‘We will promise to keep you safe. We must stop hunting them and polluting the water and air
Don’t cut down trees because it is where most of them live
Protect the birds from danger and preserve biodiversity, and make the eco system stronger
Protect the birds because they are vital to our ecosystem. Stop pollution, it is hurting our birds.’
These simple but far-reaching messages were expressed by our young ‘time travellers’ who visited Princess Vlei from 2123. Thirty-eight learners, from Levana, Harmony and Rosmead Primary Schools, took part in the imaginative game, where they were 'time-travellers' from 100 years in the future, from a world where birds had been driven to extinction. Their task was to find out about birds: what they needed, what threatened them, and how to protect them to ensure that they did not go extinct.
The time travellers were met by the ‘Spirit Guide’ (aka Bridget), a spirit with wisdom gathered from all the ages, who told them how the first indigenous people who lived near Princess Vlei lived in harmony with nature and looked after the plants, the insects and the birds. ‘So we must learn from the wisdom of the indigenous people, and keep searching for ways to live in harmony with earth and other creatures.’
The Supreme Time Lord (Brendan Bussy) explained that to the learners that they had travelled from a world where everything was different, and Princess Vlei was just concrete with no birds, insects or plants. Their important mission was to discover everything they could about birds, and to craft messages for the people of 2023 to ensure that there were still birds in 2123.
He warned them that they had to come running back to the time travelling ship when they heard the siren (a vuvuzela) as if they didn’t get through the time portal before it closed, they would be stuck in 2023
The time travellers made many observations to help them understand birds better. A highlight for many were the two Gymnogenes, or African Harrier Hawks, spotted in the gum trees near the Jolly Carp.
They also noticed many things that could hurt birds, such as “garbage that people leave behind. Birds think its food and eat it and then they get sick and die.”
Reflecting afterwards, learners said they would be sad to live in a world without birds because
They are majestic creatures
There won’t be any lovely bird songs to wake me up
They are cute
They are a national animal and their colours make us happy
They are part of the environment and they make biodiversity more complimentary and beautiful
They provide food and keep the ecosystem flowing
Posts by Bridget Pitt unless stated otherwise.