Welcome to Second Semester

I’m looking forward to meeting you and working with you this semester.   Please use the menu’s to access the appropriate class.

 

 

Posted in Uncategorized | Leave a comment

DHS Ambassadors – Travel to Scotland, Berlin, Prague, Krakow and Budapest

DHS Ambassadors will be travelling to Scotland in 2019 and Berlin, Prague, Krakow and Budapest in 2020.

Information from tonights meeting can be downloaded here;

Powerpoint Notes

Scotland in 2019;

Trip Overview; Scotland

Scotland Handout and January Quote

Berlin, Prague, Krakow and Budapest in 2020;

Trip Overview; Berlin, Prague, Krakow and Budapest

Berlin Handout and January Quote

 

Posted in Uncategorized | Leave a comment

Welcome Back

Welcome Back to a new exciting school year.

I am pumped to be spending the 2017-2018 school year working with you and am looking forward to getting to know you.

Let’s have an excellent start up and semester!

Posted in Uncategorized | Leave a comment

DHS Ambassadors Trip to Greece 2018

Here is some information about the 2018 DHS Ambassadors trip to Greece in March 2018.   Please do not hesitate to contact me for any further information.

eng_booking-conditions_2018

gro

Handout GRO

June Quote

PPT GRO

Posted in Uncategorized | Leave a comment

Scotland the Brave

Although I’ve been home a few days, I thought I better finish off this last update.

July 29th

Today was our bus transfer from RAF Cranwell to Queen Victoria School, a private boarding school for military children located in Dunblane, Scotland.

We spent the whole day on the bus.   Scenery was nice but a lot of people slept most of the day.

I am really looking forward to my time in Scotland.   We know the legends of Loch Ness, The history of people like William Wallace, Robert the Bruce, Rob Roy, Mary Queen of Scots and so many more.   When I was in Scotland in 2010, it was not enough time for what was then the highlight of my trip with only two days spent in Edinburgh.   This time I am excited to experience more of this country, and to learn more about the history there in.

I am a little sad that we are not going north enough for loch ness, but we do get to boat on a loch.

One thing I’ve noticed, is I know a lot about animals in different countries.   I talked to the Australians about the Tasmania Devil, I was glad that they did know about Devil Facial Tumor Disease, which is decimating the population.   I talked to New Zealanders about Canadian Moose in the far south of New Zealand, they knew nothing about them.   Just like the Scottish who knew nothing about the Beavers that had been re-introduced into Scotland in Knapdale Forrest.   After 400 years of Beavers being extirpated from Scotland, they were reintroduced in 2009, and it is being considered an ecological victory and success.   The Beavers are thriving, and I’ll have to plan another trip back to see them as we are going nowhere near the re-introduction site.

Many Scotts that I talked to did know about the discussed re-introduction of lynx on the Scotland/England boarder that is being greatly discussed.   It’ll be interesting to see what happens there and if the people who are concerned about the loss of sheep get their way or if the ecologists get theirs.

July 30th

Today was not the day any of us expected.

The group was split in half.   One group was to go Radio Control Flying at RAF Leuchars.   A few members of the group did in fact get to operate a Radio Control plane, but for most it was watching.   A great amount of time was spent in the control tower on a tour which some did not enjoy or found repetitive of past tours they did.

Myself and the rest of the Canadians were to go to Tayside Aviation for flights in their Piper PA-28 Warrior’s.  However, due to some mix up and confusions, the cadets got tours of their facilities, got to meet some cadets from across the UK who are on a power scholarship and got to spend some time in the flight simulator.   The cadets made the best out of what could have been a disappointing visit.


Tayside is where all power scholarship air cadets from across the UK train.   I still find it hard to believe that their training is one week, just like gliding and the other training camps offered through the summer.   In that one week on power, the cadets are allowed to use no more then 12 hours of flight.   If in that 12 hours they get to solo then they earn their wings.   The people I was talking with mentioned that they are getting less and less cadets soloing, and are wondering if the selection process is as thorough as it needs to be.   I believe that the cadets also pay part of the cost to come and train at Tayside.   The Royal Canadian Air Cadets who partake in glider and power scholarships have no idea how lucky they are compared to the programs in other countries.

