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Friday, May 1, 2015

Spofford Pond School, Boxford- May 1st

42°41'46" N 
71°01'02" W
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The EarthView team is happy to be back visiting Spofford Pond School in Boxford! This will be our fourth visit to the school. Our first visit was back in 2010 and that visit was the first time that EarthView had traveled to a school on the North Shore! 

Be Like Brit Orphanage
Our last visit was back in November of 2013. During that visit we learned of a project that the then sixth graders (current 8th graders) were participating in. They were helping to raise money for Be Like Brit foundation. The foundation is named for Britney Gengel, a young local woman who lost her life in the 2010 earthquake in Haiti, while working to help children there. Because the earthquake caused so much destruction in Haiti, the Gengel family decided to help the people of Haiti while also honoring the loved one they lost. Today, a 19,000 square foot orphanage built in the shape of a 'B' stands in Grand Goave, Haiti. The orphanage houses and educates 33 boys and 33 girls which symbolize the number of days that Britney was lost beneath the rubble following the earthquake.  

Most recently, a 7.8 magnitude Earthquake hit the Himalayan Mountain region on Saturday April 25th. It's epicenter was located in the Kathmandu Valley of Nepal and as of Tuesday April 28th, at least 5,000 people had died as a result of the earthquake. 

This map shows the epicenter of the first quake and its aftershocks

The country of Nepal is very mountainous and is located between India and China along the Himalayas.It is a very impoverished country, it is the poorest in all of South East Asia and the 17th poorest country in the world according to the United States Agency for International Development. This earthquake is extremely devastating to Nepal's economy as much of its infrastructure has been completely destroyed and without the money to rebuild, the people of Nepal need all of the help that we can provide to the non-profit agencies such as the Red Cross who will assist in providing aid to the people. According to the Australian ABC news website,180 buildings have been destroyed and 500 more buildings were damaged in Nepal's capital, Kathmandu. 102 additional buildings were destroyed in the city of Bidur which is located north-west of Kathmandu. 

Due to its proximity to Mount Everest, Saturday's earthquake in Nepal triggered an avalanche on the mountain which killed at least 18 people when many tons of ice fell upon the base camp.  

Avalanche on Mount Everest

Out of the devastation and heartbreak, there have been some remarkable stories of survival coming out of Nepal. One of these stories is about a 4 month old baby boy who was found beneath the rubble in Nepal some 22 hours after the Earthquake had occurred. He was able to survive with minor injuries but unfortunately the location of his parents are unknown which means that they sadly probably perished in the earthquake. Even more astounding then that is the story of a man who survived being trapped beneath the rubble in Kathmandu for 80 hours following the devastating earthquake. More of these remarkable stories of survival can be found by going here

If you would like to see some interesting maps and charts of the Nepal Earthquake, they can be found here.

During today's visit to Spofford Pond, we talked about vexillology -- the study of flags. We mentioned that when the country of South Africa changed to a more inclusive form of government, it engaged in a very public process of designing a new flag. We also mentioned the fact that some individuals have enjoyed creating informal flags for cultural regions. A great example is the effort of an individual blogger to create a new flag for the Delaware Valley region around Philadelphia.
See the Delaware Valley Flag community on Facebook.
We hope that the students of Spofford Pond School enjoyed their visit with EarthView today and we hope to be back again! 

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