The Legend of St.Valentine

The history of Valentine’s Day–and the story of its patron saint–is shrouded in mystery. We do know that February has long been celebrated as a month of romance, and that St. Valentine’s Day, as we know it today, contains vestiges of both Christian and ancient Roman tradition. But who was Saint Valentine, and how did he become associated with this ancient rite?

On February 14, when we share chocolates, special dinners, or doily cards with our loved ones, we do it in the name of Saint Valentine. But who was this saint of romance?

Search the internet, and you can find plenty of stories about him—or them. One Saint Valentine was supposedly a Roman priest who performed secret weddings against the wishes of the authorities in the third century. Imprisoned in the home of a noble, he healed his captor’s blind daughter, causing the whole household to convert to Christianity and sealing his fate. Before being tortured and decapitated on February 14, he sent the girl a note signed “Your Valentine.”

Some accounts say another saint named Valentine during the same period was the Bishop of Terni, also credited with secret weddings and martyrdom via beheading on February 14.

Unfortunately for anyone hoping for a tidy, romantic backstory to the holiday, scholars who have studied its origins say there’s very little basis for these accounts. In fact, Valentine’s Day only became associated with love in the late Middle Ages, thanks to the English poet Geoffrey Chaucer.

“The two stories that everybody talks about, the bishop and the priest, they’re so similar that it makes me suspicious,” says Bruce Forbes, a professor of religious studies at Morningside College in Iowa.

Multiple Martyred Saint Valentines

Happy Valentines day from Achilees

Valentine was a popular name in ancient Rome, and there are at least 50 stories of different saints by that name. But Forbes said the earliest surviving accounts of the two February 14 Valentines, written starting in the 500s, have a whole lot in common. Both were said to have healed a child while imprisoned, leading to a household-wide religious conversion, and they were executed on the same day of the year and buried along the same highway.

The historical evidence is so sketchy that it’s not clear whether the story started with one saint who then became two or if biographers of one man borrowed details from the other—or if either ever existed at all.

To begin the festival, members of the Luperci, an order of Roman priests, would gather at a sacred cave where the infants Romulus and Remus, the founders of Rome, were believed to have been cared for by a she-wolf or lupa. The priests would sacrifice a goat, for fertility, and a dog, for purification. They would then strip the goat’s hide into strips, dip them into the sacrificial blood and take to the streets, gently slapping both women and crop fields with the goat hide. Far from being fearful, Roman women welcomed the touch of the hides because it was believed to make them more fertile in the coming year. Later in the day, according to legend, all the young women in the city would place their names in a big urn. The city’s bachelors would each choose a name and become paired for the year with his chosen woman. These matches often ended in marriage.

Valentine’s Day: A Day of Romance

Lupercalia survived the initial rise of Christianity and but was outlawed—as it was deemed “un-Christian”–at the end of the 5th century, when Pope Gelasius declared February 14 St. Valentine’s Day. It was not until much later, however, that the day became definitively associated with love. During the Middle Ages, it was commonly believed in France and England that February 14 was the beginning of birds’ mating season, which added to the idea that the middle of Valentine’s Day should be a day for romance.

Valentine greetings were popular as far back as the Middle Ages, though written Valentine’s didn’t begin to appear until after 1400. The oldest known valentine still in existence today was a poem written in 1415 by Charles, Duke of Orleans, to his wife while he was imprisoned in the Tower of London following his capture at the Battle of Agincourt. (The greeting is now part of the manuscript collection of the British Library in London, England.) Several years later, it is believed that King Henry V hired a writer named John Lydgate to compose a valentine note to Catherine of Valois.

6 Surprising Facts About St. Valentine

1. The St. Valentine who inspired the holiday may have been two different men.
Officially recognized by the Roman Catholic Church, St. Valentine is known to be a real person who died around A.D. 270. However, his true identity was questioned as early as A.D. 496 by Pope Gelasius I, who referred to the martyr and his acts as “being known only to God.” One account from the 1400s describes Valentine as a temple priest who was beheaded near Rome by the emperor Claudius II for helping Christian couples wed. A different account claims Valentine was the Bishop of Terni, also martyred by Claudius II on the outskirts of Rome. Because of the similarities of these accounts, it’s thought they may refer to the same person. Enough confusion surrounds the true identity of St. Valentine that the Catholic Church discontinued liturgical veneration of him in 1969, though his name remains on its list of officially recognized saints.

2. In all, there are about a dozen St. Valentines, plus a pope.
The saint we celebrate on Valentine’s Day is known officially as St. Valentine of Rome in order to differentiate him from the dozen or so other Valentines on the list. Because “Valentinus”—from the Latin word for worthy, strong or powerful—was a popular moniker between the second and eighth centuries A.D., several martyrs over the centuries have carried this name. The official Roman Catholic roster of saints shows about a dozen who were named Valentine or some variation thereof. The most recently beatified Valentine is St. Valentine Berrio-Ochoa, a Spaniard of the Dominican order who traveled to Vietnam, where he served as bishop until his beheading in 1861. Pope John Paul II canonized Berrio-Ochoa in 1988. There was even a Pope Valentine, though little is known about him except that he served a mere 40 days around A.D. 827.

3. Valentine is the patron saint of beekeepers and epilepsy, among many other things.
Saints are certainly expected to keep busy in the afterlife. Their holy duties include interceding in earthly affairs and entertaining petitions from living souls. In this respect, St. Valentine has wide-ranging spiritual responsibilities. People call on him to watch over the lives of lovers, of course, but also for interventions regarding beekeeping and epilepsy, as well as the plague, fainting and traveling. As you might expect, he’s also the patron saint of engaged couples and happy marriages.

4. You can find Valentine’s skull in Rome.
The flower-adorned skull of St. Valentine is on display in the Basilica of Santa Maria in Cosmedin, Rome. In the early 1800s, the excavation of a catacomb near Rome yielded skeletal remains and other relics now associated with St. Valentine. As is customary, these bits and pieces of the late saint’s body have subsequently been distributed to reliquaries around the world. You’ll find other bits of St. Valentine’s skeleton on display in the Czech Republic, Ireland, Scotland, England and France.

5. Chaucer may have invented Valentine’s Day.
The medieval English poet Geoffrey Chaucer often took liberties with history, placing his poetic characters into fictitious historical contexts that he represented as real. No record exists of romantic celebrations on Valentine’s Day prior to a poem Chaucer wrote around 1375. In his work “Parliament of Foules,” he links a tradition of courtly love with the celebration of St. Valentine’s feast day–an association that didn’t exist until after his poem received widespread attention. The poem refers to February 14 as the day birds (and humans) come together to find a mate. When Chaucer wrote, “For this was sent on Seynt Valentyne’s day / Whan every foul cometh ther to choose his mate,” he may have invented the holiday we know today.

6. You can celebrate Valentine’s Day several times a year.
Because of the abundance of St. Valentines on the Roman Catholic roster, you can choose to celebrate the saint multiple times each year. Besides February 14, you might decide to celebrate St. Valentine of Viterbo on November 3. Or maybe you want to get a jump on the traditional Valentine celebration by feting St. Valentine of Raetia on January 7. Women might choose to honor the only female St. Valentine (Valentina), a virgin martyred in Palestine on July 25, A.D. 308. The Eastern Orthodox Church officially celebrates St. Valentine twice, once as an elder of the church on July 6 and once as a martyr on July 30.

Gallery

Valentines Day

Happy Valentines day to you all friends from Far and near

From Make me understand, parenting and health by Lukonge Achilees

Infant development. How your baby grew and matures

Introduction

This part covers parenting and child development of infants aged 0 to 2

The goals of this chapter is to survey what is known about how children develop between birth and age 24 months, a period known as infancy.

Children develop in many different ways at the same time. Different aspects of children’s development are never at rest or waiting for other parts to catch up. Instead, development is simultaneous. While physical growth and maturity are the most obvious signs that development is occurring, children also develop cognitively (mentally), socially, emotionally, and sexually. This chapter is organized so that each type of development is described separately and nothing important is left out.

The milestones of development are discussed in terms of easy to understand

measurements such as weight, height, or the presence or absence of reflexes. However, not all important aspects of development can be easily measured. Mental and emotional developments are difficult to measure directly. This describes the best available theories to understand what is occurring inside each child’s head.

The works of five theorists work are considered in the course of this book: Freud, Erikson, Kohlberg, Piaget, and Bronfenbrenner. Among these theorists, the works of Piaget and Erikson speak most directly to the infancy period of life covered here. Infancy corresponds to Piaget’s “Sensorimotor” stage of cognitive development, and to two of Erikson’s stages; the “trust vs. mistrust” stage during the first year of life, and the “autonomy vs. shame and doubt” stage that follows closely after. Piaget’s work describes how infants come to understand their world through their bodies and senses.

Erikson’s work describes how children develop an appreciation of both their individuality and simultaneous dependency on others, and how children’s attitudes towards themselves and others are influenced by their experiences and by the type of support and nurturing they receive.

Development is often described by referring to particular developmental milestones that are significant achievements of one sort or another such as crawling, walking, or first words. Developmental milestones are presented as occurring at particular ages. Even though developmental milestones do commonly occur at particular ages, children develop at their own pace. Some children will reach a given milestone early, while others will reach it later on. All of this is perfectly normal.

Infancy Physical development:

Baby Wasswa one of the twin from a homeless teenage mother being catered for at PTMOF

The first area of development to consider is physical development, which occurs in several important ways. Obviously, children grow in size and weight. As time goes on, they also become better able to move themselves around and to manipulate objects. Their senses become more refined. Each of these important types of physical development is covered in the following discussion.

Physical Development: Sensory Development

Piaget made infancy his “Sensorimotor” stage because he recognized that infants learn about their world by interacting with it through their senses. They don’t understand their environment very well at first, but are born exquisitely prepared to explore and learn. They learn how to make purposeful movements, how to make sense of things, how to speak, and how to perform other skills. All of these developments require babies to use all their senses: touch, taste, smell, hearing, and sight.

Babies can feel and respond to pain and touch from birth, and this is an important first connection between infants and caregivers. They can feel hot and cold, hunger and satisfaction, soft and rough textures, pain and comfort, and cuddling and abandonment. This is why babies can often be soothed at birth by their caregivers’ warm hugs or a warm bottle.

As infants grow, they begin to touch objects in their environment with their hands, feet, and mouths to learn about them. When babies put toys and other things in their mouths, they are not trying to taste them as much as they are trying to feel the texture and structure. It is important for caregivers to keep babies’ environments clear of dangerous objects such as small objects or poisonous substances.

While babies learn about their environment through feeling things with their mouths, they also learn by tasting. The senses of taste and smell senses are intertwined. When infants are born, they have the ability to distinguish sweet, sour, and bitter tastes, but they will prefer sweet tastes and aromas, such as breast milk. In fact, a baby’s ability to taste is so specific that he or she can tell the difference between her own mothers’ breast milk and that of another woman. As babies start to get older, between ages 1 and 6 months, they begin to have a taste for saltier solutions. This will prepare them to eat solid foods later on. When babies begin to eat solid foods, somewhere around 6 months, they will prefer sweet foods to bitter foods, and fruits to vegetables. As more and more foods are added over the coming weeks, they will begin to develop their own individual taste preferences.

Babies can hear at birth, and doctors can test infants for hearing problems right after birth. As infants grow, their mental ability to process and use information they hear improves. At birth, babies will turn their heads toward sounds in their environment. Research has also shown that babies prefer more complex sounds, such as speech and music, to simple tonal sounds. Furthermore, babies can even begin to distinguish different speech sounds soon after leaving the womb. As babies begin to mature, between ages 1 and 6 months, they are able to locate where sounds come from in their environment and to compile sounds into more complex chunks, such as musical phrases. By age 6 months, babies begin sorting out speech sounds from their own language and ignoring speech sounds that they recognize as not from their own language.

While some senses are fully developed at birth, others require time to mature before they become refined. Unlike their abilities to smell or hear, babies are not able to see as well as adults do. They develop their acuity, color perception, and ability to focus as they mature in the first months. At birth, visual acuity is only 20/600, which means that most objects farther away only look like dark shadowy objects. Newborns can best see objects and faces that are held 8 to 14 inches from their face, which is about how far away a caregiver’s face is when holding a baby. Babies’ eyes develop

Quickly, and by age 2 or 3 months they have the ability to see a full spectrum, or range, of colors and can focus on objects just like adults.

At this point, they can also recognize their caregiver’s face and can tell the difference between other people’s faces. By about 6 to 8 months, they develop the visual acuity of that of adults, about 20/20, and can track or follow objects in their line of sight with increasing accuracy. By about 9 months, they also develop depth perception, or the ability to see and understand that different objects are different distances away. They will be able to understand that they are sitting on a couch and will have to climb down to reach the floor.

Babies are not simply passive consumers of sensory information. They actively make sense of the information they take in through their senses. This process has an actual effect on the quality of their brain development. Babies that are properly stimulated, cared for, and loved actually develop better (faster, more robustly, etc.) than babies who are neglected. Babies’ senses can be stimulated in many ways: listening to caregivers speaking, looking at different objects and colors, and playing with toys that have different textures. Babies literally need touch and affection from caregivers in order to grow and to thrive properly. Babies who do not receive appropriate touch and affection may ultimately have developmental problems.

Infancy physical development. Motor skills

Namatovu zaam ahomeless Mother delivered twins one named Miracle and another Blessing

Infants need to learn how to move and to use their bodies to perform various tasks, a process better known as motor development. Initially, babies’ movements are simply the uncontrolled, reflexive movements they are born with. Over time, they learn to move their body parts voluntarily to perform both gross (large) and fine (small) motor skills. In general, babies begin developing motor skills from the center of the body outward and from head to tail. They learn to control their head and neck before they learn to maneuver their arms; they learn to maneuver their arms before they learn to manipulate their fingers. Babies learn to move their torso before they learn how to move their arms and legs.

As babies learn skills and tasks, they will build new skills on top of old skills. It is important to remember that each child is unique. There is a general sequence of milestones or developmental markers that children achieve, but each child will progress through them at different rates, ages, and sequences. This chapter will often list ages at which children reach certain milestones. It’s important to remember that these are only estimates; children attain or achieve them at a wide and healthy range of ages.

When babies are born, they are equipped with a set of reflexes, or automatic actions. Some reflexes help them perform basic tasks, such as breathing freely and drinking milk, while other reflexes seem to have no real purpose. All of these reflexes can help doctors assess babies for any neurological problems at birth and as they grow. As infants mature in the first few months of life and begin developing the ability to voluntarily move and use their bodies, most of these reflexes gradually and naturally fade away. This chapter will review seven of the most prominent reflexes babies have: sucking, head turning, rooting, grasping, stepping, Moro response, and tonic neck.

The sucking reflex allows babies to drink milk and nourish themselves in the first days of life. This is a permanent ability, but as babies grow, they can control when they drink. Another permanent and life-supporting reflex is head turning. This reflex allows a baby to turn his head if something (a blanket, pillow, or stuffed animal) is blocking his airflow. Another reflex that also helps babies survive is the rooting reflex. When babies root, they may nuzzle their face and mouth into the caregiver’s chest or shoulder. This may help them find a food source, such as their mother’s breast; this helps the baby communicate to caregivers that they are hungry and ready to eat. Rooting disappears around 3 weeks of age.

The rest of the reflexes have less survival value but are still notable. For the first 3 to 4 months, babies have an amazing grasping ability and reflex. They will grasp anything placed in their palm and hold it with amazing strength for their size; some infants in the first weeks of life can support their entire body weight through that grasp. While this reflex may not have any survival function in modern times, it does help babies bond with caregivers and family in the first weeks of life. Similarly, for the first two months, babies will “step” with their legs if they are held vertically with their feet touching a surface. Even though this reflex disappears months before babies begin walking purposefully, experts believe stepping helps infants learn how their legs work and can be used. The Moro response is another reflex that is present during the first 6 months of life, but doesn’t seem to have a purpose in modern life.

A baby will arch her back, flail out, and then curl up if she feels as though she is being dropped. The final reflex this chapter will mention is the tonic neck. During the first 4 months, when babies lie awake on their backs with their heads facing to one side, they will extend the arm on the side of their body that they’re facing and flex the other arm at an angle, in a position that resembles a fencing pose. This reflex may help prepare them for voluntary reaching later in their development.

Infancy physical development. Gross motor skills

Baby senses learn to interact with the environment, learn to crawl, and walk

Infant reflexes begin to fade as babies use their senses to learn to interact with the environment around them and as their bodies grow stronger and mature. One way babies learn to use their bodies is by learning to achieve large physical tasks, or gross motor skills, such as crawling and walking. Once again, it’s important to remember that while the following chapter will discuss gross motor development milestones in general terms, every child is unique. Children will develop at their own speed and pace, and there is a wide range of healthy ages at which they can achieve these milestones. Milestones help organize and summarize this information easily and clearly.