The highlight of the day for everyone was our free time in St. Andrew’s; home of Golf.    It is however so much more.

I started at the Cathedral, which is no longer a Cathedral.   It was decimated between 1559 and 1561 during the Scottish Reformation as was the Castle which I visited next.


From here I continued to walk along the shore side, stopping in a few churches, taking some pics, talking with some Canadians and other travelers, and eventually made my way to the Golf Course, or should I say Golf Courses.   There are 7 Golf Courses at St Andrew’s Links, which all intertwine around the Old Course which was established in 1552.   It is crazy how many people were out golfing and how many other golf courses are in the area.   I did not putt or strike a ball, but I had fun looking out on the course.



Mom, Dad and I love playing Tiger Woods PGA Tour 2003 on Game Cube, we’ve tried the newer ones, we’ve tried it on wii, but nothing is quite as good as the 2003 game cube version.   I was so excited to see and take pictures of some of the water hazards that my Dad always seems to go into.


From here I did have to walk the beach and get me feet wet in the North Sea of the North Atlantic.   Funny, only weeks ago I went for a swim on the west cost of the Atlantic, and now I’m in the same ocean but on the other side of the pond, experiencing the east cost.   It is hard to believe that some of the Canadian travelers live on the same body of water.


I did manage to take my favourite pic of the trip, a bee and a thistle, two of my favourite things to photograph, in a country known and represented by thistles.


That night we did a guided tour of the town we were staying in; Dunblane.   It is a quaint little village that I think I could get used to.   By the sounds of it, many people are trying to make this city home as there have built more houses then their infrastructure can handle.  It is a picturesque town and I had a good little hike through the town and then the surrounding country side.


During the 2012 olympics, any athlete to win a gold medal had a mailbox painted gold in their home town.   I did see a few of these, including this one for Andy Murray a tennis player.

 July 31st

None of us knew what to expect of today.   We were told we were going to The Kelpies (a big sculpture of some horses), and to the Falkirk Wheel (a marvel in the lock system of moving boats).   It did not sound too exciting, which is why we were all amazed upon arriving at these sites.

As we approached the Kelpies you could see these massive horse head sculptures of stainless steel metal rearing up out of the landscape.   As we got closer our curiosity peaked.   Why, why here, what is the significance of horses, why so big, why so shiny and the questions went on.   The guided tour was excellent at answering these and many more questions.


Since getting more involved with the art community at DHS and in Dryden, I have a new found appreciation for art.  Both the amount of research that the artist who created the Kelpies (Andy Scott) conducted, and the work itself is phenominal.   He truly is an artistic visionary and many people will be talking about him and this piece of work for centuries to come.   We had a lot of fun walking about, hearing these stories based on ancient myth, stories of these sculptures honouring work beasts that formed this land, and of course their sculpture Andy Scott gave us the opportunity to find new respect for something we all wanted to pass off.   It also gave us the opportunity for some interesting pics.


Next stop was indeed the Falkirk Wheel.   This is pure ingenuity, that will drop your jaw as you stare in awe at this boat lift that opened in 2002 and replaces a series of 11 locks.   The lock system and canals were ignored starting in the 1930s and were left, and sunk into despair. In the 1990’s there was discussion about revitalizing the canal system, and this meant also repairing the locks or finding another way to move boats across the 35 m or 115 ft difference in elevation between the two canals.   The answer of course was the Falkirk Wheel.   It was fun to go on a slow canal ride and experience going up and down the wheel.   We also had some free time, which meant me taking off into the country side for a little exploration.



The rest of the day was some free time in Stirling for shopping and a sports night with Local Cadets. We enjoyed both activities, especially the sports. Meeting new people and getting a little fitness in (which has been lacking) was welcomed.


August 1st

Today we are off to Edinburgh.

Our day started at Leonardo which used to be known as Selex Se.   This engineering defense company specializes in Radar and Lazers designing and manufacturing their products for a large line of aircrafts.   Although a lot of what we were talking about was over my head, and my physics friends would have been drooling, they did a good job of giving us enough on education to understand what it is they do.

