TMS students return from People-to-People voyage

Published 12:00 am Tuesday, July 27, 2004

Chris Hamm, Whitney Jones and Philip Williamson, all students at Thompson Middle School, recently returned to Alabaster from a 16-day trip to Australia as People to People Student Ambassadors.

Traveling with the three students was delegation leader Emily Watson of Thompson Intermediate School.

The four were part of a group of 41 students and four leaders who served as members of the official state of Alabama delegation traveling to Australia during June.

During the Australian exploration trip, the group participated in a variety of activities including swimming amid the exotic marine life at the Great Barrier Reef. They swam with a 550 pound fish known to islanders as &uot;Wally.&uot;

They also mastered the secrets of throwing the boomerang as they became immersed in the native Australian-Aboriginal culture.

They hand-fed kangaroos, wallabies, emus and held koala bears.

They went bushwhacking, camping and horseback riding in the Outback.

They climbed the Capricorn Caves and actually stood atop the Tropic of Capricorn.

They spent one day in an Australian school with other students and visited the Australian Zoo.

Additionally, they explored Sydney including the Opera House, Sydney Harbor and visited the site of the 2000 Olympics.

President Dwight D. Eisenhower founded the People to People program in 1956, and the Eisenhower family continues its involvement today. President Eisenhower’s vision was to create a global community based on trust, respect and an understanding of other cultures, economics and political systems.

One of the critical components of his vision was based on the direct interaction of students from different nations which would connect the peoples of the world in a network of friendship