Scientists have observed that motor skills generally develop from the center of the body outward and from head to tail. These developments don’t just occur by instinct. The more chances babies have to practice these skills, the more they will be able to grow and strengthen. This means babies need time and space to explore and manipulate objects in their environment and use their muscles, having “tummy time.” Caregivers can place babies on their belly on the floor so they have an opportunity to use those muscles. By around age 2 months, infants’ backs continue to strengthen, and they are able to raise their head and chest up off the ground and rest their body on their elbows when they’re lying on their stomachs. Around this time, they will also kick and bend their legs while lying on their stomachs; this helps prepare babies for crawling later. By around 3 months, babies continue to mature as they can hold themselves up for longer periods, up to several minutes, and begin to hold their bodies in symmetry. That means that the tonic neck reflex disappears, and they are able to hold each arm in the same position on both sides of their body while on their backs.

Babies continue to strengthen their muscles and improve control of their body parts as they grow. Around age 4 months, they can maintain control of their head and hold it steady while they’re sitting up with help or lying on their belly. They begin to roll their body from their belly to their back on their own. About a month later, they will then be able to roll from their back to their belly. Also around age 5 months, babies will wiggle all their limbs while they lie on their belly; this strengthens their crawling muscles. As with all physical development, skills build one on top of another. Around age 6 months, most infants can sit up by themselves for brief periods and can begin to put some weight on their legs as they’re held upright with some support.

As babies enter the second half of their first year, they become more mobile and can move themselves around their environment on their own. Caregivers need to be prepared to be more active as they follow the babies and to baby proof ( Babyproofing )their home so that dangerous situations and substances can be avoided. Babies are eager to explore

their newly expanded environment. Babies may begin to crawl around age 7 months. At around 8 months, babies can sit up by themselves for extended periods and can pull themselves to their feet while they hold onto something for leverage and support, such as a table or the edge of a couch. By the next month, age 9 months, babies can not only sit independently for a long time, but also reach and play with toys while maintaining their balance. At this time, babies can pull themselves up into a stand without support. This is a critical time for exercising these muscle groups. The use of baby walkers, or devices that hold babies upright while they move their legs to move around, can delay this process. Research has found that the use of these devices prevents babies from developing the core torso strength necessary for walking (before developing leg strength), which can then lead to difficulty walking or running in the future. For this reason, walkers and other similar devices should not be used.

Babies continue to build on their physical abilities, and around age 10 months, they can stand on their own for extended periods. They are making progress toward walking, picking up and putting down their feet while they stand. They may make their first hesitant steps as they walk while holding onto something such as a crib rail. The ability to walk improves as infants walk while holding onto caregivers’ hands around age 11 months, and begin making their own first toddling steps around age 12 months.

In the second year of life, toddlers continue to become more mobile and more agile. Around age 15 months, babies begin to climb stairs, high chairs, and furniture, but they will not yet be able to get back down once they reach the top. They begin to transition more smoothly from one position to another, such as from lying down to sitting up and from sitting up to standing up. By age 18 months, toddlers’ balance becomes more stable as they can move more easily on their feet around objects and begin walking backwards, sideways, in circles, and even running. At this point, they can also begin walking up stairs using their feet and using their hands to hold onto a handrail.

Near the end of their second year, toddlers begin to develop complex gross motor skills such as throwing objects for distance and kicking. They continue to refine and to become more fluid in their movements. Their walking and running gaits become more natural and mature and less toddler-like as their feet turn inward while they move. By age 24 months, they can jump in place and balance on one foot for a short period and may begin peddling their first tricycle. They can go up stairs easily on their own, even though they may need some help climbing back down. At the end of the second year, toddlers are very mobile and can run and walk quickly from one place to another; however, they are still refining their ability to stop themselves once they get started. Around this time, they may run into a few walls or unintentionally walk into a dangerous situation, such as off the sidewalk curb and into the street, simply because their brain can’t get the message to their feet fast enough to stop moving. It’s even more important at this time that caregivers monitor their environment for safety and urge rules such as holding an adult’s hand while crossing the street. Babyproofing

Infancy physical development. Fine motor skills

stages of development in infant from birth to 2 years

Fine motor skills develop along side gross motor skills. Beyond just learning how to use and manipulate their bodies in large movements, babies are learning how to use their hands and how to coordinate smaller movements with their senses, such as sight. Like the gross motor skill development, fine motor development comes gradually as infants build one skill on top of previous skills.

Like others before it, this chapter will discusses development in terms of age-related milestones. Once again, it is important to remember that children are unique and grow at their own rate and speed. There is a wide range of healthy ages at which babies can acquire these abilities. Theoretically, babies could develop ahead of the average on their gross motor skills and behind average with their fine motor skills, or babies could develop one milestone later than average but develop the next milestone before the average age. The important thing to gather from this chapter is the general pattern children follow as their bodies and minds mature, so you are best prepared to give adequate support and nurturing.

From birth to around 2 months, babies are “pre-reaching.” They will extend their arm and hand toward an object that interests them, but they will rarely be able to make hand contact with that object. It’s important to remember that in those two early months, baby’s vision is beginning to develop the acuity and focus needed to grab an object they see. As their eyesight matures, babies can reach with more accuracy and make contact with objects, usually around age 3 months. Between the ages of 3 and 4 months, babies begin holding objects between their palm and their enclosed fingers in a clumsy ulnar grasp. By age 4 months, they will want to practice that hold, and will reach for anything in their line of sight. In another month or so, babies will be able to transfer objects from one hand to the other, as they are now able to sit up and play.

It’s important to remember that at this age, 5 months, babies are able to handle and pick up larger objects, but they will still only be able to touch and scratch at smaller objects such as a Cheerio. By around age 6 months, babies are refining their ability to manipulate objects as they learn by using their hands and mouths.

In the second half of the first year, babies continue to mature in their ability to use their hands and can manipulate even smaller objects. Around age 7 months, they can grasp pellet-sized objects crudely between their thumbs and the side of their forefingers, and between ages 7 to 9 months, most babies can pick up and drink from a cup. By around age 9 months, babies refine their ability to grasp tiny objects as they hold them between their thumb and forefinger in a pincer grasp. Another refinement around age 9 months is that babies can now set down larger objects gently where they want to place them rather than just flinging them down when they’re finished with them. Furthermore, by around age 10 or 11 months, they can also place smaller pellet-sized objects, like bite-sized cereal, where they want to, such as in a bowl or cup. By age 12 months, babies can now use their hands independently of one another in play. This will enable them to manipulate tools in the next year.

In the second year of life, toddlers begin using their hands for more tasks than just playing with toys and eating. By around age 15 months, toddlers begin to use tools such as cups, spoons, and crayons. They can begin feeding themselves with utensils. They can also open cabinets and drawers, so parents need to be sure that their homes are baby proofed in ways such as putting hazardous chemicals and cleaning supplies in high cabinets and putting locks on cabinets and drawers that are not safe for young children ( Babyproofing ). At this age, they can also turn pages in a book and build towers of 2 to 3 large blocks. By 18 months, toddlers are refining their ability to use tools such as crayons, and they can now draw lines and rough circles rather than just scribbling on a page. By age 21 months, they also have the ability to undress themselves and help dress themselves, as they may be able to manipulate larger buttons or zippers. By age 24 months, toddlers can use their hands with more dexterity as they can unwrap birthday presents or do simple puzzles. Their fine motor skills will continue to improve in the coming years.

Infancy physical development. Average growth

Kids children engaged in art and craft with pencils and paper learning and education concept

Babies grow at an amazing rate in the first months and years of life as they rapidly reproduce cells and grow in length and weight. In the first 2 years, babies grow to almost half their adult height and can quadruple their birth weight. During this period, it’s important for caregivers to take their infants to the pediatrician for well-baby checkups (during which they will be weighed and measured) on a regular schedule to make sure they are growing at the appropriate rate. During the first year, babies will continue to increase their level of body fat. This “baby fat” allows a baby to maintain their body temperature. As babies grow in size and begin to build muscle, this baby fat will begin to disappear.

In the first two years of life, a growing child’s bodily proportions also change. When infants are born, most of their body mass is in their head. As they grow older, the rest of their bodies catch up.

Just as they develop their motor skills from the center of the body outward and from their head to their feet, they also grow and gain mass in that order. Babies grow first in their chest and trunk and then in their arms and legs. Over the first year of life, babies’ bones and skeletons ossify, or harden. When babies are born, their bones are softer and more like cartilage. This allows them to be flexible, fit inside the mother’s womb, and pass through the birth canal. However, as their bones harden in the first year, the skeleton is better able to support their weight during activities such as crawling and walking. Babies also have “soft spots” in their skull because some parts of the skull haven’t fused together yet. By age 2 years, babies’ skulls are as hard as adult skulls, but in the first months, caregivers need to be careful how they handle the baby and protect their heads.

As noted before, infants grow exponentially in the first 2 years. In the first 3 months, they grow up to 2.5 inches and 3 pounds. Between the ages 4 to 6 months, they grow another 2.5 inches and gain an average of 4 pounds. Between 7 and 9 months, they grow an average of 2.5 inches and 4 pounds. Between 10 and 12 months, they grow another 2.5 inches and another 3 pounds. During the second year, toddlers grow about 1 inch and 2 pounds about every 3 months. Children’s growth slows considerably after age 2 years

Infancy coginitive development

Intellectual development in children, here two babies Matha and ketty learn some fine skills

Babies are not only growing physically during the first 2 years of life, but also cognitively (mentally). Every day while they interact with and learn about their environment they are creating new connections and pathways between nerve cells both within their brains, and between their brains and bodies. While physical growth and change is easily observed and measured in precise terms such as in inches and pounds, cognitive change and development is a little harder to determine as clearly. Therefore, much about what experts know about mental and cognitive development is based on the careful observation of developmental theorists and their theories, such as Piaget’s theory of cognitive development and Erickson’s psychosocial stages. Bronfenbrenner’s ecological model also helps explain infant mental growth to some extent.

According to Piaget, newborns interact with their environment entirely through reflexive behaviors. They do not think about what they’re going to do, but rather follow their instincts and involuntary reactions to get what they need: food, air, and attention. Piaget believed that as babies begin to grow and learn about their environment through their senses, they begin to engage in intentional, goal-directed behaviors. In other words, they begin to think about what they want to accomplish, how to accomplish it, and then they do it. This is also when infants develop object permanence, which is the ability to understand that something still exists even if it can’t be seen. These two milestones, goal-directed behavior and object permanence, are the highlights and major accomplishments of infant cognitive development.

Piaget separated infancy into six sub-stages, which have been adjusted somewhat over the years as new research and discoveries have occurred The sub-stages include: reflexive activity, primary circular reactions, secondary circular reactions, coordination of secondary schemes, tertiary circular reactions, and beginning or representational thought. While these sub-stages sound highly confusing and complicated, they will be explained in more detail in the next paragraphs in order to simplify them and highlight the important aspects of each.

The first sub-stage is reflexive activity, which lasts from birth to approximately 1 month. According to Piaget, while babies are engaging in reflexive actions such as sucking when offered a bottle or the breast, or other reflexes covered earlier in this chapter, they are learning about their environment and how they can interact with it. Babies don’t think about behaving reflexively; they simply act out those reflexes automatically.

The second sub-stage is primary circular reactions, which spans the ages of 1 to 4 months. During this time, babies intentionally repeat actions that bring them pleasure and desired outcomes. In other words, they do things on purpose because it feels good or it gets them what they want. For example, a small infant may suck on her fist because it feels good to her and it soothes her.

Researchers believe that babies of this age may also develop expectancy about cause and effect situations. Babies will begin to see that a pattern of events is connected, and begin to expect the second event after they experience the first event. For example, a baby of this age may learn that when they see a bottle, they expect they will soon be fed. Babies’ expectancies about the predictability of their environment form the foundation of Erickson’s observation that young infants learn to either trust or mistrust their environment. If a baby learns the pattern that they have a need, such as hunger or discomfort, and that need is regularly addressed, they learn to expect their needs to be met and they learn to trust. On the other hand, if babies learn a pattern that they have needs and those needs are not regularly addressed, they will learn to expect that their needs will not be met and they learn to mistrust the world around them.

Next, babies begin to show secondary circular reactions. This sub-stage lasts from about age 4 to 8 months. During this sub-stage, babies begin to repeat actions onto objects outside their body that bring them pleasure and desired outcomes. The difference between this sub-stage and the previous sub-stage is that during this period, babies move beyond just repeating actions to their own body and repeat actions onto their environment. During this time, babies learn by feeling things out; they use their mouths, hands, and other body parts to touch and to experiment with toys and other objects around them. For example, by about age 5 months, babies will track an object with their eyes, even after it leaves their direct line of vision. They will turn their head or even their whole body to continue watching something that grabs their attention. While they’re taking in information and practicing cause and effect experiments, their memory continues to grow stronger.

Between ages 8 to 12 months, babies enter the coordination of secondary schemes sub-stage. During this time, they begin to show intentional means-end behavior, which means that babies begin to put different activities together to achieve a goal because they’ve learned how cause and effect works. Infants are now building on what they learned in the first three stages in order to get what they want. Babies at this age will mimic what they see others doing. If they see their caretaker clap, they will clap.

They’ll repeat the same sort of experiment with different objects to see how these events are similar or different and if there are different outcomes. For example, they may practice dropping different objects to see what happens. They’ll learn that when they stand up and drop a plastic toy on the hardwood floor, it will make a banging noise, but when they drop a stuffed plush animal on the same floor, it will make no real sound.

Another major development during this period is that of object permanence, the understanding that something still exists even if it can’t be seen. Before now, babies believed, in an implicit way, that when something moved from their sight, it no longer continued to exist. Now babies begin to understand that something might still exist even if they can’t see it. This is how the game “Peek-a-Boo” helps babies learn. Even though they can’t see their caretaker’s face hidden behind the blanket, their caretaker continues to exist and will reappear shortly.

Next, between the ages of 12 to 18 months, toddlers enter the tertiary (third) circular reactions sub-stage. During this period, toddlers continue to explore their environment and create experiments to see how things work. They will play with anything they can find; however, they do not yet realize that certain things like knives, electric outlets, and pots on top of a hot stove can hurt them. For this reason, parents and caregivers need to be vigilant about keeping their household safe by babyproofing their home.

Object permanence is not achieved all at once, but rather, gradually emerges.

KIDS IN THIS STAGE REALISE THAT SOMETHING CAN BE HIDDEN

During this sub-stage, babies come to realize that something can be hidden and moved and still exist. Now, babies will look for an object that has been hidden or moved. As babies’ ability to build memories grows and incorporates all their senses, they develop cross-modal recognition memory. This means that children are able to see a mental picture of an object they are holding in their

hand in their mind, without actually looking at it. They remember that object as a complete package through all their senses; they remember its texture and size in their hands, its sound through their ears, and perhaps even its smell.

Finally, between the ages of 18 and 24 months, toddlers enter the beginning of the representational thought sub-stage.

 During this time, babies begin to be symbol-oriented, which means that they create a general image of things in their minds and retain them as examples of some objects. They may create in their mind a picture of a stuffed bear, and use it to represent other stuffed animals he may play with or later see. Because of this, babies may look for their favorite stuffed animal in the toy basket because they know that’s where it’s kept even if they didn’t see their caregivers put it there. As well, babies’ recall and recognition memory also improve greatly. Around age 21 months, toddlers learn scripts, or routines, about how certain things are done. For example, they learn that to “go somewhere in the car,” Dad and toddler go out to the garage, Dad buckles baby in the car seat, and then Dad climbs in the front seat and starts the car.

There are other, more specific mental milestones during this period as well. Around age 21 months, babies grasp the idea of past, present, and future. They begin to understand things categorically, which is to say that they become capable of recognize a shirt as a shirt, even though they don’t all shirts do not look the same. They begin to recognize what things are alike and why, and what other objects fit or do not fit into particular categories. Toddlers keep building their capacity to think symbolically and categorically Around age 24 months, they develop the capacity to pretend and imagine things that aren’t there in front of them. As they achieve this new level of imaginative thought, they take their first steps beyond concrete thinking (e.g., only being able to think about things that are in front of you).

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Watchout my 10 Spectacular Movable Bridges that i will never forget when iam traveling

A movable bridge is a bridge that moves to allow passage (usually) for boats or barges. An advantage of making bridges moveable is the lower cost, due to the absence of high piers and long approaches. The principal disadvantage is that the traffic on the bridge must be halted when it is opened for passages.

 

  1. Gateshead Millennium Bridge, UKgateshead-i
  2. The Gateshead Millennium Bridge is a pedestrian and cyclist bridge spanning River Tyne in England between Gateshead’s Quays arts quarter on the south bank, and the Quayside of Newcastle on the north bank. The bridge is essentially two graceful curves, one forming the deck and the other supporting it, spanning between the two islands running parallel to the quaysides.

