June 22, 2008

Follow the Leader

Yesterday I led my first excursion for Richard Language College to the city of Bath. It was a wonderful day! I think it was a successful day for me as a tour guide. We had 22 students on the trip and I was a leader along with Jane, the British lady who's been filling in as the other Social Organiser these past two weeks.

Bath is an incredibly beautiful and historic city here in Great Britain. The name "Bath" comes from the hot, natural mineral waters that have drawn people to the area for thousands of years. The Romans invaded Britain in 43 A.D. and built beautiful bath houses and temples in this area. Later generations rebuilt upon the ruins of these buildings and the main bath house is still functioning to this day with the original Roman water flow system. The rest of the city is famous for it's Georgian architecture. I really read up quite a bit on the city this past week and I think our walking tour was able to be fairly informative! It was incredibly enjoyable for me to take the students around and share some of the city's history with them. I also had the opportunity to speak some French with the French students who went along. In some situations, it really became a necessity. But it's been so long since I've really spoken French that I'm still not feeling so confident. Hopefully I can keep using it in the coming weeks.

As I was rushing around gathering all my materials for the trip on Saturday morning, I forgot to bring my camera along. Fortunately I'll be back to Bath again and it really was a very rainy day yesterday, not ideal at all for taking photos. So you'll have to check back in a few weeks to see pictures of Bath.

During our free time in Bath, Jane and I came upon something I most definitely would have never imagined seeing in this elegant city. We joined a large crowd that was gathered around two male street performers. They were yelling loudly, doing fire stunts and acrobatic tricks, and most interestingly of all, they did all of this while wearing nothing but THONGS. I have to admit, the pair of them was pretty entertaining as they bantered back and forth with each other and the crowd. Despite the thongs, they claimed several times that their show was a "family show," and there were definitely kids watching and participating! I think the thongs act as the initial draw for people to come and watch, but their humor is why people stay and watch the nearly hour-long show. Their humor is truly witty. The "finale" consisted of each of them clenching a lit sparkler between their buttock cheeks, climbing up on an acrobatic stand, and doing fancy headstands and balancing acts. The crowd gladly gave donations at the end of the "show." Yes, it was quite the show!

One weekend excursion down, 8 more to go!


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