From cold Minnesota to African warmth

From+cold+Minnesota+to+African+warmth

photo courtesy of Bob Lyons

Mr. Lyons spent time in Kenya on winter vacation with the Masai warriors.

Margaret Miller, Student LIfe editor

For two BSM teachers, winter break 2010 was not the average “spend time with your family in the cold Minnesota weather” vacation. Instead, teachers Mr. Bob Lyons and Ms. Änna Overbo traveled to different countries within Africa.

Mr. Lyons traveled to Kenya for twelve days with his family in order to explore the country and spend time together. “It was a family vacation of about 16 of us. My brother, sister, myself and all of our kids and my mom and dad. We had two nights in Nairobio and then we spent five nights in what’s called the Lewa Safari Camp and then we spent three nights at Kichwa Tembo Camp which is just outside the Mara reserve,” said Mr. Lyons.

Not only was this trip an overall great experience for Mr. Lyons, but he found out the Lewa Safari camp was where Prince Williams recently popped the question. “It is one of the most popular destinations for British. It was the same location where Prince William got engaged. We could have sold our vacation for three times the money, but it was just was the perfect vacation for the kids and for a biology teacher to see the wildlife and animals,” said Mr. Lyons.

While in Kenya, Mr. Lyons was able to see things that usually do not take place within the borders of the USA. “The culture was perfect for kids, to see the villages and Masai warriors.

Any animal you can think of we saw up close– leopards, hippos, lions, buffaloes, cheetah, all of them. One thing we did witness on four different occasions was a hunt,” said Lyons. “In all four, the prey got away. Three of the prey were warthogs. It took about 30-45 minutes to all play out. Then we saw a group of cheetahs and zebra. The mom [zebra] kicked the cheetah away before it got at the baby.”

Instead of spending her time in Kenya, Ms. Overbo traveled to South Africa and Mozambique. “I was there all break plus two days, and I was there with my mother, Kitty Overbo,” said Ms. Overbo. “We were visiting my sister who is in the Peace Corpse in Mozambique; we decided to go and see her for Christmas.”

With her sister on vacation from teaching in the Peace Corpse, Ms. Overbo traveled around South Africa and Mozambique with her closest family. “We went to the beaches which were gorgeous,” said Ms. Overbo. “When we were in Johannesburg, we saw where the African crafts market was. In Kruger National Park, we rented a van and drove around for two days. We went on a night safari and saw a hyena and a jackal, too.”

Not only did Ms. Overbo explore the land of Mozambique, she was also able to venture into the water to observe different animal activity. “We went on an ocean safari where we were supposed to swim with whale sharks. No one saw them, so we went snorkeling for two and a half hours,” said Ms. Overbo.

Unfortunately, while Ms. Overbo was on the ocean safari she hit her head on the boat, cutting a two inch gash above her left eyebrow. “When it was time to get into the boat, I had to pull myself up on the boat, and as I pulled myself up, the boat rocked. I knew I had hit it, but I didn’t know I had a big gash there,” said Ms. Overbo.

Overall, Ms. Overbo had a great time. “I really liked it. It was bazaar to be there, but I really liked Mozambique. It was interesting being in Africa.”

For these teachers, winter break didn’t just bring presents from Santa, but the experience of a lifetime.