I never thought of Scotland as a place of ingenuity but after yesterday, and now our stop at Leonardo, Scottish ingenuity is something I’ll always respect.   These people are geniuses who think outside the box, and are always looking for new ways to solve old problems.    And I think this ingenuity captures the past, present, and future of Scotland.

From here we hiked up into Holyrood Park, which was fun but too short.   Many of the cadets set their sites on peaks even further away, even higher, but we did not have the time to climb them.


We took a tour of the Scottish Parliament.   This is perhaps one of the world’s newest parliaments but is steeped with a long of history.   Again I was amazed with the artistry of the building, mainly its architecture but also more, as well as the ingenuity of how it came together.   The Parliament was re-established in May of 1999 but has it’s roots dating back to 1235.   In 1707 the parliament was disbanded and would lay dormant until 1999.   The building itself officially opened in 2004 and is beautiful.

The building truly is a harmonious marriage between old and new.   Its symbology, and new age architecture is intricately intertwined with a strong and old tradition going back to the Kings and Queens of yore who ruled democratically with the people, for the people.   The main concept which is reverberated through the building is the idea that this is a people’s government, and thus should be open to the people.  The Members of the Scottish Parliament (MSPs) are constantly reminded through the symbolism that they are here for the people and were selected by the people.   It was really neat to compare this building with the Parliaments we toured in Ottawa and London.

We had some free time in Edinburgh, which some choose to shop, but I was itching to get a preview of the Edinburgh Fringe Festival which opens in 5 days.   The streets were buzzing with posters, performers.   I did pick up a program and some swag, before watching a Canadian Street Preformer; Daniel Zindler.   I found his show a little annoying his humor was definitely very Brittish, which I think is why this is his 7th Edinburgh Fringe.


The Edinburgh Fringe Festival is the oldest Fringe, and the Biggest.  This is the holy site of Fringe Festivals in 2015 the festival spanned 25 days and featured 50,459 performances of 3,314 shows in 313 venues.   Next year, it turns 70 years old, to think it would have started just after WWII ended is incredible.

August 2nd

Our last real day in Scotland as we leave to go home early tomorrow morning.

Our day started at Stirling Castle.  Although the castle itself is old, the interior is a complete reproduction.   The first records of the Castle itself date back to around 1110 AD, however, in the 1600’s it was taken over by the military and used as offices, training grounds and barracks.   It was used as a military base until 1964 and restoration started in 1991 when Historic Scotland took over guardianship of the Castle.   Employing crafts people in the ancient forms the castle has been restored to it’s renaissance beauty.   It was weird being in an old castle that felt so new.   With bright vibrant colours, it almost felt cartoon like, but we are told that this would have been the grandeur of times past, and it is the modern patina and wear that gives what we currently think of renaissance as being.   I really enjoyed first learning about the reproduction of an ancient piece of tapestry, called The Hunt of The Unicorn.   The research and work that went into reproducing this tapestry was incredible.   But then I stumbled upon the reproduction and it was truly stunning.   I don’t think most people who see the tapestry realize just what it took to make that reproduction.


From here we had a bus ride up to Loch Katrine in the Scottish Highlands.   This was going to be a highlight for me.   We did get some free time which I took to hike the lake shore, before we boarded the Steamship Sir Walter Scott.   It was truly stunning and beautiful, and in true summer Scottish weather we got some rain, and mist.   What a great last adventure in this country.


Our trip to Scotland ended with a traditional Farewell Ceilidh.   None of us knew what this was, nor what to expect.   We were told though that it was going to involve some dancing.   Ceilidh means ‘a gathering’ in Gaelic.  Our Ceilidh band consisted of two accordions a keyboard and a drum.   We had a lot of fun learning and dancing these ‘line dance-esq’ dances.   One dance which was a bit of a work out was called the Canadian Barn Dance, it is said one dance in a barn is better than 10 dances in a great hall, if that is the case, then Scotland is the barn of the UK and we had a blast in our barn dance.

