Vietnam: Sandy Beaches, Hot Bike Rides, and Weasel Poop

by Alexander

Lovely bike ride through Hoi An, Vietnam

Lovely bike ride through Hoi An, Vietnam

We were just pulling out of Hong Kong, when Mark Ferne, the Dean of Students, called a ship-wide meeting.  This was a first, so we all went to the Kaisersaal (auditorium) for the meeting.  He said there were high winds in the South China Sea, and that we could not leave Hong Kong until tomorrow morning.  This meant that we were going to lose a day in Vietnam.  Just 24 hours later, we learned that our planned side-trip to Cambodia would be impossible on the new schedule and we would not get to go to Angkor Wat, a famous archeological and religious site. I was really looking forward to seeing the amazing temples and ruins of Angkor Wat… so our journey in Vietnam would have a lot of expectations to live up to… Continue reading

Kyoto & Hiroshima (Goodbye, Japan)

by Alexander

Just like in Tokyo, we did lots of touring in Kyoto.  We experienced a tea ceremony, visited a golden temple, and learned Taiko drumming.  We had a guide in Kyoto unlike in Tokyo to show us around the city.  Her name was Miho and we’d highly recommend her, if any of you are travelling to Kyoto.  There is so much history and beauty in the city of Kyoto that even the U.S. government didn’t want to use the atomic bomb on Kyoto! Continue reading

Homeschooling American History

by Alexander, Piper & Sydney

Dad here.   During our trip, we visited some of the most important sites in US History, and as we went, we talked a lot about what happened at each and when.  It became a “homeschooling habit” for us to sit at dinner and go around-the-table with each kid describing one of the major events in American history, one at a time, trying to remember the order, key people, reasons, etc.

After we got home we decided we’d do one more round of this– in writing!  So, we assigned events round-robin-style from youngest to oldest and then the kids sat and wrote what they knew/remembered about each key event.  

Alexander played moderator helping the girls fix up their prose… and below is the result.  Here is “American History as told by the Belfiore Kids!!”

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