On Friday 9th November 2012 senior school students went on an educational trip to Lake Malawi, Salima. The trip was organized as part of the topic Coastal processes and landforms, and Coastal environments for IGCSE and A2 courses respectively. The main aim of this trip was to allow the students to have a concrete experience and develop an in-depth understanding of coastal processes such as wave generation, wave refraction, long shore drift and landforms such as sand dunes, bays, headlands, and wave cut platforms.
It was a very successful excursion and students behaved very well throughout the outing such that we spent all the three days out without any major problem.
Below is a detailed breakdown of the activities on this trip.
Friday, 9th November
We departed Lilongwe on 9th November at 10:30 am on a bus from Sydney Bus Company belonging to Mr. Migodi. The bus carried 26 students and two teachers (Mr. Kachamba and Ms Njati). On our way we stopped over at Kapani meat products to buy sausages. We made another stoppage at Salima at around 12: 30pm. We arrived at Beach Villa at 14: 23, where we were given a very warm welcome. Upon arrival students were assembled to be instructed as to how they were to behave during our stay at Beach villa where we lodged. They were also given the program for the weekend including the lesson schedule. Students were then allocated chalets and rooms for accommodation. After settling down, they were allowed to go for a swim to freshen up after a long journey on a hot day. They relaxed until late when it was time for supper. After supper, students were now dancing to the music played by the DJ who was hired to entertain them for the weekend.
Saturday, 10th November
Saturday was largely a teaching and learning day. Breakfast was taken early at 07:30 am. At 08:00 am, students were assembled at the beach with their notebooks for the lesson.
Waves and wave processes.
The lesson started with the study of the effect of wind on wave generation and direction. A make shift wind vane was put up on the beach to detect wind direction. Students were told to observe and record wind direction and compare their findings with the direction of waves. On wave processes, students also observed the process of wave refraction, long shore drift and changes in a wave that approaches a shallow coast. A study of coastal processes took almost 1 hour.
We then embarked on a long walk along the beach to study coastal landforms. Te first landforms to be studied were stretches of sand dined which are common along the coast. On each sand dune which we visited, students were asked to describe the dune, identifying its type and explaining how it was formed.
The long walk finally took us to a point along the beach where we studied a number of features such as wave cut plat form; wave cut notches, bays and headlands. This was around 13:00 pm. After a study of these features students also visited a certain cottage along the coast where special structures had been constructed to protect the coastal land from heavy erosion. The whole field work on this day ended at around 14:30, when we returned from the field for lunch. After lunch, students were again allowed to relax in the water and dance to the music played by the DJ. Of course most of the students ended up falling asleep due to fatigue from a long walk and all the learning activities. Supper was served at 7:30 after which we had chicken and beef braaii which kept us till late.
Sunday, 11th November.
On Sunday students woke up tired because of the Saturday activities. It was a rather windy day and the waves at the lake were a bit rough. Therefore, students were instructed not to go into the water until the wind had calmed down around 11:00. However students continued to collect and record data on wind direction at the set intervals on our make shift wind vane we put up the previous day. This was done to see if there were any changes and differences from Saturday’s data.
After lunch, at around 1:00, the bus arrived to pick us up for our journey back to Lilongwe. We started off from Beach Villa at 14:00; we stopped over again at Salima where students wanted to buy some drinks and water. We arrived back at Mount Sinai at around 5:00 pm.
The trip proved to be very successful and beneficial to students as most of the students said that it helped them to understand the concepts much deeper than they did in class. They said that they would love to have more of these trips even in other subjects. I would like to extend my gratitude to the Managing Director for allowing us to conduct this excursion. Special thanks should also go to the Head of High School for the technical support he rendered during the preparation of the trip. He was really involved in every stage of our preparation until the final day when we left the campus for Salima.
Report by Mr Kachamba & Ms Njati (9th November 2012)