I know the memories of this trip will live on for many years to come for the Cadets, the other exchange members and staff, and myself.   I am honoured to have been selected and to participate in the International Air Cadet Exchange 2016, and to spend the last couple weeks getting to know these young people from 14 different countries.   Special thanks need to go to the International Air Cadet Exchange Association, the Air Cadet League of Canada, the Ministry of National Defence and the Canadian Cadet Organization, as well to all who participated but most importantly to the organizing committee in the UK and the teams in London, RAF Cranwell and Scotland.   Thanks.

 

That’s it for now, next trip is Montreal with Cole.

 

 

 

 

 

Posted in Uncategorized | Leave a comment

UK – RAF Cranwell

23 July

Today we made our way from London to the base at RAF Cranwell.   On our way we stopped at Cambridge.

I had a bloody lovely time in Cambridge; it was a true pleasure!
Our visit started at the Cambridge American Cemetery and Museum, which was truly remarkable and moving. I didn’t necessarily expect to find a war cemetery in Britain, but here it lies, on land donated by Cambridge University. I think the Canadian History texts under play the role Americans played in the World Wars, but they do a really good job of teaching about Canadian contributions, and teach us to be proud which is important. Regardless this memorial and cemetery is dedicated to those US men and women who gave their life in WWII. I first visited the visitor centre to ground and familiarize myself with what I was about to see; a wall naming some of the missing army, navy, marine and air men and women for whom we don’t know their final resting place, a chapel and then almost 4000 graves.

Even witnessing this memorial cemetery does not help me fathom the sacrifices made by many throughout the world wars. So many men and women died, and so many more left at home, motherless, fatherless, parents, brothers and sisters, sons and daughters, all making their own sacrifices to help support the war efforts.
From here we went into the town, proper. I started my visit at St Gilles church, then crossed the street for a pizzetta and gelato walked through the town having a great conversation with a local about weather and how similar Canadians and British people are in never being satisfied and grateful for the weather we have, but love to talk about it.

I crossed the river to see many people taking Gondola rides up and down the river. After walking through the centre of town, I then did a self guided walking tour of St John’s College to experience the history of academia in this city. I love places of learning, for which this town is well known for. The tour took me through several court yards and buildings including a chapel and Library, before finding the bridge of sighs. Wait, where am I? Pizza, gelato, gondolas and a Bridge of Sighs, it seemed very Venetian, but yet, oh so different!

 I then met up with a Shakespearean Actor who randomly came across some family friends so I took their pic, meet a professor and his student, went souvenir shopping buying myself a hand knitted bee (because you know, save the bees) from the same chap I discussed the weather with earlier. Apparently they are knitted by an elderly lady who volunteers at the tea room, and these are all the rage in Cambridge being worn on the backpacks of all the students. He then told me of one day, the busiest they had, they served about 80 guests as this young gentlemen was telling her how many people had visited she replied, “I know, I only knitted two bees today.” Instead of the 8+ she makes in a regular shift.

All and all it was a remarkable visit, and I feel I got a lot accomplished for just under two hours in town. A nice change of pace, and some time just to wonder and do what I wanted/needed.

July 24

Today the Canadians that did not go gliding yesterday got to go today.   We went gliding at RAF Cranwell.   It was nice to see gliders other then the  Schweizer’s.   These high performance gliders are pretty sweet.

Both days the cadets were winch launched which was new for some.   One of the sights had opposing winches instead of using a retrieval vehicle.  

Both sites were run by civilian gliding clubs and we were impressed.   The Air Cadets here do have their own fleet, however, due to a number of factors it sounds like they have been grounded for a few years, and the hope is to be operational this year, but only with a third of the glide sites.

It was a bit of a novelty to wear parachutes while gliding, as this is a requirement here in the UK.

The last interesting thing I learnt is that there summer gliding scholarships like the rest of their summer training is only a week long.   I am not sure how that works or what exactly the cadet walks away with.