     

     

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    To allow ships to pass underneath, this whole assembly rotates as a single, rigid structure. As the arch tilts lower, the pathway rises, each counterbalancing the other, and a pathway over the river is formed.

     

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    The parabolic curves of the deck extend the 105m (344ft) crossing distance to around 120m (394ft), giving enough extra length to provide the required clearance above the water. The appearance of the bridge when in motion leads to it sometimes being called the ‘Blinking Eye Bridge‘ or the ‘Winking Eye Bridge’ since its shape is akin to the blinking of an eye if seen from along the river. Visually elegant when static and in motion, the bridge offers a great spectacle during its opening operation.

     

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    The bridge is operated by six 45 cm (18 inches) diameter Hydraulic rams, three on each side, and each powered by a 55 kW electric motor. Small ships and boats up to 25 meters (82ft) tall can pass underneath. The bridge takes as little as 4.5 minutes to rotate through the full 40° from closed to open, depending on wind speed.

    The construction of the bridge won the architects Wilkinson Eyre the 2002 Royal Institute of British Architects (RIBA) Stirling Prize, the 2003 Gifford IStructE Supreme Award, and in 2005, the Outstanding Structure Award from International Association for Bridge and Structural Engineering (IABSE). [link, map]

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    1. Slauerhoffbrug, Netherlandsslauerhoffbrug-1
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    The Slauerhoffbrug is a fully automatic bascule bridge (aka tail bridge) in the city of Leeuwarden in the Netherlands. It uses two arms to swing a section of road in and out of place within the road itself.

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    It is also known as the “Slauerhoffbrug ‘Flying’ Drawbridge”. A tail bridge can quickly and efficiently be raised and lowered from one pylon (instead of hinges). This quickly allows water traffic to pass while only briefly stalling road traffic.

     

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    The deck is 15m by 15m (50x50ft). It is painted in yellow and blue, representative of Leeuwarden’s flag and seal. Slauerhoffbrug is perhaps named after J.J. Slauerhoff, the famous Leeuwarder, Dutch poet.

     

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    The pylon is situated next to the bridge. The skew bridge deck accentuates the asymmetrical shape. The pylon is provided with chases for the ballastblock in open position.

    The robust lift bearing disappears into the road deck. Main girders and cross girders are missing in the construction. The bottom of the bridge deck is flat. [link1, link2, map]

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    3. Pont Jacques Chaban-Delmas, France

     

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    The Pont Jacques Chaban-Delmas is a vertical-lift bridge over the Garonne in Bordeaux, France. It was inaugurated on 16 March 2013 by President François Hollande and Alain Juppé, mayor of Bordeaux. Its main span is 110 m (361 ft) long

     

     

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    The bridge has a lift height of approximately 50m (164ft) and it operate roughly 120 times per year for the passage of large vessels to the ports surrounding Bordeaux.

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    The lift span structure has symmetric cross-section and carries four traffic lanes – two mass transport tracks and two outboard sidewalk/bikeways.

    Four, independent pylon towers-one at each corner of the lift span – support the span weight and permit the movement of the counterweights vertically inside each pylon.
    As of 2013, it is the longest vertical-lift bridge in Europe. It is named in honour of Jacques Chaban-Delmas, a former Prime Minister of France and a former mayor of Bordeaux. [link1, link2, map]

    4. Vizcaya Bridge, Spain

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    The Vizcaya Bridge is a transporter bridge that links the towns of Portugalete and Las Arenas (part of Getxo) in the Biscay province of Spain, crossing the mouth of the Ibaizabal River.

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    People in the area, and even the official website, commonly call it the Puente Colgante (literally “hanging bridge”, used for suspension bridge in Spanish), although its structure is quite different from a suspension bridge.

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    The Vizcaya Bridge was built to connect the two banks which are situated at the mouth of the Ibaizabal River. It is the world’s oldest transporter bridge and was built in 1893, designed by Alberto Palacio, one of Gustave Eiffel’s disciples and Elissague.

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    The bridge, still in use, is 164m (538ft) long, and its gondola can transport six cars and several dozen passengers in one and a half minutes. It operates every 8 minutes during the day (every hour at night), all year round, with different fares for day and night services, and is integrated into Bilbao’s Creditrans transport system.
    The structure is made of four 61 metre (200ft) towers which are the pillars and lay on the river banks.There are two new visitor lifts installed in the 50 meter (164ft) high pillars of the bridge that allow walking over the bridge’s platform, from where there is a view of the port and the Abra bay. [link, map]

    5. Puente de la Mujer, Argentina

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    Puente de la Mujer (Spanish for “Women’s Bridge”) is a rotating footbridge for Dock 3 of the Puerto Madero commercial district of Buenos Aires, Argentina. It is of the Cantilever spar cable-stayed bridge type and is also a swing bridge, but somewhat unusual in its asymmetrical arrangement.

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    It has a single mast with cables suspending a portion of the bridge which rotates 90 degrees in order to allow water traffic to pass. When it swings to allow watercraft passage, the far end comes to a resting point on a stabilizing pylon.

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    The 170-metre (558ft) pedestrian bridge weighs 800 tonnes, is 6.2m (20ft) wide and is divided into two fixed portions, 25m (82ft) and 32.5m (107ft) long respectively, and a middle section of 102.5 m (336ft) that rotates on a white concrete pylon, allowing vessels to pass in less than two minutes.
    This central section is supported by a steel “needle” with a concrete core, about 34m (112ft) high. The “needle,” inclined at a 39° angle, anchors suspension cables which support the central span. A computer system at the eastern end of the bridge operates the turning mechanism when required. [link, map]

    6. River Hull Footbridge, UK

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    The steel River Hull Footbridge (also called Scale Lane Bridge) is the world’s first footbridge that rotates to open or close for river traffic while pedestrians are still on it. The beautiful prefab structure designed by London-based McDowell+Benedetti spans the River Hull in Yorkshire and takes about two minutes to fully open or close. It connects the city center (Hull) with the eastern development, acting as both an important infrastructural urban element and a new civic landmark.

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    The footbridge is approximately 16 meters (52.5ft) in diameter and features a series of wheels running on a circular track below the hub that allows it to open and close – depending on the amount of river traffic.

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    A full sequence takes about two minutes and moves very slowly at a speed lower than that of the London Eye. Pedestrians and bikers can stay on it while it rotates and experience the river from a whole new perspective.

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    The lighting for the bridge was designed by Sutton Vane Associates, who made sure that the energy efficient lights cast a trace over the water at night and create an appearance of the bridge being defined by the point of light from the line of fittings.

    Small points of light emphasize the shape of the bridge and appear when the bridge starts to pivot. To add to the drama, a row of recessed lights turn on while the bridge is moving, creating a unique light show. [link, map]

    7. Hörn Bridge, Germany

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    The Hörn Bridge is a folding bridge in the city of Kiel in the German state of Schleswig-Holstein. The bridge spans over the end of the Kiel Fjord (called Hörn) and was designed by Gerkan, Marg and Partners. It is a three-segment bascule bridge with a main span of 25.5 metres (84 ft) that folds in the shape of the letter “N”. The bridge was built in 1997 and did cost DM 16 million.

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    The Hörn Bridge is 5 metres (16ft) wide and connects the city centre on the west bank of the Hörn with the Gaarden quarter on the east bank. The pedestrian bridge is especially important for passengers connecting between the Norway Ferry Terminal (Norwegenkai) and the main railway station.

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    Many Kielians were skeptical in regard to the design. There were repeated malfunctions of the mechanism upon startup, hence one of its nicknames, the “Klappt-Nix-Brücke” (Folds-not Bridge). In order to ensure crossing for pedestrians and cyclists, a hydraulically operated retractable bridge was built directly adjacent as an interim solution and is still used during repair and maintenance of the folding bridge. The Hörn Bridge is now accepted as a technical masterpiece and has become a tourist attraction.
    Usually the bridge opens once every hour in order to allow small- and medium-sized ships to travel in and out of the Hörn. The bridge offers one of the best panoramic views of the city of Kiel. It is also at the beginning and terminating point of a scenic route: the tourist route from Bremervörde to the Kieler Förde connects approximately 50 different ferries, bridges, ship locks, tidal barriers and maritime museums and its landmarks of the Rendsburg and Osten transporter bridges. [link, map]

    8. Foryd Harbour Bridge, UK

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    Foryd Harbour Cycle and Pedestrian Bridge is located in Rhyl – a seaside resort town and community in Denbighshire, situated on the north east coast of Wales, UK. The iconic structure provides a single leaf bascule opening span over the navigable channel, giving unlimited clearance. To balance the lift, the back-span also lifts mirroring its twin.

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    A single Duplex stainless steel mast nearly 50m (164ft) tall houses a pulley mechanism and associated lift cables, providing a visual declaration of the bridge’s presence that will be visible from miles around and will also provide a central focus within the harbour.
    The mast is stayed by a system of rigging similar to that seen on many sailing boats. To accommodate the central mast, each deck splits to permit a 3 metre (10ft) walkway on either side. [link]

    9. Submersible Bridges at Corinth Canal, Greece

    Submersible bridge at the eastern terminus of the Corinth Canal link
    The Corinth Canal in Greece cuts through the narrow Isthmus of Corinth and separates the Peloponnesian peninsula from the Greek mainland, connecting the Gulf of Corinth with the Saronic Gulf in the Aegean Sea.

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    Built between 1881 and 1893, the Corinth Canal is considered a great technical achievement for its time. Although the canal saves the 700-kilometer (435mi) journey around the Peloponnese, it is too narrow for modern ocean freighters, as it can only accommodate ships of a width of up to 16.5 meters (54ft) and a draught of 7.3 meters (24ft).

    A boat passes over the Submersible bridge at the eastern terminus of the Corinth Canal. link
    Ships can only pass through the canal one at a time on a one-way system. Larger ships have to be towed by tugs. The canal is nowadays mostly used by tourist ships, with 11,000 ships using the canal every year.

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    In 1988, two submersible bridges were constructed exist across the Corinth Canal, one at each end, in Isthmia and Corinth. The bridge lowers the bridge deck 8 meters (26ft) below water level to permit waterborne traffic to use the waterway.
    The primary advantage of lowering the bridge instead of lifting it above is that there is no structure above the shipping channel and thus no height limitation on ship traffic. This is particularly important for sailing vessels. Additionally, the lack of an above-deck structure is considered aesthetically pleasing. However, the presence of the submerged bridge structure limits the draft of vessels in the waterway. [link, map]

    10. El Ferdan Railway Bridge, Egypt

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    The El Ferdan Railway Bridge, also known as the Al-Firdan Bridge, extends over the Suez Canal, close to the city of Ismailia in the northeast region of Egypt.

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    The bridge connects mainland Egypt with the Sinai Peninsula, and measuring 1,100 feet (335m) in length, it’s the world’s longest swing bridge. Both sides of the structure pivot on piers when it’s opening or closing, and thanks to a pair of electric slewing drives, it takes a total of 30 minutes to fully open.

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    Unlike other bridges on this list, the El Ferdan Railway Bridge stays open for water traffic, and it’s only closed to allow trains to cross the canal. A consortium of Belgian, German and Egyptian companies designed and built it, and construction was completed in 2001 at a cost of roughly $80 million. The bridge was officially opened on November 14, 2001. [link, map]

    Bonus 1: Barton Swing Aqueduct, UK

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    The Barton Swing Aqueduct is a moveable navigable aqueduct in Barton upon Irwell in Greater Manchester, England. It carries the Bridgewater Canal across the Manchester Ship Canal.

    Barton Swing Aqueduct in the closed position link
    The swinging action allows large vessels using the ship canal to pass underneath and smaller narrowboats to cross over the top.

    Barton Swing Aqueduct in the open position link
    The aqueduct, the first and only swing aqueduct in the world, is a Grade II listed building, considered a major feat of Victorian civil engineering. Designed by Sir Edward Leader Williams and built by Andrew Handyside of Derby, the swing bridge opened in 1894 and remains in regular use.

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    The aqueduct is a form of swing bridge. When closed, it allows canal traffic to pass along the Bridgewater Canal. When large vessels need to pass along the ship canal underneath, the 1450-tonne (1430-long-ton; 1600-short-ton) and 330-foot (100m) long iron trough is rotated 90 degrees on a pivot mounted on a small purpose-built island.
    Gates at each end of the trough retain around 800 tonnes of water; additional gates on each bank retain water in their adjacent stretches of canal. The aqueduct originally had a suspended towpath along its length, about 9 feet (2.7 m) above the water level of the Bridgewater Canal, which has now been removed. [link, map]

    Bonus 2: M60A1 Armored Vehicle Launched Bridge

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    The Armored Vehicle Launched Bridge (US Army vehicle) was designed to launch and retrieve a class 60 bridge. Used during combat, an AVLB is a folding portable bridge that is transported on the top of a tank chassis. The AVLB vehicle carries a crew of two. It is powered by a 750 HP Diesel Engine. The bridge and vehicle total weight is 58 tons.

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    The Armored Vehicle Launched Bridge (AVLB) only supports Abrams tank units using a caution crossing at reduced gap length (15 meters or 50ft) and at a reduced crossing speed. The M60A1 Armored Vehicle Launched Bridge entered the Marine Corps inventory in the late 1980s. Current plan has the AVLB in use through 2015 and beyond. The WOLVERINE will replace the AVLB in the Engineer combat vehicle inventory.

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    The M60A1 AVLB is an armored vehicle used for launching and retrieving a 60-foot (18.3m) scissors-type bridge. The AVLB consists of three major sections: the launcher, the hull, and the bridge. The launcher is mounted as an integral part of the chassis. The bridge, when emplaced, is capable of supporting tracked and wheeled vehicles with a military load bearing capacity up to Class 60.
    The bridge can be retrieved from either end. The roadway width of the AVLB is 12.5 feet (3.8m). Bridge emplacement can be accomplished in 2 to 5 minutes, and retrieval can be accomplished in 10 minutes under armor protection. When unfolded, it can span up to 60 feet (18.3m) while supporting 70 tons of equipment. The AVLB spans a 15m (50ft) gap for Military Load Class 70, and spans an 18m (60ft) gap for Military Load Class 60. [link]

Many tourist deny their eyes&mind to be fed with 12 Unusual Towers From Around the World i observed&leant.

The towers are tall structures, usually taller than they are wide, often by a significant margin. These slender buildings are generally built to take advantage of their height, and can stand alone on the ground, or as part of a larger structure. Here we have 12 towers that are significantly different from all other towers, and because of that are preferred by many photographers and tourists.

  1. Ivy Тower, Belgium

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Gruuthuse museum is located in the Belgian city of Bruges and dates from the 15th century. It has a collection of applied art of Bruges from the 13th to the 19th century.

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Gruuthuse Tower is part of the museum and is better known as the Ivy Tower, because it is mostly covered with ivy vines. The tower looks especially nice in the autumn months, when the leaves of ivy takes on different colors (yellow, orange, red, brown…) [map]

2. Guinigi Tower, Italy

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The city of Lucca in Tuscany, Italy, is famous for its medieval architecture and intact city walls.  Yet among all of its exquisite buildings one stands out. The Torre Guinigi or Guinigi Tower in English, towers over the city.

 

At the top of the 44.5 meter (146ft) high tower is something of a surprise – a garden containing, of all things, oak trees. High above the city this small wood has provided a haven of peace for centuries.

The tower was built in the fourteenth century when there were over 250 in the city. Although that number has, over the centuries, dramatically decreased, this one has survived.  It was built by the Guinigi, then the most powerful and influential family in the city. The tower represented the prestige of the family and was the largest in the city even when the economic boom of the late fourteenth century meant that towers were springing up all over Lucca.

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The last descendant of the family gifted the tower to the city, as well as the palace at its base. The roof garden at the top of the tower is, effectively, a walled box filled with earth.

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There are seven oak trees there: it is believed that they were first planted in the 14th or 15th century but that over time they have been replanted. However, the ones atop the tower at the moment are still thought to be several hundred years old. [linkmap]

  1. Kalyazin Tower, Russia
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The Kalyazin Bell Tower is a Neoclassical campanile, rising to a height of 74.5 metres (244 ft) over the waters of the Uglich Reservoir on the Volga River opposite the old town of Kalyazin. The steepled belfry was built in 1796–1800 as part of the Monastery of St. Nicholas.

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When Stalin ordered the construction of the Uglich Reservoir in 1939, the old part of Kalyazin, including several medieval structures, was covered by the waters. The structure became the main object of touristic interest in the east of Tver Oblast, and an islet was shored up underneath. It has a small pier for boats. [linkmap]

 

  1. The Leaning Tower of Yekaterinburg, Russia
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Yekaterinburg TV Tower is a tall incomplete structure in Yekaterinburg, Russia. Construction works started 1983, but were on-hold at the beginning of the 1990s, as its shaft reached a height of 220 metres (720ft). According to plans, the tower was intended to reach a structural height greater than 400 metres (1,310ft).

