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Amazing Journey

This morning on NPR (yes, I know I blog a LOT about NPR) I listened to the third installment of a series about a journey down the Congo river. The series, so far, has been incredibly interesting.

What do our students in Virginia know about the Democratic Republic of Congo? Do they need to know anything about it for their SOL tests? I don’t know, but I am sure kids would be fascinated by the idea of traveling on a barge loaded with so many people, animals, and bundles. Listening to a snippet of any of the installments would make a great writing prompt.

Imagine traveling on the James River down from Goochland to Richmond over several days rather than zipping down Route 6, packed cheek by jowl on a barge with dozens of strangers, their families, and their pets. What does that feel like, smell like? Take a look at the image galleries and listen to the audio, and you’ll have a good idea of what it looks like and sounds like (minus the smoked monkey).

Take a look at other great series from NPR that bring the world to us. I especially liked the journey along the Grand Trunk Road in India and the “new” Canterbury Tales.


  1. beaaaaaaaa – i am happy to say that I have already done what you envision – check out the batteau challenge every summer leaving from lynchburg to maidens landing. the lady slipper is always looking for female new members. it is a commitment but one of cameraderie and ecological and spiritual adventures. i need to listen to npr more often…..

    • Yes, Mrs. Long. I know we, as teachers, have already run the course of our high school and college careers. We know how to seek out experiences that enrich our lives. The goal of my post was to encourage teachers to use the free resources offered by NPR to open their students’ eyes to the way other people live in places they might not even be aware of.

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