July 25
Today we visited Chatsworth House. It doesn’t sound exciting but will be a highlight which I will remember for a long time to come.
Chatsworth House is truly a castle with garden grounds like nothing I have seen before.  It is the seat of the Duke of Devonshire and has been home to the Cavendish family since 1549.
The house was gorgeous and richley decorated with collections of paintings, tapestries, sculptures, rocks and so much more.

But it was in the gardens where my adventures truly started.
The gardens are 105 acres and consist of rock gardens, a hedge maze, pinetum, arboretum, grotto, coal tunnel, fountains, kitchen gardens, green houses, trout streams and ponds, gold fish, and various buildings, statues and sculptures hidden in amongst it all.

A ‘bucket list’ item for me has been to touch a Monkey Puzzle tree. I remember seeing a few of these from the bus the last time I was in the UK, but never got to inspect one up close. Today I did! I hugged 3 mature Monkey Puzzle Trees. I thought I saw the first one on the ‘Hundred Steps’ just growing out of the middle of the path while I was standing in the middle of the hedge maze, so I decided to swing by on my way back from the grotto. While in the grotto I realized that I walked under another one without even knowing. In the pinetum I did see one, passed under it and sure enough it was labeled. From here I passed back by the two I had seen earlier before finding a cove of immature Monkey Puzzle trees which allowed me to look at and touch the leaves up close that I had learnt about so long ago.

As wonderful as the Monkey Puzzle trees were they were nothing compared to the aroma above the kitchen gardens. The smell of the food being cooked in the restaurants bellow that was blowing up the hill and mixing with the smells of mature and ripe flowers, fruits, vegetables herbs and more was one of the best scents I’ve ever smelt and I wish I could have bottled it to share and smell again and again.
I did partake in one of my guilty pleasures, photographing flowers.


On the way out I saw a rock formation that reminded me of Pride Rock from the Lion King and decided I needed to let my inner lion out!

Getting back on the bus the Commandant mentioned every time he saw me today I had ‘a grin from ear to ear’, and that is because I had a wonderful time.
July 26th

Today most of us spent the day at a high rope adventure course participating in orienteering, archery, and the rope bridge course which included some zip lining too.

Those who did not partake spent the day visiting 45 (R) Squadron where they got to fly the flight simulator for he King Air.

After these activities it was time for our formal dinner here in the UK.   It was not truly a mess dinner due to the amount of countries participating, however it did hold elements of a mess dinner.  

The guest of honour was Air Commodore Dawn McCafferty; Commandant of the Air Cadet Organisation. 


July 27th

This morning, we started at the Newark Air Museum.   It is incredible to realize how many air bases there are in such a small area.   Also, how many surviving air crafts there are preserved in museums such as this one.

We did manage to find a Canadian connection with a Cherry Tree planted to honour Sgt KC Glinz and his crew of WWII who were killed in action on a training flight.   They were in a Stirling on 4 Dec 1944 and were airborne at 2030 from Winthorpe to practise recovery from unusual angles of flight. aircraft entered a bank of CuNim cloud at 2055, and crashed onto Breeder hills 4 miles west of Grantham after presumed icing. The crew perished and consisted of;  F/O G.R. Campbell RAAF KIA, F/S D.J. Standring KIA, Sgt L.G. Diggins KIA, Sgt W.L. Howarth KIA, Sgt E.W. Heaton KIA, Sgt A.L. Terry KIA, Sgt A. Winn KIA, Sgt B. Stowe KIA, Sgt K.C. Glinz RCAF KIA.

In the afternoon we got to put our marksmanship skills to the test using the electronic shooting system Dismounted Close Combat Trainer (DCCT) shooting the SA 80 at a variety of targets.   I must have been excited to get to shoot as I didn’t even take any pics.

After supper it was into the city of Sheffield to watch a football game (or soccer as we call it).   Sheffield United was having a friendly game against Derby County, it sounds like it is like an exhibition game.   It was a good game even though Sheffield lost.

I can’t fathom that this team has been playing since 1889.   Most of our buildings at home aren’t even that old (while in Dryden, no building is that old).   

We all had fun watching the game.


July 28th

Today is our last day at RAF Cranwell.   Today Prince Edward was on base for a graduation parade of new officers from the Royal Air Force College.   We did not see him as we were off to RAF Coningsby.