There are three parts to the building: the trunk of the tower, the lower joint-work with the base and the metallic aerial. The tower has 26 floors in total (not accounting the floors which make up the base).

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The lifts were never installed. Instead any visitors must clamber up the concrete stairs of the half-complete tower. It is quite the local landmark.

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The tower has a slight lean due to engineering mistakes made in its construction. The list does not, however, present any danger and the tower is not due to topple over at any point in the near future. [link1link2map]

5. Ciechanow Tower, Poland

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The Ciechanow Water Tower in Poland is a hyperboloid structure, using hyperboloid geometry which maximizes structural strength with a minimum of material.

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The Ciechanow Water Tower was built in 1972 by Jerzy Michal Boguslawsk. There are plans to open a restaurant and observation platform at the top of the tower, but the object is currently out of use. [link]

6. The Pirate Tower, USA

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A Laguna Beach (California) landmark, this medieval-looking tower is located just north of Victoria Beach. Built in 1926, it was designed as a private spiraling staircase for beach access from above. Today the tower is closed but can still be viewed from the outside at low tide.

To the uninitiated beach goer, the 60 foot (18m) rocket-like structure seems to have been carved out of the cliff by massive waves hundreds of years ago.

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Ocean breezes moan through small portals covered by rusting metal grates on the tower’s sides and a large door at the structure’s base, also covered in rust, reveals a wooden spiral staircase twisting to the ledge above. [link1link2map]

7. Sathorn Unique, Thailand

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The early 1990s was boom time for the Thai economy. The country was experiencing its most rapid development ever and hundreds of construction projects were started in the capital ofBangkok.

As the wealth of the nation’s people increased it was envisioned that they would demand new, luxury apartments in which to live. The Sathorn Unique is one of them.

The Sathorn Unique was supposed to be another glistening addition to Bangkok’s ever growing skyline, a luxury residential skyscraper of over 600 homes and shops. Yet the building work came to a drastic halt in 1998. The towering building has stood abandoned and incomplete from then on.

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Crows circle the pinnacle and rats call its lower levels home. Expat urban spelunkers have explored the building and returned to Khao San Road with stories from its upper reaches. The verdict: it is a dilapidated mess. The future of the Sathorn Unique remains unclear but perhaps someday it will be finished. For now, it looms on the Bangkok skyline with many other abandoned skeletal structures. [link1link2]
9. Shime Tower, Japan

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The winding tower of the former Shime coal mine near the city of Fukuoka, Japan, is unusual even in a country chock full of abandonments. The Shime coal mine tower dates from the middle of World War II: it was built between 1941 and 1943 to help increase the yield of a coal mine established in 1889, and it’s really a wonder the Allies didn’t bomb it to smithereens. Operated by the Imperial Japanese Navy, the mine was rumored to have “employed” Allied POWs so perhaps its survival through VJ Day was just as well. Indeed, the tower and the mine below operated until 1964 when it was finally closed for good.

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The 47.65 meter (156.3 ft) tall tower is of an odd design, having offices and control rooms located above the actual, long gone winding mechanism – huge reels of cable which raised loads of coal from the mine and lowered empty containers and workers back into the depths of the mine up to 430 meters (1,411 ft) below. [link]

10. Montreal Tower, Canada

The tower incorporated into the base of the The Olympic Stadium in the Montreal, called the Montreal Tower, is the tallest inclined tower in the world at 175 metres (574 ft). Its 45-degree angle is awe-inspiring, especially when you consider that the Leaning Tower of Pisa’s tilt is only 5 degrees.

From its summit, visitors can admire the entire Greater Montreal region and up to 80 kilometres (50mi) of the St. Lawrence River valley. A breathtaking panorama, it has been awarded a three-star rating – the highest available – by the renowned Michelin Guide.

A common question from visitors is how can a structure with an incline as dramatic as the Montreal Tower stand? The answer to this riddle lies in mass ratio: the top of the tower has a mass of 8,000 tonnes which is permanently attached to the infrastructure and the solid concrete base buried ten metres below ground level. This base has a mass of 145,000 tonnes, or the equivalent of three aircraft carriers.

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Visitors can reach the top of the Montreal Tower on a mesmerizing climb in a glass-encased funicular that holds up to 76 passengers. The funicular is the only one in the world that operates on a curved structure. It has a hydraulic system that allows the cabin to remain horizontal during the two-minute ride to the top. [linkmap]

11. Tower of Wind, Japan

Located just to the southeast of Tokyo’s Haneda airport, in the middle of the ocean, is a rather interesting structure. Referred to as the “Tower of Wind” of “Kaze no to” in local language, it consist of a dazzling white circular base with two blue and white stripped oval shaped structures, that look like two sails from the distance.

This structure is actually a ventilation shaft for the Tokyo Bay Aqualine – an undersea tunnel that lies approximately 40 meters (130ft) below. Tokyo Bay Aqualine is the fourth-longest underwater, 9.6 kilometers (6mi) long that runs from Yokohama to Chiba under the Tokyo Bay.

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The tunnel took 31 years to build, cost 11.2 billion dollars, and shaves some 100km (62mi) off the round the Bay trip. The attractive monolith houses the tunnel’s intake and exhaust ventilation system and also marks the midway point of the undersea tunnel. [linkmap]

12. PL Peace Tower, Japan

Measuring around 600 feet (183m) high, this unusual tower is located at the Church of Perfect Liberty headquarters in Tondabayashi, Osaka, Japan. The tower stands as a monument to all the perished souls of war throughout all time. Within the tower is a shrine in which all known names of the lives claimed in human conflict have been recorded on microfilm and stored in a golden container.

link

The structure was originally designed using clay by the church’s late second founder and was built in 1970. The newly developed technique of “shotcrete” was employed in the creation of the tower, formed by spraying concrete on to a wire netting.

Once a year, the Church of Perfect Liberty headquarters is the site of one of the world’s largest fireworks shows. Every July 6th, the members celebrate the passing of their first founder with what they call the “PL Art of Fireworks.” Unlike most fireworks shows, which fire around 5,000 shells, the PL show consists of around 25,000 shells fired. During the finale about 7,000 shells are shot off in unison, lighting nearly the entire sky. [linkmap]

Why Uganda is the coolest safari destination in world? Here my travel memories

Here is one of my travel best memories in Africa,as Uganda, Botswana, South Africa, Kenya, Tanzania, Drc Congo, Rwanda, Egypt, Emerged the best tourist destinations according to me especially if you fall in love with wildlife including fauna and flora.

Gorillas and Wildlife Safaris in Uganda.

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Itinerary for All Inclusive 12 days Uganda Safari with Gorillas tracking, chimps treks, and wildlife viewing safaris
All Inclusive 12 days Uganda tour and holiday to mountain gorillas, Chimpanzees in Murchison Falls, Kibale Forest, Game drives in Queen Elizabeth N.Park and Lake Mburo, Gorillas in BwindiImpenetrable Forest

Day 1: Briefing on the safari. Start for Murchison Falls National Park safari with a chance to visit Ziwa Rhino Sanctuary.
After your breakfast, we drive through the famous Luwero triangle. You can choose to visit and track White Rhinos at Ziwa Rhino Sanctuary at $40/ per person. This sanctuary has now been established to breed black and white rhino, and restore Rhino populations in Uganda’s protected areas in a later stage.) Take a stop over at Masindi hotel for lunch. We will continue through the park stopping at the top of the falls which is a fantastic sight. Here the Nile, the longest river in the world, is forced through a narrow gap in the rock (only 7 meters wide), before ferociously plunging down 43 meters. From here we will continue onto our accommodation place along the Nile river

Murchison Falls National Park is the largest in Uganda at 3840 square kilometres. Here is the awe inspiring Murchison Falls where the River Nile hurls itself in convulsions through a narrow crevice and then plunges 40 metres in one breathtaking leap. The park has a variety of vegetation ranging from riparian forests and swamp lands to broad savannah, and provides visitors the opportunity of seeing large concentrations of wildlife including lion, leopard, civet, hyena, elephant, giraffe, buffalo, hippo, crocodile, a host of smaller game, small primates and many bird species, including the rare shoebill stork. The park is especially famous for crocodiles and hippos. Apart from game viewing, the launch trip to the bottom of the Falls is another memorable adventure giving you the experience of the mighty Biblical Nile. On the launch you may see schools of crocodiles and hippos basking on the river banks as well as a variety of birds.
Accommodation options available (all on full board basis)
Up-market: Paraa Safari Lodge
Moderate: Fort Murchison Lodge / Murchison River Lodge/ Pakuba Lodg

 Low Budget: Fort Murchison Lodge (tents) / Murchison River Lodge (tents)/ 

Red Chilli Rest Camp

 

Day 2: Safari game drives Murchison Falls National Park looking for giraffes, elephants, lions, leopard, hippos, crocodiles, etc

 

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After break fast head to the Delta in search for bird life and enjoy the game drive to look for lions, giraffes, herds of elephants, buffaloes and many more. We will drive back to the lodge for lunch before taking an afternoon boat cruise to the foot of Murchison Falls. This boat trip along the Nile is often cited as being the highlight of a trip to Murchison since it allows you to get up-close and personal with the animals. Along this stretch of the river, there are reported to be around 4,000 hippos in addition to some enormous Nile crocodiles. The bird life is stunning with brightly colored kingfishers and bee-eaters darting along the riverbanks. If lucky, you may see the rare and prehistoric looking shoebill, which is a cross between the dodo and a dinosaur. The boat takes you to the base of the falls which only adds to their impressiveness.
Accommodation options available (all on full board basis)
Up-market: Paraa Safari Lodge
Moderate: Fort Murchison Lodge / Murchison River Lodge/ Pakuba Lodge
Low Budget: Fort Murchison Lodge (tents) / Murchison River Lodge (tents)/ 
Red Chilli Rest Camp

 

 

Day 3: drive to Kibale National Park for Chimps, primates tracking

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Leave Murchison falls N.P for Kibale Forest N.P via the Lake Albert escarpment, having a good view of the lake. Stopover at Kolping Hotel in Hoima for lunch and after drive across the interesting river Nkusi (flowing from the southern end of L. Albert, through the villages of Kagadi, joining Victoria Nile). Both rivers join L.Kyoga and flow through the Murchison Falls continue to L. Albert and north to the Mediterranean sea.
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Traveling on both asphalt and unpaved roads, you pass through traditional Ugandan Villages where you see people at work tending their traditional crops of millet, sorghum, beans and maize. The lush rolling hills of this region provide good “photo opportunities”. As you approach Fort Portal in the foothills of the Rwenzori Mountains, you enter Uganda’s famous tea plantation region. A carpet of green spreads before you, as far as the eye can see, and seems an unusual contrast to the countryside through which you have just passed. You arrive at Fort Portal, then, continue toward Kibale Forest, one of the great African rainforest research reserves. Years of study by scientists (who have cut a grid through the forest) have habituated many of its animals to human observers. This forest is famed for the variety of primates found here and it is a terrific area for birds. This rural Ugandan town (Fort Portal) is locally famous for its weaving and basketry, and we can spend some time briefly to examine some of this local art.

Fort Portal is a small and attractive city. The fort was built between 1891 and 1893 and named after Sir Gerald Portal, the British Consul General of Zanzibar who arrived in Uganda in 1892 to formalise the protectorate of Uganda. He died of malaria a few months after the fort was completed.
During the afternoon we have time to visit the scenic crater lakes region, checking out the superbly terraced tea estates. In the south of Fort Portal is Kasenda Crater Lakes region. It sits on the rim of Lake Nyinambuga—the back of the main building looks down over the lake, while the other side of the lodge looks out over another lake in the distance and, further off, the Rwenzori Mountains, which were perpetually shrouded in the clouds, except early in the morning. There’s plenty to do in this area and we can also take an hour’s walk around Lake Nyinambuga.
Accommodation options available (all on full board basis)
 
Up-market:
 Kyaninga Lodge or Primate Lodge Kibale or Ndali Lodge
Moderate:
 Kibale Forest Camp 
Low Budget: Chimpanzee Forest Guesthouse

See other Lodging options in or near to Kibale / Fort Portal

Day 4: Chimpanzee tracking, tracking over 12 primates in Kibale National Park, Bigodi Wetland Sanctuary

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Assemble at Kanyankyu River camp at 0800hours to go for the most popular activity in this park which is Chimpanzee tracking. Chimpanzees are man’s closet cousins though they are one of the most threatened primate’s species. More primates like Black and white Columbus monkeys, L’Hoest Monkeys, Grey cheecked Mangabey, Red tailed monkeys, bush babies, pottos and many bird species like the yellow spotted nicator, rumped tinker bird, Little greenbul, green breasted pitta, the crowned eagle, black bee eater and mammals like Elephants can be seen in this walk.
Kibale National park, which averages about 3,300 feet in elevation, is an extension of the great rainforests of central Africa. It is inhabited by three large “communities” of chimps, each numbering more than 100 individuals. Each community has a complicated social structure. The big adult males dominate the group and defend the community territory against incursions by male outsiders; the females usually wander in small family groups.
Typically, we locate the chimps by listening for their pant-hooting calls, then hustle to the area from which they are calling. We get to observe them as they feed in fruiting trees, lounge, and socialize with each other, or even, occasionally hunt.
In the afternoon we visit a nearby forest swamp that is excellent for viewing primates and other forest animals. At the Eastern edge of Kibale forest is Bigodi Wetland sanctuary which is maintained by the local community. You will expect birds like the great Blue turaco, blue monkeys, baboons, otters, mongoose, bush bucks, bush pigs and among others.
Accommodation options available (all on full board basis) 
Up-market:
 Kyaninga Lodge or Primate Lodge Kibale or Ndali Lodge
Moderate:
 Kibale Forest Camp 
Low Budget: Chimpanzee Forest Guesthouse

See other Lodging options in or near to Kibale / Fort Portal

Day 5: Queen Elizabeth National Park, viewing Rwenzoris, lots of craters lakes and wild animals
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Either a day’s walk in the foothills of the Rwenzori one of the great mountain ranges of the world,looking out for its forbidding peaks in the distance, or drive straight to Queen Elizabeth. The game seen will depend on the season; the Kasenyi plains are good for lion and the Mweya peninsula for a variety of animals.
Shift to Queen Elizabeth National Park this morning (about 3 hours driving). Leaving through Fort Portal town, you turn south and early this afternoon enter Queen Elizabeth National Park, which is dominated on its northern border by the snow-capped 16,000-foot Rwenzori Mountains-the famed “Mountains of the Moon”. This 767-square-mile conservation area is bordered on the North East by Lake George and on the South West by Lake Edward; its western border adjoins the Zaire Parc Du Virunga. You will expect to see teeming herds of impala-like Uganda Kob, as well as topi, elephant and lion, giant forest hog, Cape buffalo. There are also several soda lakes filling ancient volcanic calderas where flamingos reside seasonally.
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Trekkers on Mount Speke, 4890 m,
In the afternoon enjoy a game drive in the northern part of the park, visiting the Baboon Cliff famous for its nice scenery, and good views of the shadows of the mountains of the moon – the Rwenzoris. The drive to the lodge leads through large expanses of savannah grasslands and plenty of wildgame

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Overnight at Up-market/ Luxury: Mweya Safari Lodge or Jacana Safari Lodge Or Katara Lodge
Mid-range or moderate facility: Queen Elizabeth Bush Lodge (in rooms)/ Simba Safari Camp in rooms/ Buffalo Safari Resort/ Enganzi Lodge/ Ihamba Safari Lodge (mid-range ) 
Budget price: Kazinga Channel View Resort/ Simba Safari Camp (Tents)/  Mweya Hostels/ Bush Lodge (Tents)
Meals included today: Breakfast, Lunch and Dinner
See other Accommodation & Lodging options in or near to Queen Elizabeth National Park

Day 6: Safari in Queen Elizabeth National Park, Game drive to see lions, leopard, elephant, buffallo, etc

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We set out early in the morning for a game drive in the northern part of the park on the Kasenyi Track in search of lions, elephants, solitary buffaloes. This is the best time for opportunities of viewing the cats in action owing to the vast population of Uganda Kobs. We have an excellent chance to view just about every animal here at very close range. In the afternoon we will go for a launch trip along the Kazinga Channel. This gives you the opportunity to view wildlife up close: hippo’s huff and spray at a mere feet away from the boat, buffalo linger in the shallows. The shores of the channel are also home to an array of birds including pink backed pelicans, pied and malachite kingfishers, saddle billed stork and many others.

