Students set out for far horizons

COAST CITIES — In February, students from Francis Parker School will visit South Africa and the Philippines as part of school-sponsored programs.
Kate Kidd and Penny Jennewein of Del Mar, Alex Belli of Rancho Santa Fe, and Maya Ellisman of Solana Beach, along with six other Parker classmates are traveling to South Africa from Feb.7 to Feb.21. Accompanied by Parker Faculty Tom Crowley and Genny Moser, this is the sixth annual trip and includes a visit to the Savannah Wildlife Preserve to learn about the cheetah-breeding program. Working with Savannah’s cheetah breeders, student will have the opportunity to handle, interact with and study the wild cats throughout the trip. The youngsters will also work with students from the local township of Tumahole, take nature hikes, do cave explorations, water conservation seminars and a trek to Johannesburg’s Apartheid museum.
From Feb.14 through Feb. 28, Parker faculty members Grant Lichtman, Phil Trotter and Carol Obermeier will lead Emily Baratta of Del Mar, Myles Muagututia of Oceanside, Sara Gothard of Rancho Santa Fe and nine other Francis Parker School students to Dumaguete, Philippines, where they will be immersed into the culture for hands-on learning. During their visit, students will shadow Silliman University students to their classes and take half-day trips with professors into the surrounding city.
Additionally, Parker students will travel to the rain forest, to see the firsthand relationship between fragile habitat, climate, water, native species and the livelihoods of people who call those mountains home. Next, the student group will head to Apo Island to visit the reef preserve and speak with native Apo students about the similarities and differences of their lives. Finally, the core of the student trip will be a three-day service learning experience that includes home stays with families in Dumaguete and surrounding communities. Parker students will live with their hosts, help with shopping, cooking, and cleaning, and work part of each day alongside their hosts at a local community project.

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