Tuesday, 24 August, 2021

Operation Evacuate; Kenya’s big animal count; Our gold medal boccia hope; the 5 year-old who did a 200 day walk.



Kenya’s big animal count: https://www.bbc.com/news/av/world-africa-58281212

Daniel Michel: boccia champ: https://www.instagram.com/p/BuVIOuWDAjF/


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Operation Evacuate continued in the Afghan capital of Kabul yesterday as more and more people flocked to the airport trying to get out of the country. 

You’ll remember how we talked last week about how the Taliban had taken control of Afghanistan – a country wedged between Pakistan and Iran.

Until recently, army troops from countries like Australia, the United States and Britain had been in Afghanistan, keeping the Taliban out of power. But since they decided to leave, the Taliban have taken control again and many Afghans are scared about what that will mean for them.

So far, Australia has evacuated – which is a fancy word for flown out – about 800 people from Kabul airport on special air force planes. A plane flew out on Sunday night with 470 people on board. And another landed in Melbourne yesterday loaded with evacuees. It’s all a bit complicated: because the scene at the airport in Kabul is chaotic, to say the least. 

Now the race is on to get as many others out as possible – including Afghan locals who worked alongside and helped Australian troops during the 20 years we were there helping to fight the Taliban. 

Was your home-schooling interrupted yesterday by a Zoom crash? Don’t worry – you were not alone. Schools all over NSW were forced to cancel morning classes yesterday after there was a state-wide glitch in the Zoom universe – meaning no online learning could happen. I’m sure those of you effected were devastated ..




Each day we give the world globe a spin and find a news story from wherever it stops, and today we’ve landed in Kenya, in Africa … where the question is being asked: how do you count the number of animals in the jungle?

Wildlife officers in Kenya have embarked on a census of wildlife in the country. Remember we talked about the Census here in Australia, a couple of weeks ago? And how it was a sort of stocktake of the nation? Same deal with animals in Kenya – where national park rangers have taken a fleet of light planes and helicopters to fly over vast stretches of countryside to count up the number of elephants, zebra, rhinos, lions and wildebeest they see. In normal times, many thousands of tourists flock to Kenya every year to see African wildlife – so conservation is really important. 

There are even park rangers trekking through the jungle, studying elephant pooh to work out how many elephants are in each herd. Pooh ranger. It’s officially a thing. 




Tomorrow will be day one of the Paralympic Games – which means a whole host of cool new sports for us to watch on TV, and a whole new cast of excellent Aussie sporting heroes for us to cheer on. Including Daniel Michel – who happens to be one of the world’s best boccia players – and will be one of the great hopes for a gold medal at the Paralympics.

What’s boccia? It’s like lawn bowls, for people with what’s called a ‘significant physical impairment’ – which is a fancy way of saying they perhaps can’t use their arms or legs in the same way most of us can. It takes an incredible amount of skill – and Daniel travels all over the world to compete in boccia tournaments.

Daniel was born with spinal muscular atrophy – which means he is in a wheelchair. He can’t use his hands to throw the balls onto the court, and so – with the help of an assistant – relies on using a ramp to send the ball down the court.  I’ve stuck a link in today’s episode notes of Daniel in action. 




With millions of us in lockdown, and many not allowed to go more than 5kms from our homes, how would you like to go on a long walk in the bush? What if I told you that the walk was going to take 209 days, and you’d cover more than 3000 kilometres in that time? That’s what 5-year-old Harvey Sutton from Virginia in the United States has just done, becoming the youngest person ever to walk the famous Appalachian trail without taking time off between sections. Harvey said he was never bored, what with all the scrambling over rocks, checking out frogs and lizards, and eating tortillas spread with peanut butter and sprinkled with Skittles. The Suttons slept in a tent, woke at 5:30 each morning, and hiked all day. Often at the end of a day, the exhausted adults would be setting up camp, while Harvey raced around, trying to find someone to chase him. For your boundless energy, Harvey, we salute you. 




This is the part of the podcast where you get to test how well you’ve been listening …

  1. Which country is currently the focus of lots of other countries’ attention as large numbers of people are evacuated by the plane-load?
  2. Which African country is doing a great big count of its animal population?
  3. What’s the name of the sport that Aussie Paralympian Daniel Michel plays?




It’s August 24… my birthday … (cheer) ! I know right?

 And because it’s my birthday … everyone else who celebrates a birthday today is pretty awesome in my eyes … and to celebrate, I think we need to crack out the birthday reggae tune … I like to dance to it on my birthday – feel free to have a boogie too…

Happy birthday today to … Luke from Invermay, Elkie from Cherrybrook, Samson from Earlwood, Lily from Armidale, Marley from Camden, Evelyn from Herberton, Niamh from Seddon, Jacob from Roseville, Logan from Porepunkah, Ibrahim from Hornsby, Oliver from Five Dock, Luca from Brisbane and Joshua from Ivanhoe.

And belated birthday wishes to… Royce from Seventeen Mile Rocks and Hayley from Mount Riverview.

Plus!!  … Because our friends in Melbourne, Canberra and all of NSW are in lockdown – we’re sending out Home Learning Herograms …  

To Mrs Bell in year 4 at Hornsby North Public School for making zoom meetings really fun. To all the year 6 teachers at Westport Public School for being so supportive during home learning.

Another herogram goes to all year 5 teachers at The Good Shepherd Catholic Primary School in Canberra.   

Toby from class 4/5P at Camden Public School –  wishes to send his class a home learning shout out.  And a shout out to the Stage 3 teachers at Adamstown Public School in Newcastle – Mrs Littlewood, Mr Davidson and Mr Homer who make homeschooling lots of fun. 

Plus a classroom shout out to Miss Avenell and 5/6A at Toowong State School who fortunately are NOT in lockdown.


The S’Quiz Answers:

  1. Afghanistan
  2. Kenya
  3. Boccia