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 Overnight at Up-market/ Luxury: Mweya Safari Lodge or Jacana Safari Lodge Or Katara Lodge
Mid-range or moderate facility: Queen Elizabeth Bush Lodge (in rooms)/ Simba Safari Camp in rooms/ Buffalo Safari Resort/ Enganzi Lodge/ Ihamba Safari Lodge (mid-range ) 
Budget price: Kazinga Channel View Resort/ Simba Safari Camp (Tents)/  Mweya Hostels/ Bush Lodge (Tents)
Meals included today: Breakfast, Lunch and Dinner
See other Accommodation & Lodging options in or near to Queen Elizabeth National Park

Day 7: Safari in Queen Elizabeth National Park, walk through the Maramagambo Forest
Another early start for a bush walk through the Maramagambo Forest. This is one of the largest forests in Uganda, and forms a habitat for a number of primates and forest dwellers. Due to its location, Maramagambo also has a great diversity of butterflies and birds. The walk culminates in a visit to volcanic caves that are home to thousands of bats. Pythons are often observed in the crevices of the bats cave as they prey on bats. In this walk you will see the picturesque Blue lake-Kimeranjojo which got its name after swallowing an Elephant. Other trails will lead you to the Crater Lake and habitats of the Wild chimps and forest bird.
In the afternoon you will have another game drive and during the dry season we will drive you to the Edward’s flats to see more elephants, large herds of buffalo and different waterbirds. Occasionally we might find in this area the shoebill stork and by surprise some hunting lions.
Overnight at Up-market/ Luxury: Mweya Safari Lodge or Jacana Safari Lodge Or Katara Lodge
Mid-range or moderate facility: Queen Elizabeth Bush Lodge (in rooms)/ Simba Safari Camp in rooms/ Buffalo Safari Resort/ Enganzi Lodge/ Ihamba Safari Lodge (mid-range ) 
Budget price: Kazinga Channel View Resort/ Simba Safari Camp (Tents)/  Mweya Hostels/ Bush Lodge (Tents)
Meals included today: Breakfast, Lunch and Dinner
See other Accommodation & Lodging options in or near to Queen Elizabeth National Park

Day 8:Drive  to Bwindi to track gorillas and other primates
Seasons allowing, you will drive through the Ishasha sector in search for the tree-climbing lions. Nowhere in Africa do you stand a better chance of seeing this than in the large low limbed fig trees of Ishasha. This game drive en route will expose you to some of the animals that you might have missed seeing while on your game drives in Kasenyi and Queens Mile. Arrival in Bwindi is in the late afternoon. Once you are checked-in, you could rather be interested in rural African culture and we suggest you take a guided village walk in Buhoma Village– see how Ugandans live, visit a local bar and meet the local medicine man! Please speak to your guide about the various options.
Accommodation options available (all on full board basis)
 
Up-market:
 Buhoma Lodge/ Mahogany Lodge
Moderate:
 Engagi Lodge/ Silverback Lodge / Gorilla Safari Lodge/ Lake Kitandara Camp
Low Budget: Travellers Rest Hotel, or
 Ruhija Gorilla Friends Camp or Buhoma Community Campground
See other Accommodation & Lodging options in or near to Bwindi Impenetrable National Park

Day 9:
Gorilla trekking (Bwindi Impenetrable NP), Tracking the Mountain Gorillas and other primates

Today enjoy surely. After breakfast, proceed for the morning briefing before enjoying the highlight of the trip- Gorilla trekking, which may last the entire day. We trek through the rainforest and bamboo covered slopes, accompanied by a guide and trackers, in search of a mountain gorilla family. The walking can sometimes be tough and long, but when you catch a glimpse of the magnificent silverback, any discomforts will be quickly forgotten. When sighted, visitors will be guided to within 6 metres from the gorillas, sit around them for a whole hour while gazing into their big round eyes.
Gorilla trekking is unpredictable. It’s difficult to foresee how many hours you will hike. The gorilla excursion can take from 2 up to 8 hours. Expect to walk along distance in steep and muddy conditions, sometimes with rain overhead, before you encounter any gorillas. A good physical condition is recommended. For conservation purposes, time spent with the gorillas is limited to one hour. A ranger will brief you on how to behave with the gorillas.

While most of today’s forests are no more than 12,000 years old, Bwindi’s vegetation has been weaving itself into tangles over at least 25,000 years, in the process accumulating a lengthy species list. This includes 310 species of butterfly, 51 reptiles, 200 trees, 88 moths and an exceptional 120 types of mammal including 10 primates. The latter includes chimpanzee, L’Hoest’s, red tailed and blue monkey, black and white colobus, baboon, and Bwindi’s most famous resident, the mountain gorilla. Bwindi is a prime destination for birdwatchers. Its 350 species include seven which are IUCN red data listed and 90% of all Albertine rift endemics, species which are difficult or impossible to see in any other part of East Africa.
Accommodation options available (all on full board basis) 
Up-market:
 Buhoma Lodge/ Mahogany Lodge
Moderate:
 Engagi Lodge/ Silverback Lodge / Gorilla Safari Lodge/ Lake Kitandara Camp
Low Budget: Travellers Rest Hotel, or
 Ruhija Gorilla Friends Campor Buhoma Community Campground
See other Accommodation & Lodging options in or near to Bwindi Impenetrable National Park

Day 10:Depart from the Gorilla Tracking Park, Drive toLake Mburo National Park for zebras, Eland, Hippos, etc.
We drive east to Mbarara, now one of Uganda’s major towns, but formerly capital of Ankole kingdom for over 400 years until disbanded by independence in 1962. In the days before modern Uganda came into being, the area had a series of fiercely independent tribal states. The once nomadic Bahima people, part of Bantu-speaking Ankole kingdom, are renowned for the particular bond they forge with their unique, long-horned Ankole cattle. These hardy cattle respond to their individual names when called by their male herder; he in turn lives in close harmony with them. From here you continue to Lake Mburo, a small but picturesque national park renowned for its herds of antelope and one of the only two Ugandan parks home to Buchell’s zebra. The park is also especially good for acacia-associated bird.
Accommodation options available (all on full board basis) 
Up-market: Mihingo Lodge / Mantana Tented Camp/ Archadia Cottages
Moderate: Lake Mburo Safari Lodge/ Rakobo Camp
Low Budget: Rwonyo Campsite

Day 11:Safari in Lake Mburo National Park for zebras, Eland, Hippos, Buffalo, Topi, birds, etc
Rise early for breakfast before a short drive to the Rwonyo Park Headquarters. This has often been a good chance of seeing hyenas coming back to their dens, hippos walking back to the water, you will see buffalo, zebra, impala and topi and with a bit of luck maybe even a sitatunga, an antelope rarely seen living in the papyrus swamps. After your early morning activities, return the lodge for a late breakfast on the wooden decking overlooking the water hole. Before lunch you can relax at the pool, the bar area or enjoy the privacy of your room. In the afternoon you can go on a game drive to Kazuma Look-out Point with a stunning view onto 9 of the lakes surrounding this Park. On your way you will see most of the animal species occurring in Lake Mburo National Park. The walk onto Kazuma Look-out Point is steep but short and extremely rewording and should not be missed when visiting this Park.
Accommodation options available (all on full board basis)
 
Up-market: Mihingo Lodge / Mantana Tented Camp/ Archadia Cottages
Moderate: Lake Mburo Safari Lodge/ Rakobo Camp
Low Budget: Rwonyo Campsite

Day 12: Depart from Lake Mburo National Park Safari, return to Kampala   
Heading east from Lake Mburo, we bid farewell to the park’s friendly staff as we depart for Kampala. We drive through a magnificent hilly country and lush cultivation on an approximately four-hour journey. En route we will stop at the Equator for photographs and ‘polar-water experiment’, then a local community popular for making local drums (Mpabire Village), gardens, crafts shops and fruit markets.
We will be in Kampala in the evening before for your flight back home
  Inquire about this safari and tour prices. Most Certainly you can get something for your budget.

Tour price includes
Gorilla permits (each at US$600), chimpanzee veiwing permits, meals indicated on programme, experienced driver/guide, accommodation as per programme, park fees for the various parks, transport on tour as well as hotel transfers, entrance fees for tours mentioned in the programme,  boat rides as on the program.

 

1 Day Lake Mburo to Mini safari to Lake Mburo

Itinerary for 1 day Lake Mburo Tour

National Park  Lake Mburo National Park habours several species not observed elsewhere in Uganda. It is the only place in Uganda to support a population of impala (from which Kampala city derives its name), and only one of the three protected areas countrywide where Burchell’s zebra occurs, the other two being the far less accessible Kidepo and Pian-Upe. Other antelopes easily seen are topi, bushbuck, common duiker, oribi, Defassa waterbuck and Bofor reedbuck, while the lake and lush fringing vegetaion support  healthy populations of buffalo, warthog, bush-pig and hippopotamus. Large herds of the majestic eland keep roaming the park. The sitatunga confines itself to the swampy areas of the park. Only two diurnal primates occur in Lake Mburo: the vervet monkey and olive baboon. Nocturnal calls of the spotted hyena can be heard through the night.  Leopard, side-striped jackal and various smaller predators are also present, most visibly the white-tailed mongoose and three otter species resident in the lakes.

Leave Kampala from your place of stay at 6 am. Drive to Lake Mburo, water provided by us along the way. Check into Park and go on a Drive of the Park viewing the animals and birds along the 3 hour drive with Uganda Wildlife Authority Guide. Fabulous views of Buffaloes, Zebras, Leopards, a variety of antelopes, warthogs, and one of the few places to view zebras in Uganda.

Lunch (not included on tour cost please) along the Lake (there are 5 lakes within the Park) and then a boat ride along the shore. View crocodiles and lots of hippos with a variety of birds to see. This is the highlight of your trip there today.

Afterwards, we bid farewell to the park’s friendly staff as we depart for Kampala. We drive through a magnificent hilly country and lush cultivation on an approximately four-hour journey.
En route we will stop at the Equator for photographs and ‘polar-water experiment’, 
then a local community popular for making local drums (Mpabire Village), gardens, crafts shops and fruit markets.
We will be in Kampala in the evening before for your flight back home.

 Tour Price for 1 Day Lake Mburo Tour/ Safari (These prices are just suggestive and may be lower or higher than suggested. Please inquire for actual prices). Most Certainly you can get something for your budget.

Persons 1 2 3 4 5 6
USD 388$ 240$ 180$ 150$ 130$ 110$
Private 1 Day Safari Price-includes:  Private Safari Vehicle and Driver, Fuel, Bottled Water for the journey, Entrance to Park including Vehicle,  1 Wildlife Game Drive with Wildlife Expert, Lake Mburo Boat Ride,  Equator Visit

 

 

Other Lake Mburo National Park Safari Tour Packages

 

 

8 days Safari Uganda Gorilla trek and Game safari to Lake Mburo, and Bwindi Impenetrable Forest National Park


Information about Lake Mburo National Park – Tours attractions, and accommodation

One of Uganda’s smaller national parks extending over 260km² with 20% of the surface area as wetlands. The major of these is Lake Mburo which is part of the cluster of 14 lakes that feed River Rwizi. The reminder of the park mainly consists of open savannah and acacia woodland. In the western park, the savannah is interspersed with rocky ridges and forested godges, while patches of papyrus swamp and narrow bands of lush riparian woodland line the verges of the various lakes.

The park is bypassed by the majority of safaris and independent travellers despite its relative accessibility although it offers some excellent game viewing, and you are most likely to see  a variety of different large mammals during day than you would see in any other Uganda national park.

Some 315 bird speceies have been recorded in Lake Mburo National Park. It is probably the best place in Uganda to see acacia related species.

The Lake Mburo boat trip

This is the most popular activity in Lake Mburo National Park. You will have nice sightings of hippo, crocodiles, buffalo, waterbuck, and bushbuck and any of the three otter species in the park.  Water birds seen on the boat trip include the African fish eagle, marabou stork, Narina trogon. Lake Mburo is the easiest place in Uganda to see the elusive Afrrican finfoot, which is generally associated with still waters below overhanging branches.

Itinerary for 3 days chimps trek to Uganda Kibale Forest National Park with Chimpanzee tracking, birding and primate walks
 

 

Day 1: Briefing on the safari as we drive to Kibale National Park for Chimps
Briefing on the safari before we drive westwards towards Fort Portal to the Kibale Forest National Park (about 5 hours). Traveling on both asphalt and unpaved roads, you pass through traditional Ugandan Villages where you see people at work tending their traditional crops of millet, sorghum, beans and maize. The lush rolling hills of this region provide good “photo opportunities”. As you approach Fort Portal in the foothills of the Rwenzori Mountains, you enter Uganda’s famous tea plantation region. A carpet of green spreads before you, as far as the eye can see, and seems an unusual contrast to the countryside through which you have just passed. You arrive at Fort Portal, then, continue toward Kibale Forest, one of the great African rainforest research reserves. Years of study by scientists (who have cut a grid through the forest) have habituated many of its animals to human observers. This forest is famed for the variety of primates found here and it is a terrific area for birds. This rural Ugandan town (Fort Portal) is locally famous for its weaving and basketry, and we can spend some time briefly to examine some of this local art.
Accommodation options available (all on full board basis) 
Up-market:
 Kyaninga Lodge or Primate Lodge Kibale or Ndali Lodge
Moderate:
 Kibale Forest Camp 
Low Budget: Chimpanzee Forest Guesthouse

See other Lodging options in or near to Kibale / Fort Portal

Day 2: Chimpanzee tracking, tracking over 12 primates in Kibale National Park, Bigodi Wetland Sanctuary
Assemble at Kanyankyu River camp at 0800hours to go for the most popular activity in this park which is Chimpanzee tracking. Chimpanzees are man’s closet cousins though they are one of the most threatened primate’s species.More primates like Black and white Columbus monkeys, L’Hoest Monkeys, Grey cheecked Mangabey, Red tailed monkeys, bush babies, pottos and many bird species like the yellow spotted nicator, rumped tinker bird, Little greenbul, green breasted pitta, the crowned eagle, black bee eater and mammals like Elephants can be seen in this walk.
In the afternoon we visit a nearby forest swamp that is excellent for viewing primates and other forest animals. At the Eastern edge of Kibale forest is Bigodi Wetland sanctuary which is maintained by the local community. You will expect birds like the great Blue turaco, blue monkeys, baboons, otters, mongoose, bush bucks, bush pigs and among others.
Accommodation options available (all on full board basis) 
Up-market:
 Kyaninga Lodge or Primate Lodge Kibale or Ndali Lodge
Moderate:
 Kibale Forest Camp 
Low Budget: Chimpanzee Forest Guesthouse

See other Lodging options in or near to Kibale / Fort Portal
Instead of a 3 hour chimp Tracking, you can do an all day Habituation Experience (US$ 220 per person).  This experience can be done any time at Kibale Forest.

Day 3: Depart from the Chimps Trek Park Kibale, transfer to Kampala 
Breakfast and head for Kampala with our packed lunch through Fort Portal and Mubende. This route travels through breathtaking scenery and delightfully rolling plantations, some of the best in Uganda, arriving Kampala in the afternoon.

Please inquire for actual prices for this tour. Most Certainly you can get something for your budget.

Tour price includes
Chimpanzee tracking permit (each at US$150), meals indicated on programme, experienced driver/guide, accommodation as per programme, park fees for the various parks, transport on tour as well as hotel transfers, entrance fees for tours mentioned in the programme.

3 days chimps trek to Uganda Kibale Forest National Park with Chimpanzee tracking, birding and primatewalks

Kibale National park, which averages about 3,300 feet in elevation, is an extension of the great rainforests of central Africa. It is inhabited by three large “communities” of chimps, each numbering more than 100 individuals. Each community has a complicated social structure. The big adult males dominate the group and defend the community territory against incursions by male outsiders; the females usually wander in small family groups.
Typically, we locate the chimps by listening for their pant-hooting calls, then hustle to the area from which they are calling. We get to observe them as they feed in fruiting trees, lounge, and socialize with each other, or even, occasionally hunt.

 

CHIMPANZEE SAFARI BUDONDO FOREST

1 day Chimps trek in Budongo Forest Kaniyo-Pabidi, Murchison Falls National Park with primates and lots of birds

Located in Murchison Falls National Park Budongo Forest Reserve is 793 square kilometers of which only 53% is forest and the rest grassland. Budongo Forest boasts of a high biodiversity of 24 species of small animals 9 of which are primates, 465 species of trees and shrubs, 359 species of birds, 289 species of butterflies and 130 species of moths. The forest is renowned for its high number of mahogany trees and chimpanzees. The forest is believed to contain some 600-700 chimpanzees

In Kaniyo Pabidi, six groups have been habituated.  In May, June, July and August visitors have over a 90% chance of seeing the chimps. In February, March, April and September this drops to 70%, and in October, November, December and January, when food is scarcer, chances drop to 50%. For chimp tracking its best to start early around 7.00 am. The guides follow the daily movements of the habituated chimpanzee groups. Three years of recording their movements indicate July, August and September offer a 90% success rate of seeing the chimps. In February , March , April, May and September this decreases to 70 %, and in October, November, December and January when food is scarcer chances drop to 50%. The fluctuating fruiting seasons of the forest trees determine the chimp’s movements. It can take 30 minutes or all day to find them. Only children 7 years and upwards are allowed chimp tracking. Groups are limited to 6 people.

