deserved fall break. Upon our return to Atlanta we embarked in two stages upon an epic journey to Livingstone, Zambia with stage one taking approximately two days, and stage two taking three. The final leg of the journey was completed, from Lusaka to Livingston, on a circa-1967 British double-decker bus. After arriving in Livingstone we all (even Marian, once, in a Topo Duo) paddled the Zambezi for two glorious weeks. A once-in-a-lifetime experience (especially, and definitely, for Marian).


October 2nd, on Tennessee’s Caney Fork River, World Class students made a great showing at the National Championships, with Kevin Dombey taking first place in the Junior Men’s division and Ian Garcia taking third. After Rock Island we returned to North Carolina’s Green River, which we were lucky enough (thanks to Hurricane Jeanne) to paddle at high water. Half the group paddled the Narrows while the other half paddled the Upper. With the minor exception of one unexpected hike out to the highway, all was right with the world on the Green. After a two-week paddling break, we hit the Zambezi and we hit it hard, fulfilling for many a lifelong dream. The section we paddled, the Batoka Gorge, is chock full of man-eating holes and gigantic waves, all of which, thankfully, flush out into big, flat pools. We spent a lot of time at three main playspots: #12B, a massive wave where all the big moves are possible and the eddy service is first class; # 3 has a huge, fast wave in its middle, but no eddy, necessitating a bit of a hike to get back up; #2 is the first playspot on the river, a smaller wave hole but the group was still hucking big moves left and right. A good portion of the group ran the legendary # 9 and two ran #-1 of the infamous Minus Rapids, just below Victoria Falls. During the course of our two weeks in Zambia, it must be said much of the group acquired a new favorite river; The Mighty Zambezi, but the Nile still awaits.


On the first of October we helped Marian celebrate her birthday at a Mexican restaurant in McMinville, Tennessee. Then, after a bit of the Green, we absconded to Greenville, SC for a two-day Beat lab, sponsored for the students by Red Bull. Lauren, the Beat Master, flew in specially from San Francisco for the event, over the course of which the students put down some radical beats and compiled CDs of their finished product. After our week-long break we reunited in Atlanta for our departures to Africa. Once we re-met up in Livingstone, we celebrated the birthdays of Wes, Philly, and our fearless leader Whitney at a local Indian restaurant where most everyone reportedly found the food to be a mite spicy but good nonetheless. We also participated in multiple cultural activities in Livingstone, including trips to a boisterous local market at which we purchased souvenirs, a few articles of clothing, and copious refreshments of the Coca Cola and Fanta persuasions; excursions in search of deals on local produce; and conversations with the locals about our upcoming election and American and Zambian politics in general. One fine day we went to Devil’s Armchair, a smallish pool of water at the very lip of Victoria Falls, from which we could all look over at the Zambezi crashing into Batoka gorge hundreds of feet below. On an equally fine evening we boarded a riverboat and went in search of hippos and other forms of wildlife, which we found plenty of, including: elephants, crocs, baboons and a wide variety of birds. On Halloween we set off on a two-week overland excursion through Tanzania, Kenya and Uganda in search of even more wildlife and African adventure.


We have all been extremely busy with school work lately and teachers have been assigning interesting projects. The Physics class designed their own thermally-efficient houses while learning about solar energy; Cultural Studies went to the markets in Livingstone to buy fruit and to learn some of the local language to use on their missions into town; Spanish III had a guest speaker, Jordi, a fellow kayaker from Spain who enlightened the students as to the particulars of kayaking in Spain and of Spanish culture; Math classes are graphing anomalies, learning matrices, and fooling around with something called implicit differentiation; Literature classes are reading novels about Africa; American Government has been studying voter behavior; and Biology students are holding animal fact competitions while photo and video classes have been busily filming animals and white water action.

In conclusion: October was a month of success in competition, beautiful and fun rivers, vacations at home, and travels on two continents; it was a great month with many joyous memories for all. Thank you to our parents most of all, but also to the awesome Svennie and the equally super awesome porters, the Atlanta airport bag checkers, the staff at Fawlty Towers, Dehy, and the people of Zambia. Thank you also to Lauren, Jamie, and Veronica at Red Bull for setting up the Beat Lab and for delicious energy drinks.

By: The World Literature Students

map pic