Hello fellow bloggers all over the globe!
First of all, thanks from Dad for all your kind comments and appreciation of his efforts. Secondly, apologies to Marcos for not analysing your writing tonight. I promise in my next post I will. I read with interest your piece called Fortress.
Thirdly, apologies to all those I do not manage to have dialogue with today. I will try to respond to a few of you each post. Before I do that however, I’ll take you on a virtual tour of Yala National Park. I hope you like the pics. There were so many of them it was hard for me to make the selection but I have tried to give you as varied a tour as possible with some of the better, sharper pictures.
So, here goes: we set off in a jeep organised by the hotel at 5.45 in the morning. Our hotel was just a few minutes from the main entrance to Yala so we were inside the park in no time at all. We took with us a packed breakfast and two cameras. The best of the shots you will see in a minute were taken with our Nikon SLR with a Sigma zoom lens.
I’ll start with one of the more common sightings – the Green Bee Eater. They were ubiquitous in Yala but very attractive I thought and this one just wouldn’t stop posing for me. He was an absolute gift!
Next up is the Sloth bear - sloth by name, sloth by nature apparently. This is a cub but there were three of them who played near us for about 5 minutes before scattering into the bush. This was one of the rarer sightings according to our tracker.
Now here’s one that’s not for the faint hearted among you - a crocodile with a turtle for its breakfast. Can you see the eggs that have been expelled from its stomach by the crocodile’s jaws?! I kept waiting for it to alter its position but it stayed absolutely still and would have done I think for an hour or so more. Busy digesting? :)
This is one I am proud of as I took it and it was a difficult shot to get. It’s an eagle. Which type, I am not sure but it is a fish-eating one. They are such dignified birds don’t you think?
After that we stopped for breakfast at a beach by which a memorial to the Tsunami victims killed in the park on that fateful day had been placed.
By this time I, although I was happy with what we had seen I was still anxious to see my favourite – the elephant. That most majestic of beasts, yet somehow melancholic. We set off back in the direction we had come and took a couple of in-roads off the main track to see if we couldn’t come across one or two at one of the many drinking holes but nothing until…..
Back on the main road probably only a few kilometres into the park, there he came from the bush onto the track and walked right into my viewfinder. What a treat!
And in this one you can see that it is mating season as he has the musk glands weeping on his face. This is to attract the female of the species. Have I begun to sound a little like David Attenborough?:) My Dad kept saying that I did because I insisted on whispering in reverence the whole time!
And here he goes back off into the jungle…. With a trump, trump, trump. ;) After this, everything else paled. I was so happy to have had such close contact with this majestic male.
On the way out, we saw yet another painted crane but the light was right so I took a few shots and here’s one of the better ones.
Well, as you can see, although it was a bumpy ride it was well worth the 4-hour trip and Isabel was amazingly well behaved through it all. Here she is on one of the most pristine, beautiful beaches I have been on – it is in the resort we stayed in.
Right, now for a few replies…..
Alessandro - I have been pondering what you said about bilingualism and I do think that one of the main reasons for Isabel not speaking in Hindi yet is due to the fact that Pankaj and I don't generally speak Hindi to each other at home. The fact that he speaks to her in Hindi is not enough. I think she needs to hear it being spoken aound her, which of course if we were in India she would do much more frequently. Do write more on the subject. It's very interesting and if anyone else has any light to shed on this matter, please do write in.
Yes, I do think you are a risk taker as far as language learning is concerned but if you don't feel you push yourself enough, do try to use new words you are less familiar with the use of and see what happens. I do think that even at the basic level, students can take risks with the language they are learning. I will try to give you feedback whenever I can and don't lose heart that you were not chosen as the student blogger for this month. I am sure it will be an option for you in months to come. Make sure you get some feedback from the LE team.
Christine - no I don't know "Dinner for one" - is it a film? tell me about it. I like the title.
Toni - I agree, 'seeing and doing' is a good way to learn and I always have to write things down in order to remember them. I always say I can't think if I don't have a pen in my hand! :)
Rabail - absolutely no need to apologise. This blog is aimed at language learners from an intermediate to advanced level and yes, it is perfectly OK for you to comment on the teacher's blog as well as the student's. So, keep blogging if you like and I hope you pick up some more tips for your writing skills.
James - here's a correction for you: Your sentence from a comment on my Jan 5th blog :no matter it is long or short....' should read "no matter if/whether it is long or short...'.I do understand your frustration but please understand that it is not possible for me to correct every blogger's sentences.
Well, as they say, that's all folks. One more thing before I go. Thank you very much to all who told me of their trips and journeys. I will comment on those and the answers to recent challenges in my next post.
Good night and sweet dreams.
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