 

Itinerary for 1 day Chimpanzee Tracking Tour in Budongo Forest, Kaniyo Pabidi – A perfect one day Mini-Safari from Kampala if you want to see Chimpanzees in the Wild and have limited time.

Leave Kampala at 6 am for your 4 hour drive north to Budongo Forest.  Drive through the Ugandan countryside which alone is worth the trip toward Masindi.  There is lots to see and many fabulous picture opportunities.  You will be in a comfortable vehicle, English speaking driver, bottled water for your comfort.

Arrive at Kaniyo Pabidi at Budongo Forest and have lunch.

Chimpanzee tracking after lunch in this original Mahogany Forest.  You will be tracking habituated chimpanzees which means that they are used to humans.  This is a process that takes several years.  They are not tame, but simply used to having humans near them and near them you come and see them up close.

After tracking return to Kampala by 7 pm…a full day, but well worth it and a most rewarding experience.  Your best one day Chimpanzee tracking experience while in Uganda.

Each day, chimpanzees like gorillas move to another location for the night building new  nests for that day. Budongo Forest is a project of both the Jane Goodall Institute and Uganda Wildlife Authority. Enjoy your time with the chimpanzees.

If you like an overnight trip there is a basic lodging facility is available at a reasonable price and for those staying there is a restaurant where Breakfast, Lunch and Dinner is served.

Chimpanzee tracking is available for those over 18 years of age and in in good health, no colds, flu or any other transmittable illnesses. 

Tour Price For 1 Day Budongo Chimps Tracking (These prices are just suggestive and may be lower or higher than suggested. Please inquire for actual prices)    

No. of Persons 1 2 3 4 5
Amount per person in US Dollars $400 $268 $224 $202 $189

Safari Price-includes:

  • Safari Vehicle and Driver
  • Fuel
  • Bottled Water for the journey
  • Entrance to Murchison Falls Park including Vehicle
  • Chimpanzee Tracking Permit

Not included, Drinks at lodging, tips, phone calls, laundry

  8 days Safari Uganda Bwindi Gorilla trek, Chimps tracking in Kibale, and Game safarito Queen Elizabeth  National Park

Day 1: Briefing on the safari, transfer to Lake Mburo National Park to search for zebra, eland, buffalo, hippo, crocodiles, and birds
Meet and greet with our local guide over breakfast, and then after we drive heading to southwestern Uganda. En route, there is a local community popular for making local drums  and crafts and a fruit market. Stopover, admire and buy yourself souvenirs. Proceed to the Equator line taken as one beautiful scenery in Africa – the pathway of the sun and take photographs. Early afternoon, arrive in Lake Mburo for a lunch in the park grounds as you marvel at the game and birds within the park. Take a game drive in the afternoon and look out for zebras, topis, buffalo, elland, impala, water hogs, waterbucks etc
Accommodation options available (all on full board basis)
Up-market: Mihingo Lodge/ Mantana Tented Camp
Moderate: Lake Mburo Safari Lodge
Low Budget: Eagles Nest

Day 2: Drive  to Bwindi to track gorillas and other primates
After an early breakfast we depart for Bwindi Impenetrable Forest via Mbarara town.
We drive through stunning volcanic landscape adorned with steep sided hills covered from top to bottom in neatly terraced plantations of bananas, tea and thick montane forests to Bwindi Impenetrable Forest National Park. The Bwindi area is a highly fertile, mountainous region with steep sided hills covered from top to bottom in neatly terraced rows of cultivation. You are really driving through the “Banana Republic” with banana plantations all around you, steep hills, small rivers……just amazing scenery. Arrive late afternoon at the park and check-in at accommodation.
Accommodation options available (all on full board basis) 
Low Budget:
 Rushaga Gorilla Camp or  Ruhija Gorilla Friends Camp or Gorilla Valley Lodge  or Buhoma Community Campground
Moderate: Silverback Lodge / Nkuringo Gorilla Camp/  Gorilla Mist Camp
Up-market:
 Buhoma Lodge/ Mahogany Lodge/ Chameleon Hill Lodge/  Trackers Lodge Buhoma
See other Accommodation & Lodging options in or near to Bwindi Impenetrable National Park
Day 3: Gorilla trekking (Bwindi Impenetrable NP), Tracking the Mountain Gorillas and other primates
Today enjoy surely. After breakfast, proceed for the morning briefing before enjoying the highlight of the trip- Gorilla trekking, which may last the entire day. We trek through the rainforest and bamboo covered slopes, accompanied by a guide and trackers, in search of a mountain gorilla family. The walking can sometimes be tough and long, but when you catch a glimpse of the magnificent silverback, any discomforts will be quickly forgotten. When sighted, visitors will be guided to within 6 metres from the gorillas, sit around them for a whole hour while gazing into their big round eyes.
Gorilla trekking is unpredictable. It’s difficult to foresee how many hours you will hike. The gorilla excursion can take from 2 up to 8 hours. Expect to walk along distance in steep and muddy conditions, sometimes with rain overhead, before you encounter any gorillas. A good physical condition is recommended. For conservation purposes, time spent with the gorillas is limited to one hour. A ranger will brief you on how to behave with the gorillas.

While most of today’s forests are no more than 12,000 years old, Bwindi’s vegetation has been weaving itself into tangles over at least 25,000 years, in the process accumulating a lengthy species list. This includes 310 species of butterfly, 51 reptiles, 200 trees, 88 moths and an exceptional 120 types of mammal including 10 primates. The latter includes chimpanzee, L’Hoest’s, red tailed and blue monkey, black and white colobus, baboon, and Bwindi’s most famous resident, the mountain gorilla. Bwindi is a prime destination for birdwatchers. Its 350 species include seven which are IUCN red data listed and 90% of all Albertine rift endemics, species which are difficult or impossible to see in any other part of East Africa.

Accommodation options available (all on full board basis) 
Low Budget:
 Rushaga Gorilla Camp or  Ruhija Gorilla Friends Camp or Gorilla Valley Lodge  or Buhoma Community Campground
Moderate: Silverback Lodge / Nkuringo Gorilla Camp/  Gorilla Mist Camp
Up-market:
 Buhoma Lodge/ Mahogany Lodge/ Chameleon Hill Lodge/  Trackers Lodge Buhoma
See other Accommodation & Lodging options in or near to Bwindi Impenetrable National Park

Day 4:
 Drive to Queen Elizabeth National Park – search Ishasha Sector for tree-climbing lions, elephants
After breakfast we drive through stunning savannah grasslands as we head to the southern sector of Queen Elizabeth National Park, Ishasha a much more remote and less-traveled part of Queen Elizabeth National Park, but one which has a sense of exclusivity and remoteness. The game densities here are high, and this region has reported some of the largest herds of Elephant anywhere in Uganda, as it is their main migration corridor between Uganda and the DRC.
As we enter the park, we do a game drive in search of the wild game. We continue and drive to the northern circuit which is the area near the main road known for its tree climbing lions. We look particularly at the many fig trees where lions like to stay. But we also visit the Uganda kob mating ground which is their preferred hunting area.
Overnight at Up-market/ Luxury: Deluxe Tent/ Deluxe room at Mweya Safari Lodge or  Katara Lodge
Mid-range or moderate facility: Ihamba Safari Lodge or  Bush Lodge (in rooms) or Buffalo Safari Resort or Enganzi Lodge (mid-range ) 
Budget price:  Bush Lodge in tents
See other Accommodation & Lodging options in or near to Queen Elizabeth National Park

Day 5:Safari in Queen Elizabeth National Park, Game drive to see lions, leopard, elephant, buffallo, etc
We set out early in the morning for a game drive in the northern part of the park on the Kasenyi Track in search of lions, elephants, solitary buffaloes. This is the best time for opportunities of viewing the cats in action owing to the vast population of Uganda Kobs. We have an excellent chance to view just about every animal here at very close range. In the afternoon we will go for a launch trip along the Kazinga Channel. This gives you the opportunity to view wildlife up close: hippo’s huff and spray at a mere feet away from the boat, buffalo linger in the shallows. The shores of the channel are also home to an array of birds including pink backed pelicans, pied and malachite kingfishers, saddle billed stork and many others.
Overnight at Up-market/ Luxury: Deluxe Tent/ Deluxe room at Mweya Safari Lodge or  Katara Lodge
Mid-range or moderate facility: Ihamba Safari Lodge or  Bush Lodge (in rooms) or Buffalo Safari Resort or Enganzi Lodge (mid-range ) 
Budget price:  Bush Lodge in tents
See other Accommodation & Lodging options in or near to Queen Elizabeth National Park

Day 6:Safari in Queen Elizabeth National Park/ transfer to Kibale Forest NP
After your breakfast, we check out and start our drive to Fort Portal. We do a game drive in the northern part of the park, visiting the Baboon Cliff famous for its nice scenery, and good views of the shadows of the mountains of the moon – the Rwenzoris. Enjoy the drive back to the lodge through large expanses of savannah grasslands as you spot some wildlife enroute. 
Accommodation options available (all on full board basis)
 
Up-market:
 Kyaninga Lodge or Ndali Lodge or Primate Lodge Kibale 
Moderate:
 Kibale Forest Camp or Chimpanzee Forest Guesthouse (self contained cottages)
Low Budget:
 Kibale Forest Camp (in tents) or Chimpanzee Forest Guesthouse (shared bathroom rooms)
See other Lodging options in or near to Kibale / Fort Portal

Day 7:Chimpanzee tracking, tracking over 12 primates in Kibale National Park, Bigodi Wetland Sanctuary
After breakfast we take a 45-minute drive takes us to Kibale National Park, where we spend the day hiking through the Kibale Forest in search of chimpanzees and other primates. This park, which averages about 3,300 feet in elevation, is an extension of the great rainforests of central Africa. Kibale is inhabited by three large “communities” of chimps, each numbering more than 100 individuals. Each community has a complicated social structure. The big adult males dominate the group and defend the community territory against incursions by male outsiders; the females usually wander in small family groups. Chimps tend to forage in small parties, or even as individuals. They usually travel on the ground, but being primarily fruit eaters, they mostly feed in trees. They coalesce into larger groups when they find an abundant source of food, such as a fruiting fig tree.
Typically, we locate the chimps by listening for their pant-hooting calls, then hustle to the area from which they are calling. We get to observe them as they feed in fruiting trees, lounge, and socialize with each other, or even, occasionally, hunt.
In the afternoon we visit a nearby forest swamp that is excellent for viewing primates and other forest animals. At the Eastern edge of Kibale forest is Bigodi Wetland sanctuary which is maintained by the local community. You will expect birds like the great Blue turaco, blue monkeys, baboons, otters, mongoose, bush bucks, bush pigs and among others.
Accommodation options available (all on full board basis) 
Up-market:
 Kyaninga Lodge or Ndali Lodge or Primate Lodge Kibale 
Moderate:
 Kibale Forest Camp or Chimpanzee Forest Guesthouse (self contained cottages)
Low Budget:
 Kibale Forest Camp (in tents) or Chimpanzee Forest Guesthouse (shared bathroom rooms)
See other Lodging options in or near to Kibale / Fort Portal

Day 8: Drive to Kampala 
Breakfast and head for Kampala (about 5 hours driving) via Mubende. This route travels through breathtaking scenery and delightfully rolling plantations, some of the best in Uganda. Depending on how much time we have on us we can tour around Kampala’s crafts and souvenirs markets before checking in at your hotel or being transferred to the airport.

Please inquire for actual prices for this tour. Most Certainly you can get something for your budget.

Tour price includes
Gorilla permits (each at US$600), chimpanzee veiwing permits, meals indicated on programme, experienced driver/guide, accommodation as per programme, park fees for the various parks, transport on tour as well as hotel transfers, entrance fees for tours mentioned in the programme,  boat rides as on the program.

 

Best itinerary for Uganda selfdrive by Corinne vail

Rafting on worlds longest river nile, on white nile in Uganda

Finish your safari on beautiful ssese islands, a paradise in lake victoria

White Water Rafting in Uganda

Uganda’s white-water rafting industry is comparatively new – the first drop of the river by a paddler was in 1996, and the grade 4 and 5 extend of rapids on the Nile have since been developed into a world-class rafting destination possessing some of the most prevailing and constant rapids on earth. The powerful volume of water creates horrible rapids that provide an unforgettable rafting experience equivalent to that of the Zambezi River in Zimbabwe. Home of the white-water rafting industry is the city of Jinja, located at the source of the River Nile, the longest river in the world. Bujagali Falls downstream of the Nile’s basis, and close to Jinja, has been vaunted the ‘adrenaline capital’ of Uganda, offering not only white water rafting, but also bungee jumping, kayaking, mountain biking and river boarding.

White water rafting is high on many people’s list of things to do here. With some lots of good rapids and a stunning river with high level its superlative. There are some very exhilarating sections with space between to lay back and float along taking in the landscape and enjoying the nature, particularly the many species of birds to be found here. There are four rafting companies offering day trips and two-day trips covering (45km) with overnight camping. Adrift Adventure Company and Nile River Explorers have been in service since 1996, Equator Rafts started in 2002 and Nalubale Rafting begun operating in 2005. Each company offers clients the choice of taking the safety boat and they also offer family float trips for the children less than 14 years old so they can also enjoy time on the water from the Owens Falls Dam down to Bujagali.

Top quality safety equipments and highly qualified and experienced guides run the largest rapids possible. Total rafting is for 25 km of river including some of the best rapids in the world. You don’t have to do all the side runs, except if you want to. The river is graded 4+ to 5 and provides one of the finest day rafting trips on Globe! Massive standing waves leap from the clear blue skies and rock walls tremble from the power of the booming rapids. Be among the first to be familiar with the incredible adventure and excitement of the Nile water rafting from this point of Bujagali falls.
Carry a swimsuit, a pair of sandals and shorts to wear on the river. You will get wet, so bring a change of outfit. Amenities exist for cameras to be protected from the while on the river. Don’t forget sunglasses, sunscreen, and a grin.

The White Nile has up to 7 times the volume of the Zambezi. The raft bursts through vast walls of the White Nile and drifts through warm pools in the Equatorial sun shine.


Do clients require experience?
 Clients do not need any earlier rafting experience. The guides train the clients on all parts of safety and organize them for a memorable experience.

 

 

 

EXPLORE THE BEAUTY OF SECOND LARGEST FRESH WATER LAKE IN THE WORLD, LAKE VICTORIA.

The Source of the famous Nile River, Lake Victoria is located in East Africa. Discovered by John Speke in 1858 and named after the then Queen (Victoria) who was at the reins of England that time. The lake rests between three countries namely, Kenya, Uganda and Tanzania. Lake Victoria covers an approximate 68,800 km squared.

Despite is massive size (About the same size as Ireland), it is massively shallow and its deepest point is only 100 meters. Lake Victoria is among the largest of fresh water bodies. It is known to be the largest tropical lake.

Lake Victoria contains about 15% of the total volume of water that is found in the neighboring Lake Tanganyika. The lake lies within an elevated plateau that is set in the western part of The Great Rift Valley.

The source of River Nile starts its journey from Jinja and meanders through Bujagali falls and drains in Lake Kyoga. It then cuts a passage West across karuma Falls. It follows the narrow passage of Murchison Falls towards Lake Albert through Uganda, Sudan and finally settles in Egypt.

The lake is completed by the existence of a group of 84 islands within it, known as the Ssese group. These Islands have significantly attracted tourism due to exciting natural surroundings including exotic wildlife. These islands differ from the sizes, shapes, vegetation including wildlife and people. .

Fact about Lake Victoria

  • Its shore line measures 3,440 km Long
  • Arab traders were the first to record the discovery of the lake. A map of the lake was created by them dating back to approximately 1160 AD.
  • There are more than 3,000 islets. More of these Islets are inhabited
  • Kiira and Nalubaale (Owen Falls) dams have been built on the Victoria Nile and the lake’s waters are used in the production of hydroelectricity.
  • Kenya, Uganda and Tanzania are the three countries bordering Lake Victoria
  • The Ugandan cities of Entebbe and Kampala lie along the Northern Coast of the Lake.
  • Primary Outflows: The White Nile River which is commonly referred to as the Victoria Nile

COUNTRY:TANZANIA,UGANDA,KENYA
SURFACEAREA:68800
MAXIMUMDEPTH:83
AVERAGEDEPTH:40
LENGTH:337.0
WIDTH:250.0
CATCHMENTAREA:184000
ALTITUDE:1133

  • Pollution: Many towns surround this body of water. These towns dump thousands of gallons of raw sewage into the lake on a daily basis. This coupled with the fertilizer and chemicals from farms cause a huge pollution problem.
  • Water Hyacinth: This plant was introduced to Africa by Europeans; it reproduces rapidly and covers large areas of the lake. The dense mat of plants block sunlight needed for survival by the life below the surface.
  • The booming fish-export industry: The demand for fish has been increasing rapidly with the population of Africa. This is bringing the fish populations down to dangerously low levels.