We started at the Battle of Britain Memorial Flight.  (Think flight as an organizational group, several flights make up a squadron, yeah?)

This flight is dedicated to preserving aircrafts that would have flew in the battle of Britian and the stories there of.   Although there were not a lot of aircraft, the ones they had were pristine and in working order, often taking part in air shows.   

Again we found some Canadian connections.  The first was Dakota ZA947, a DC3 which was owned and operated by the RCAF from Sept 1942 – 1971 at which time it was declared surplus and was sold to the UK.   


The next was Huricane PZ865, painted to honour Canadian pilot, Flight Lieutenant Jimmy Whalen DFC who lost his life on 18 April 1944, 5 days before his 24th birthday, during the Battle for Kohima. He had carried out 176 sorties against the enemy, 107 being over enemy territory and 23 at night. He had to his credit 3 ME-109s destroyed and 1 damaged whilst flying from England and 3 Japanese Navy Val Type 99s destroyed over Ceylon.


But the gem of the collection was a Lancaster.  This bomber recently was joined by the only other working Lanc from Canada in 2015.   It had been 50 years since two Lancasters have flown together, and to get the only two left flying together was quite the feet, but a great way to honour this who served in one of the most dangerous services of WWII; Bomber Command



The Canadians of course took a picture under the bomb bay doors of the Lanc.

From here it was off to visit 29 Squadron who are responsible for flying one of the most advance fighter jets the Typhoon.   This will be the highlight of our trip for many.  We’ve all had those once in a lifetime moments.   Well this one of of those that most will never have as we got to climb up on, over and I the Typhoons. Truly remarkable!


There were many more Typhoons out on the Tarmac, flying around and practicing maneuvering.   As well we saw some AWACS on the Tarmac.


We finished our time at RAF Cranwell with some bowling.   We also traded and gave away some Canadian Swag.   I must admit it felt like a mini Canada Day to see so many people decorated with red and white, and playing with red and white balloons decorated with maple leaves.


All in all we had fun during this leg of the trip.  It was a relaxing schedule compared to our time in London, but full of fun, history and aviation.   It was hard to say good bye to half the group that will be traveling to Wales while we travel north to Scotland.

Posted in Uncategorized | Leave a comment

United Kingdom – London Visit


Well it was a long but good flight to London.  I slept for parts of the flight and some cadets were able to while others were not.

On the flight I did watch a movie “Eddie the Eagle”.   This was a great movie and appropriate to the exchange.   Eddie is from the UK and all his life all he wanted was to be in the olympics. The sport didn’t matter, and well, he was kind of a cultz and failed at most.   He eventually thought down hill skiing was his sport, but he didn’t make the Olympic team.   He decided to try ski jumping as a last chance Olympic shot, as the UK did not have a Ski Jump program.   He competed for the UK at the 1988 Calgary Winter Olympics in Ski Jumping.   Yes, the same olympics as the Jamacian Bobsled team, which also have their own movie.   He quickly won over the fans having an okay jump but being ecstatic because it was a personal best, even though it didn’t measure up against others.   He decided that if he wanted to be taken serious he was going to have to enter the 75m jump, something he had never attempted.   He of course, did great and that is the birth of Eddie the Eagle.   

I loved the UK/Canada connection as this exchange has a 70 year history, and started with just Canada and the UK.

Arriving into Heathrow was good for all of us, most did not realize just how big airports and airport terminals can get, and we were only seeing a small part of one of Heathrow’s terminals.  It took us a long time to finally get to our luggage and meet up with our host; 3 lengthy bathroom breaks and a 75+ minute wait in the line at customs.


Eventually we meet up with some of the exchange staff that whisked us away to Brunel University.  We had an easy day, which meant keeping ourselves busy and fighting the urge to sleep so that the effects of jet-leg were minimized. 

20 July

Today we started with a bus ride to London which introduced us to the traffic struggles we’d face the rest of the week in London.

Our first visit was to the Parliment; House of Commons and House of Lords.   This was a nice walking tour and fun to compare to our own in Ottawa which we toured just days before.   Photos were not allowed inside.