Early Explorers

The British explorer John Hanning Speke is the first European who sighted the lake, on its southern shore, in 1858. Speke was in an expedition with Richard Francis Burton, an expedition aimed at exploring Central Africa and locating the Great Lakes.

Speke also believed that Lake Victoria was the source of the Nile, and named the lake after Queen Victoria. Burton was recovering from illness on the shores of Lake Tanganyika at the time, and was outraged at Speke’s claims to have found the source of the Nile.

David Livingstone was one of the explorers who failed to verify Speke’s claim, because he pushed too far West and entered the Congo River system. The truth of Speke’s claim was ultimately confirmed by Henry Morton Stanley, a Welsh-American explorer, who circumnavigated the lake and reported the great outflow on Lake Victoria’s northern shore.

Britain and Germany divided the lake at 1° South latitude in 1890, in the middle of European scramble for African colonies. The southern section was allotted to Germany, while the northern section to Britain. The Germans conducted important scientific projects on their section of the lake, for both strategic and research purposes.

Emil Pasha was a German doctor, naturalist and ornithologist. He stayed on the Nile north of Jinja for 12 years, and he used to send thousands of regional birds, animals and plants to museums in Europe. He founded the town of Bukoba in 1890, when he was on his way to his camp which was located near Lake Albert.

When he returned to Lake Albert, his camp was in total disorder. Going into the Congo, he was killed by a group of Arab slavers in 1892. The importance of his work is undeniable: he was the first pioneer naturalist who combined geographical exploration and scientific research in the fields of geology, biology,  anthropology, and medicine.

4 Days Ssese Islands Holiday Safari Tour | Ssese Islands Resort Hotel

August 22, 2016Hotel NewsSsese holidaySsese hotelSsese Islandsssese tourssese trip

This is a four days exciting Ssese Islands tour that journeys you to the beautiful Ssese Islands which are a cluster of more than 80 small islands away from Entebbe, but in Uganda. It is such a natural paradise as majority of the island is unoccupied except for the roaming fishermen and the thickets of tropical rain-forests which are habitat to birds plus monkeys. In additional to the Nile Perch, other fish species caught on the island include: lung fish and Tilapia.

Tour Itinerary

DAY 1: Transfer to Ssese Islands
Drive to Nakiwogo landing site in Entebbe reaching before 13:00 to ready for the ferry to set-off at 14:00. A ferry from Nakiwogo in Entebbe takes about three hours to reach Bugala Island the biggest among the Ssese Islands inside Lake Victoria. Dine and slumber at Brovad Sands Lodge

DAY 2: Forest walks and Boat rides
Begin the day with breakfast meanwhile feeling the breeze of currents from the lake. Take a guided forest walk to see various flora and fauna.

After lunch, a boat ride to various islands for sight seeing and birding is amazing. Dinner and overnight at Brovad Sands Lodge.

DAY 3: Full day relaxation
This day is dedicated for sunbathing along the beaches and relaxation. You can opt to go for spot fishing, and swimming in the pool. Dinner and overnight at Brovad Sands Lodge.

DAY 4: Ssese to Entebbe/Kampala
After breakfast, set-off at 08:00 from Bugala Island to Nakiwogo in Entebbe reaching at around 11:00 where you transfer to the Airport for your flight back home.

END OF THE SAFARI

 

 CHILD DEVELOPMENT THEORIES

Child Developmental Theories

chilchild

What Is Child Development?

Have you ever wondered how you learned to crawl and then walk? How about language? How in the world do human beings learn to talk? Developmental psychologists seek to answer these types of questions.

Child development refers to the process through which human beings typically grow and mature from infancy through adulthood. The different aspects of growth and development that are measured include physical growth, cognitive growth, and social growth. Child development focuses on the changes that take place in humans as they mature from birth to about age 17.

When babies arrive in the world, they are tiny, helpless people who depend entirely on adults to take care of all their needs and wants. Somehow, with the proper loving nurturing and care over the next 22 years, they grow to become independent adults who can take care of themselves and others. The journey from infancy to adulthood is an amazing time when children soak up everything in the world around them and mix it with the qualities they are born with in order to mature bit by bit, in every way.

Over the years, people who study children have created theories to explain how children develop. While these theorists realize that every child is special and grow in his or her unique way, they also have recognized that there are general patterns children tend to follow as they grow up, and they have documented these patterns in their theories. This part will cover child developmental theory and applications such as parenting skills, will attempt to explain these fascinating but detailed theories so as to make them more understandable. Specifically, this part will outline the various areas, or channels, of child development that have been recognized, to explain how children tend to develop through each of these channels over time, and to state in simple language the observations of the child development field’s most important theorists.

 Developmental channels and Theories of development

First, it is important to understand that children have to grow and develop in many different areas in order to become healthy, happy, productive members of adult society. There are four main areas or channels in which children grow: physical, psychological and cognitive, social and emotional, and sexuality and gender identity.

First, the physical channel is most obvious. Children’s bodies grow in height and weight over the years and change appearance during puberty. Children also develop certain physical abilities during their progression towards adulthood, including crawling, walking, running and (possibly) writing or shooting a basketball.

Secondly, children also develop psychologically and cognitively as their brains absorb more information and they learn how to use that information.

Literally, children have to learn how to think on purpose and to process or organize all the information that comes to them from the environment. They must learn how to solve problems, to talk, and to complete mental tasks such as remembering telephone numbers or using computers.

Thirdly, children grow socially and emotionally. They learn how to interact, play, work, and live with other people such as family, friends, teachers, and employers. They learn how to understand both their own feelings and others’ emotions. They also learn ways of dealing with strong emotions. In order to function well as independent adults, children must develop a sense of self-esteem as they go through the long process of figuring out what shape their identity, or who they are, will take. They develop a sense of morality as they learn the difference between right and wrong.

Finally, children have to develop sexually and form a gender identity. This developmental channel is unique because it spans developments across the other physical, psychological, and social channels. Early on, children learn how their bodies work and look and what it means to be a boy or a girl; they learn how boys and girls are different. As they grow older and enter adolescence and puberty, they continue to learn how their bodies work sexually and how to responsibly handle their sexuality so as to balance their sexual desires and appropriate behavior. They continue to decide for themselves what it means to be masculine or feminine throughout their lifespan.

DEVELOPMENTAL STAGES MILESTONES OF CHILD DEVELOPMENT

Child Development Stages vs. Continuous Development

Different theorists have come to different conclusions concerning how exactly children develop across the various developmental channels. Some theorists believe that children develop smoothly and continuously, but other theorists believe that children develop more discretely in a series of stages, each of which is fairly stable.

Theorists who believe children grow continuously believe that kids constantly add new lessons and skills on top of old lessons and skills as they get older. They believe that children grow at a steady, uniform speed. Even though parents can’t see it with their eyes, children are growing all the time right in front of them. Their bodies make new cells. Their minds learn new skills as they play and interact with other people every day.

On the other hand, theorists who believe children grow discontinuously believe children grow in stages as they seem to develop chunks of abilities and to experience events at certain times in life. To some parents, it may seem that their children learn to do things all of the sudden, like when a baby goes from only being able to crawl to being able to toddle around on two feet almost overnight. Or, parents of young teenagers may say that they were amazed how their children went from thinking that kids of the opposite sex had “cooties” to constantly daydreaming about them. It seems as if these kids are growing lots in spurts at special times and then are not growing so fast for a while in between the spurts.

Both camps, continuous development and staged development, are correct in its own way, of course. While it is true that development is a continuous process that never stops, it is also true that there are stages to growth and those developments unfold at predictable times across the life span. The real difference between the two camps is likely the degree of magnification that each applies to its study, with the stage theorists taking a more distant but broader stance and the continuous theorists viewing things from up close.

This chapter will present child development as though it happens in stages. By thinking about stages, child development can be summarized in general groupings that can be more easily understood.

Developmental Stages and Milestones of Child Development

Often, developmental stages are defined by milestones. A milestone is a sort of marker that tells you where you are while traveling. The term is drawn from literal stone markers that were used to mark the passage of each mile on early roads. Today, the term milestone is used more figuratively, to indicate that a developmental stage has been achieved. Often, special milestones mark children’s accomplishments, such as walking in infancy and entering school in early childhood, and these milestones can help

Mark children’s movement inside and between developmental stages.

Children build new skills and developments on top of old skills and developments from stage to stage; each stage is cumulative. A child is able to run bases in a game of baseball in the middle childhood phase because she was first able to walk near the end of her infancy stage.

Entry and exit from the various developmental stages tends to occur at particular ages. Often, a child’s stage of development can be figured out by a child’s age because children generally experience the same stages at the same ages. However a child’s age only provides a clue as to his stage; it does not determine it. Every child develops at his or her own speed. It is the tasks and skills children master that truly identify what stage they are in. Because of this, different children of the same age can be expected to be at different developmental stages.

Children’s development does not happen uniformly, but rather, it progresses along at its own rate. Just because one child is potty trained at age three and his neighbor is potty trained at age three and a half does not mean that one is brighter than the other. Furthermore, children can develop the different channels at different rates. For example, a twelve-year-old’s body may have already gone through puberty and look like adolescence’s body, but that child may not have the cognitive and social abilities of an adolescent quite yet. It will take a little longer for their mind to catch up with her body.

Keep this lack of developmental sameness in mind as you read the chapter in this book. Whenever a document suggests ages that children reach specific milestones, keep in mind that these are general average ages that research has found children develop these skills. In reality, children reach milestones across a wide range of ages. Sometimes children will appear to even skip an entire developmental stage in some channels as they advance quickly in a short amount of time.

Also keep in mind that there are some situations in which children become severely inhibited and unable to reach certain milestones within an acceptable time frame. Developmental delays in a child’s functioning caused by disease, injury, mental disability, problems developing in the womb, environmental reasons, trauma or unknown causes can keep some children from developing properly or can even cause children to regress and go backward into some stages in some channels.

 Sensitive periods in child development

In order to understand how children move between stages, it’s important to understand how children take in stimuli from the environment and use it to grow. Most theorists agree that there are periods in children’s lives in which they become biologically mature enough to gain certain skills that they could not have easily picked up prior to that maturation. For example, research has shown that babies and toddlers’ brains are more flexible with regard to learning to understand and use language than are older children’s brains.

Children are ready and open to develop certain things during specific stages; however, it doesn’t just happen. Instead, they need proper environmental stimuli to develop these abilities. For example, babies have the ability to grow in length and weight in amazing amounts during the first year, but if they’re not fed and nurtured enough during that time, they will not have the tools and building blocks to grow and will not grow and thrive. This is why it’s so important for parents and caregivers to understand how their children are growing in all ways and channels and to know what stimuli, or stuff, they need to give their children to help them thrive.

From time to time children without any cognitive or physical problems at birth may not be able to develop certain milestones during the stage or time period they are most receptive. There may be an injury, illness, caregiver neglect or abuse, or a shortage of needs such as food or medical care, that make it difficult for a child to absorb all the basic building blocks and stimulation they need to gain certain abilities at certain times in life. When this occurs, affected children will generally have a harder time gaining those abilities even if they later get special attention and resources designed to help them compensate. It’s like children have a window of opportunity when they are ready to grow in certain ways if they have the right stuff and tools in their environment. When that window closes, it will never be as easy to grow in those ways again. Theorists disagree about how important it is for children to have that special stimuli at each growing stage in order to reach their milestones. Some theorists call these times critical periods, but other theorists call them sensitive periods.

The difference between critical periods and sensitive periods is subtle. Theorists who believe in critical periods believe that children who do not get special stimulation during their window of receptivity are going to be “stuck” forever and never gain the abilities they should have gained in that period. However, other theorists believe that those very sensitive times in a child’s life are just sensitive periods. They agree that children who do not get the right nurturing at the right times to jumpstart their developmental potential are going to have problems later in life, but they do not think that this inability to develop is permanent.

For example, infancy is the time when children first learn they can trust an adult or parent to take care of all their needs, keep them safe, and give them love. Some infants live in orphanages where there are far too many babies for the few nurses and staff members to take care of them. These children go through their first years with hardly any touch or affection that would teach them to trust and to show affection to caregivers. If these children are eventually adopted by a loving family later on in their childhood, they often have trouble adjusting to having an affectionate, loving parent. There have been many cases in which children who start out in that kind of orphanage environment never gain the ability to show affection and emotion toward family or even the ability to show remorse or compassion toward other people, no matter how loving and nurturing their adoptive family was being in their middle childhood and on. Such a child’s ability to trust and love would have essentially become “stuck” in infancy, even though the rest of their body continued to grow. The question of whether the critical period idea or the sensitive period idea is more correct boils down to whether this stuckness can be overcome, in full or in part, in the child’s later life.

Theorists who support sensitive periods believe that while it will be far more difficult for the child and the child’s teachers and caregivers to learn what was not learned during the window of opportunity, these children can still develop the missing capacities and skills later that they did not develop earlier. While some children do seem to get stuck permanently, there is evidence to support the sensitive period idea as well.

Some children born in the same understaffed orphanages who are later adopted do go on to learn to love, to trust, and to show affection to their family and friends. In these situations, the families have to have extreme patience and perseverance as they nurture these older children because they are not going to be able to learn that trust and love as fast and as easily as infants.

However, it’s also important to remember that critical or sensitive periods can also affect children in other ways than just neglect or deprivation. For example, there is a critical or sensitive period for language acquisition that occurs during infancy. Children begin learning how to understand and create language from the time they’re born. They will absorb and copy the language they hear all around them during that critical or sensitive period early in life. However, for many different reasons, children, and adults, may leave their original home and move to a new country or region where people speak a different language. They will need to learn to understand and create the new language, even though they were not exposed to it during that early important period. However, while it will take more time and special tutoring, many children, and adults, can learn a new language proficiently later in life. (different parts of the brain are used for sensitive period learning, vs. later learning, but both can get the job done)

MAJOR CHILD DEVELOPMENT THEORIES AND THEORISTS

Though many scientists and researchers have approached the study of child development over the last hundred or so years, only a few of the theories that have resulted have stood the test of time and have proven to be widely influential. Among this core group of theories are five that will serve as the basis for the documents in this book. These are:

Freud’s psychosexual stage theory

Erikson’s psychosocial stage theory

Kohlberg’s moral understanding stage theory

Piaget’s cognitive development stage theory

Bronfenbrenner’s ecological systems theory

Sigmund Freud’s psychosexual stages of development theory

Sigmund Freud (1856-1939) was a Viennese doctor who came to believe that the way parents dealt with children’s basic sexual and aggressive desires would determine how their personalities developed and whether or not they would end up well-adjusted as adults. Freud described children as going through multiple stages of sexual development, which he labeled Oral, Anal, Phallic, Latency, and Genital.

In Freud’s view, each stage focused on sexual activity and the pleasure received from a particular area of the body. In the oral phase, children are focused on the pleasures that they receive from sucking and biting with their mouth. In the Anal phase, this focus shifts to the anus as they begin toilet training and attempt to control their bowels. In the Phallic stage, the focus moves to genital stimulation and the sexual identification that comes with having or not having a penis.

During this phase, Freud thought that children turn their interest and love toward their parent of the opposite sex and begin to strongly resent the parent of the same sex. He called this idea the Oedipus Complex as it closely mirrored the events of an ancient Greek tragic play in which a king named Oedipus manages to marry his mother and kill his father. The Phallic/Oedipus stage was thought to be followed by a period of Latency during which sexual urges and interest were temporarily nonexistent. Finally, children were thought to enter and remain in a final Genital stage in which adult sexual interests and activities come to dominate.

Another part of Freud’s theory focused on identifying the parts of consciousness. Freud thought that all babies are initially dominated by unconscious, instinctual and selfish urges for immediate gratification which he labeled the Id. As babies attempt and fail to get all their whims met, they develop a more realistic appreciation of what is realistic and possible, which Freud called the “Ego”. Over time, babies also learn about and come to internalize and represent their parents’ values and rules. These internalized rules, which he called the “Super-Ego”, are the basis for the the developing child’s conscience that struggles with the concepts of right and wrong and works with the Ego to control the immediate gratification urges of the Id.