From here we had lunch and then slowly made our way to the Royal Airforce Club.   This slow meandering walk zig zagged us through the streets of London taking us by Westminster Abbey through Hyde Park by Buckingham Palace, the Canada Gate and Canada Memorial.


The RAF club was our introduction to the Brisish Upper Class.   This private members only club is for current and retired airforce personal.   The building was richly decorated with various painting, crests, and attention paid to every detail in true opulent style.

Here we did have tea and sandwiches while many of the countries got to meet someone from their air attaché.   We meet Lieutenant-Colonel Tressa Home Assistant to the Canadian Air Attaché.  She is an impressive woman and is a great role model for those of us on the exchange.   I hope this visit reminded everyone that they are truly ambassadors of Canada and our cadet program.



From here we had dinner and made or way to the River Thmes for a river cruise and disco (dance).    The cruise was great and the dance floor was bumping.   I did have to make the first move to get people to join me on the floor, but after that the dancing didn’t stop.


What a full day, but totally awesome welcome to London!

21 July

Today was a little easier of a schedule.   We started the day at the Imperial War Museum.  Again a powerful museum showing that war is ugly.  Unlike the Canadian War Museum, they did not have a ‘children’s area’ with comics and activities.   I decided to start at the top and work my way down.

The Lord Ashworthy Collection is a collection of Vicotira Cross medals.   The exhibit puts the medals on display along with pictures and stories of the accounts that led to the medal being presented.

From here I moved into the Holocaust exhibit.   This was moving and touching, but so disturbing.  I know these atrocities were real, and although maybe not on as big a scale, have happened before, are happening now and will happen again.   Although I understand how Hitler came to power, maintained it, and managed to slaughter millions of people I st can’t fathom it.   Nor can I fathom the fears of the Jewish people or the others who the Nazi regime targeted.

Afterwards I went into a gallery of peace movement pictures.  I don’t think love and peace could have stopped Hitler or the Nazis, and a military solution was the only way to stop him before it was too late.

I rushed through the rest of the museum as I had spentmost of the time in the first two exhibits.


We spent the afternoon at the Tower of London.   It was incredible to see the collections of the Crown Jewels.   The Royal family has a long history through which they have collected these and other elements of their wealth.

I was disappointed with the Royal Beasts exhibit.

From here I went through the White Tower observing the armoury.   The bloody tower and observed the fabled Ravens.


In the evening we stopped at Herrod’s for a shopping trip.   All I had been told about Herrod’s was that it was an extravagant shopping centre.   Quickly I realized just how extravagant it was.   The £ 150 000 chess set was beautiful along with the rest of the merchandise we found on the 6 floors that we shopped on.   It wasn’t until I saw the Egyptian motif while we were on our way out, down the central ‘staircase’ that I realized it is named after King Herrod who lived a life of wealth and extravagance.

July 22nd

I didn’t know what to think when the only thing on the schedule for today was a visit to the Royal Aeronautical Society.
The society was founded in January 1866 for, “the advancement of Aerial Navigation and for Observations in Aerology connected therewith”. While hot air balloons had been commonplace in Europe since the second half of the 18th century, the newly established society had loftier goals, and was already considering the possibility of powered flight in vehicles heavier than air.

This building was again opulent and stately.   Our visit started with tea.

From here we moved into an updated lecture theatre to find out our day was sponsored by Lockheed Martin.   After a couple good speeches and addresses including an address from the Head of Communications of Lockheed Martin on the companies innovations and commitment to advancing research and knowledge in advancing the power of flight.   Somewhere throughout these presentations we learnt that the goal of the day was a competition where we were to design, build, modify, fly and market a new aircraft using rubber band model glider kits and other supplies in international teams.   This was a great hands on project that not only allowed the cadets to meet new people and work in a team but also allowed them to employ their knowledge and skills in an authentic task.


Our time in London ended with a ride on the London Eye.   This was a fun way to end our London experience.


I’m looking to see what is in store for us after we leave London.

Posted in Uncategorized | 1 Comment