By today’s rigorous scientific standards, Freud’s psychosexual theory is not considered to be very accurate. However, it is still important and influential today because it was the first stage development theory that gained real attention, and many other theorists used it as a starting place.

Erik Erikson’s psychosocial stage theory

Erik Erikson (1902-1994) used Freud’s work as a starting place to develop a theory about human stage development from birth to death. In contrast to Freud’s focus on sexuality, Erikson focused on how peoples’ sense of identity develops; how people develop or fail to develop abilities and beliefs about themselves which allow them to become productive, satisfied members of society. Because Erikson’s theory combines how people develop beliefs psychologically and mentally with how they learn to exist within a larger community of people, it’s called a ‘psychosocial’ theory.

Erikson’s stages are, in chronological order in which they unfold: trust versus mistrust; autonomy versus shame and doubt; initiative versus guilt; industry versus inferiority; identity versus identity confusion; intimacy versus isolation; generativity versus stagnation; and integrity versus despair. Each stage is associated with a time of life and a general age span. For each stage, Erikson’s theory explains what types of stimulation children need to master that stage and become productive and well-adjusted members of society and explains the types of problems and developmental delays that can result when this stimulation does not occur.

For example, the first psychosocial stage is trust versus mistrust, and it spans from birth to about age one year. During this phase, if children are consistently provided all their basic needs such as food, clean diapers, warmth, and loving affection and soothing from caregivers, they will learn that they can trust other people in their environment to love them and to take care of them, and they will believe the world is good. If infants are neglected and not given these things consistently or if they are taken care of roughly and unpredictably, they will learn to question their caretakers and to believe that others will not always be there to support them when it’s needed.

Learning to trust others is the first necessary step to learning how to have loving, supportive relationships with others and to have a positive self-image.

The second stage, autonomy versus shame and doubt, spans ages one to three years. When children are autonomous, they feel confident that they can make their own choices and decisions and that they will be positive experiences. Young children become autonomous when caregivers are supportive and give children the safe space to make their own decisions and to experiment with their bodies and problem-solving skills without shaming or ridiculing the child. When children feel shame and doubt, they believe that they are not capable of making valid decisions and not capable of doing everyday tasks. This will begin stunting a positive self-esteem as these small children start seeing themselves as “stupid.”

The third stage, initiative versus guilt, spans ages three to six years. When children develop initiative, they continue to develop their self-concept and gain a desire to try new things and to learn new things while being responsible for their actions to some extent. If caregivers continue to give children a safe space to experiment and appropriate stimuli to learn, the children will continue to find their purpose. However, if caregivers try to create too many strict boundaries around what children can do and to force too much responsibility on kids, children will feel extreme guilt for their inability to complete tasks perfectly.

This is just a taste of Erickson’s ideas. Hopefully, these paragraphs will help explain his way of thinking and organizing development. The rest of Erikson’s stages will be outlined in detail in future documents in this book as they become age-related.

Lawrence Kohlberg’s moral understanding stage theory

Lawrence Kohlberg (1927-1987) described three stages of moral development which described the process through which people learn to discriminate right from wrong and to develop increasingly sophisticated appreciations of morality. He believed that his stages were cumulative; each built off understanding and abilities gained in prior stages. According to Kohlberg, moral development is a lifelong task, and many people fail to develop the more advanced stages of moral understanding.

Kohlberg’s first ‘preconventional’ level describes children whose understanding of morality is essentially only driven by consequences. Essentially, “might makes right” to a preconventional mind, and they worry about what is right in wrong so they don’t get in trouble. Second stage ‘conventional’ morality describes people who act in moral ways because they believe that following the rules is the best way to promote good personal relationships and a healthy community. A conventional morality person believes it is wrong to steal not just because he doesn’t want to get punished but also because he doesn’t want his friends or family to be harmed.

The final ‘postconventional‘ level describes people whose view of morality transcend what the rules or laws say. Instead of just following rules without questioning them, ‘postconventional‘ stage people determine what is moral based on a set of values or beliefs they think are right all the time. For example, during the Vietnam War, many Americans who were drafted to be soldiers opposed the war on moral grounds and fled to Canada rather than fight. Even though this behavior was against the law, these people decided that these particular laws did not follow the higher rules they believed in, and they chose to follow their higher rules instead of the law.

Jean Piaget’s cognitive development stage theory

Swiss psychologist Jean Piaget (1896-1990), created a cognitive-developmental stage theory that described how children’s ways of thinking developed as they interacted with the world around them. Infants and young children understand the world much differently than adults do, and as they play and explore, their mind learns how to think in ways that better fit with reality.

Piaget’s theory has four stages: Sensorimotor, preoperational, concrete operational, and formal operational. During the Sensorimotor stage, which often lasts from birth to age two, children are just beginning to learn how to learn. Though language development, and thus thought, does begin during this time, the more major tasks occurring during this period involve children figuring out how to make use of their bodies. They do this by experiencing everything with their five senses, hence “sensory,” and by learning to crawl and then walk, point and then grasp, hence, “motor.”

During the preoperational stage, which often lasts from ages two though seven, children start to use mental symbols to understand and to interact with the world, and they begin to learn language and to engage in pretend play. In the concrete operational stage that follows, lasting from ages seven through eleven, children gain the ability to think logically to solve problems and to organize information they learn. However, they remain limited to considering only concrete, not abstract, information because at this stage the capability for abstract thought isn’t well developed yet. Finally, during the formal operational stage, which often lasts from age eleven on, adolescents learn how to think more abstractly to solve problems and to think symbolically, e.g., about things that aren’t really there concretely in front of them. As is the case with Erikson and Kohlberg, Piaget’s ideas will be developed in greater depth in future documents.

Urie Bronfenbrenner ecological system theory

Urie Bronfenbrenner (1917-2005) developed the ecological systems theory to explain how everything in a child and the child’s environment affects how a child grows and develops.

He labeled different aspects or levels of the environment that influence children’s development, including the:

Microsystem.

Mesosystem.

Exosystem.

Macrosystem.

The Microsystem

The microsystem is the small, immediate environment the child lives in. Children’s microsystems will include any immediate relationships or organizations they interact with, such as their immediate family or caregivers and their school or daycare.

How these groups or organizations interact with the child will have an effect on how the child grows ; the more encouraging and nurturing these relationships and places are, the better the child will be able to grow.

Furthermore, how a child acts or reacts to these people in the microsystem will affect how they treat her in return. Each child’s special genetic and biologically influenced personality traits, what is known as temperament , end up affecting how others treat them. This idea will be discussed further in a later chapters about child temperament.

The Mesosystem

Bronfenbrenner’s next level, the mesosystem, describes how the different parts of a child’s microsystem work together for the sake of the child.

For example, if a child’s caregivers take an active role in a child’s school, such as going to parent-teacher conferences and watching their child’s soccer games, this will help ensure the child’s overall growth. In contrast, if the child’s two sets of caretakers, mom with step-dad and dad with step-mom, disagree how to best raise the child and give the child conflicting lessons when they see him, this will hinder the child’s growth in different channels.

The Exosystem

The exosystem level includes the other people and places that the child herself may not interact with often herself but that still have a large affect on her, such as parents’ workplaces, extended family members , the neighborhood, etc.

For example, if a child’s parent gets laid off from work, that may have negative effects on the child if her parents are unable to pay rent or to buy groceries; however, if her parent receives a promotion and a raise at work, this may have a positive effect on the child because her parents will be better able to give her physical needs.

The Macro system

Bronfenbrenner’s final level is the macro system, which is the largest and most remote set of people and things to a child but which still has a great influence over the child .

The macrosystem includes things such as the relative freedoms permitted by the national government , cultural values, the economy , wars , etc. These things can also affect a child either positively or negatively.

Conclusion.

All of these theorists’ ideas will influence and inspire the coming chapters in this book the chapters will concern child development, both from theoretical perspectives, and also from applied perspectives, in the form of parenting skills coverage. Chapters cover four stages of child development, defined for the purpose of this book to be:

Infancy (covering birth to age two)

Early Childhood (covering ages two to seven)

Middle Childhood (covering ages seven to eleven)

Adolescence (covering ages eleven to twenty-two)

This breakdown of ages provides rough correspondence with the stage theories of Piaget, Erikson, and Bronfenbrenner too. Within each stage, a ‘theory’ document will describe how development typically proceeds through the major developmental channels, including physical, mental, emotional and social, and sexual developments. A second ‘applied’ document will address appropriate parenting skills in light of what is known about children’s development within each stage.

It’s important to remember that while these documents will make general statements about when developments occur in a child’s life, each child will nevertheless develop at his or her own speed, and that even within a given child, certain channels may progress faster than others. For example, a twelve-year-old may have the physical growth and change of an adolescent but mentally still be in the concrete operational stage. This is normal because often one aspect of a child’s being will mature faster than another. Most of the time, given the right nurturing and stimuli, everything will catch up in the end.

These ages are just an average and should be looked at as a general guide rather than a rule.

When babies are in infancy, they are changing from being totally dependent on caregivers to learning to walk, to talk, to play alongside others, and are realizing they are their individual selves. When children enter early childhood, they continue to improve their large and small motor skills as they run and move more smoothly. They also grow mentally and socially as they enter school and other places where they interact with children. During middle childhood, children continue to grow and improve physically, while also growing mentally as they attend school. They maintain friendships in large same-sex groups and begin forming ideas about gender roles and jobs. During adolescence, people go through puberty as their bodies mature and become capable to reproduce. Teens attempt to assert their individual identity while still needing rules and limits to continue to help them make good life decisions. During later adolescence, young adults begin the tasks of finding a life calling or job and of finding or creating their own next-generation family.

Even more milestones and more in-depth information will be explained in future articles. Hopefully, they will give you the tools that as a caregiver you need to give your children the best possible basis to grow and to succeed.

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PREPARING FOR THE BABY. STORY

Preparing and delivering for the baby: The story

baby

Get a look to a story of Zam whom i interviewed during a session at arch.center

And the moment that I have been anticipating for days, months, and years   even has come. I took a deep breath and pushed down my baby with own power while I followed my body. Before my breath finished, my baby came sliding out of me. While I exhaled, I quietly said that he is born. They put my son into my arms even before cutting his umbilical cord. He was warm, wet, soft, and smelled sweet. He screamed joyfully, and I thanked him repeatedly for giving me this wonderful experience. The doctors and nurses were looking on at that remarkable moment when our son joined our family, confused, happy, and teary eyed. They stared at us with questioning expressions because they had just watched a birth so vastly different from the fearful births they had witnessed in the past—fearfulness that resulted from the negative birth stories that have been handed down to women for years and have eroded their confidence and power regarding birth. How had it come to this?

 Forty weeks and 5 days into the pregnancy, my baby and I were still together. I felt his movements less now—they were smaller than they had been but stronger. My phone was ringing off the hook, at least 20 people calling me every day to ask if I have given birth and scaring me by saying things like, “What if something’s wrong with the baby?” My mother was waiting impatiently for her first grandson, constantly saying, “It’s high time the baby made an appearance.” I became so fed up, especially in the last 10 days of my pregnancy that in the pregnancy classes that I gave after my baby was born, I suggested to the mothers-to-be that they not tell anyone the approximate birth date to avoid similar experiences.

I made myself believe that my son would be born in the night, having heard somewhere that animals that sleep in the daytime birth in the night and vice versa (which seemed to show that privacy and protection are important in nature.) In the weeks and days leading up to my due date, I tried my best to go to sleep early every day so as not to be tired when I finally went into labor. I would fall asleep rubbing my abdomen and thinking, “Maybe I’ll smell you tonight baby.” But when morning came, I would wake to find my baby was still saying, “Good morning, mommy!” from my womb.

It was another such morning when I went to the toilet and saw the first thrilling sign that the birth was finally going to happen. My husband and my mother were home, but I said nothing to them because I wanted to stay at home until the contractions became more frequent. I put my hand on my abdomen and could feel uterine contractions, but they were not bothering me at all. We had a nice family breakfast, took a walk by the sea for 2 hours, and went to the market, and then I cleaned my house in a squatting position. (Knowing that squatting is one of the most appropriate positions during labor because it enables the baby to move more easily in the birth canal [ Balaskas, 1992 ], I was seeking any excuse to squat.)

That evening, I was feeling quite energetic and dynamic. At around 9:00 p.m., while we were all watching TV together, I fell asleep on the living room sofa. At 11 p.m., my mother woke me up to tell me to go to my bed, but by then I felt wide awake, so she went to bed herself—a relief to me because I was sure she would treat me like an invalid if she thought the birth was imminent. My husband was not sleepy either, so we decided to watch a documentary about dolphins giving birth. I told him that our baby could come to the world that day, but he just laughed and said, “The dolphin might be giving birth today, but you won’t.” Then he too decided to go to bed.

I was having contractions, but I would not have even noticed them had I not put my hand on my abdomen. I was also feeling some pressure on my perineum, but the contractions I had felt during the pregnancy had disturbed me more. I decided to take a shower, and the warm water combined with the smell of the shampoo made me feel great. I blow dried my hair, put on some nail polish, prepared the clothes I would wear to go to the hospital, and ate an apple. Then, I finally went to bed.

At around 2:00 a.m., I put my hand on my abdomen and tried to time my contractions, which by now were frequent and long lasting. Because of the stories of labor pains that I still had in my mind, however, I didn’t think they could be birth contractions. I switched on my relaxation recording. While I was relaxing my whole body, I suddenly felt nauseous and vomited. My husband and mother both woke up, and my husband said to me, “It cannot be time for birth, but perhaps something is wrong. We should go to the hospital.” We grabbed the already-packed bags, got in the car, and turned on an enjoyable song to listen to during the drive.

On the way, I continued with my breathing and relaxation exercises. I could sense an amazing cocktail of hormones flowing through my body. I had never felt so happy, energetic, and motivated. These were the last moments of my baby inside me, and we were enjoying it! Everybody was calm as we headed to the delivery room. It was 2:50 a.m. The team on night duty was sitting around eating a pizza. I told them, “Don’t trouble yourselves, it’s not time for the birth. We just came in for a checkup.” The on-duty doctor put a hand on my abdomen and said, “The contractions are severe. I think I should examine you.” I lay on the examination couch and he made a vaginal examination.

At that point, I collected myself and asked the personnel to make the head of the bed as upright as possible. Suddenly, just as I was about to stand up, I felt severe pressure on my perineum. At the same time, I felt like I would explode with excitement. Odent (2003) notes that with births where there is no intervention or fear, a sudden adrenaline rush can occur just before the fetal ejection reflex. This is exactly what happened in my birth. Overcome by a sensation like the thrill you get at the moment you parachute off a mountainside and shout out with joy at the top of your voice, I screamed uncontrollably.

Realizing that the doctor, my husband, and the nurse were all staring at me in amazement, I told them, “Everything’s okay, don’t worry. There is no pain, just a sudden adrenaline rush.” Odent (2003) notes that, with births where there is no intervention or fear, a sudden adrenaline rush can occur just before the fetal ejection reflex. This is what happened in my birth. I settled myself back onto the bed and felt the urge to push. My body position was as straight as possible. I took a deep breath and pushed my baby downward with all my power. “Push slowly,” my birth doctor warned me. “The baby’s coming too fast. I’ll have to do an episiotomy.” But I just could not slow myself down, and the episiotomy was done at the last moment. In my terms, it was a natural birth throughout, without any intervention other than the episiotomy. Is it still possible, therefore, to call this a natural birth? I think it is. It was completely natural because the intervention happened only when necessary.

Two or 3 weeks later, when I had the chance to make some time for myself and think about the birth, I wondered whether the episiotomy might have been unnecessary. After all, I had given myself regular perineal massages every day after the 30th week of my pregnancy specifically to avoid perineal laceration or an episiotomy, just as suggested by evidence-based practice (Berghella, Baxter, & Chauhan, 2008 ). I thought my perineum was ready for the birth. Why did they have to do an episiotomy? I had been in a squatting position, which is the most appropriate position for birth, and had pushed the baby by grasping and pulling my knees up toward me. The baby came out of my vagina very quickly both because I pushed my baby uncontrollably fast, and because of the fetal ejection reflex combined with an adrenaline rush. Perhaps if I had been in the “polar bear” position Mongan (2005) suggested for quick delivery, I would have been able to give birth without the need for an episiotomy.

I was in a state of shock after the delivery, unable to believe my baby was now in my arms. It was 3:15 a.m. Just 25 minutes had passed since I had gone into the delivery room. The birth was not the way some people had described it. It was totally painless, joyful, exciting, and quick. My baby was so good. At first, he greeted the world with loud screams, presumably because of the effects of the hormone cocktail, but he calmed down after he was cradled in my arms and heard me say, “Welcome, my baby. We have been waiting for you for so long. We love you so much, do not cry.” He began looking around curiously with his eyes wide open.

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