The most entertaining event for spectators at the WSC is undoubtedly the Scholar’s Bowl. The Bowl is a multiple choice type format where all questions and possible answers are displayed on the large screen at the front of the venue.

Each team is given a clicker which they use to submit their answers wirelessly to the score keepers. All questions are based on the curriculum set for the competition and the questions are asked in such a way as to relate to a certain topic within the curriculum without asking the question directly. A simple example is instead of asking who the author of a poem is, the learners may be given a video to watch and then asked which poet may have written a poem that relates to the video. This makes it far more difficult to cheat by Googling answers and forces he scholars to be a bit more insightful.

The hosts, Daniel and Burch provide very entertaining commentary along the way which makes the quiz both enjoyable and challenging at the same time. We each received our very own Alpaca during the quiz so we each have an additional travel companion for our trip home. They’re so cute and fluffy, I’m gonna die! A new special edition Alpaca plush toy was revealed during the quiz today. During each round of the regional events all over the world the students were  asked to choose between two on-screen Alpacas, in a ‘hot or not?’ question. One of the Alpacas had a rather Donald-like hairstyle and therefore received the nickname, Trumpaca.  The Trumpaca was unveiled in physical form for the first time today and man, is it ugly! One of the juniors asked Daniel if the new plush toy was going to replace the current Alpaca versions because if so, she didn’t want one.

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At lunch, we feasted on a buffet style meal in the dining room on the top floor. Our bunch have not been very adventurous on this trip as far as Thai food is concerned and today was no exception. Without much ado, we crowded the ‘western’ section. Sergio hit the line first and he and Mr Preddy used their superior intelligence and grabbed their mains and dessert at the same time, before all of the dessert disappeared (which is what happened last time). Dessert is generally our favourite part of any meal but today was an exception.

We decided to try one of each dessert on offer – they’re tiny portions by the way, before you think we’re pigs. Thai desserts consist of many jelly type creations and the jelly was incorporated into pretty much all of the desserts today. Let’s start with the green tart. With tremendous hope that it was a Peppermint type tart, we dug in. It’s was in our mouth, it wasn’t too bad for the first second or two but thereafer it was all down hill. It tasted like green tea mixed with tofu. The green colour should have told us all we needed to know  – noted for next time. We were much more circumspect with the rest of the dishes on our plate and to be honest there wasn’t too much to write home about except for one shining light. A chocolate-praline-mousse type square, one that tasted like the similar type tart we get at Woolworths. The chocolate saved the day for us otherwise we would have been very ‘salty’* for the rest of the afternoon.

Filled to the brim, we moved back into the Conference Center for the debate showcase. The showcase brings together the top scoring debaters from yesterday’s round to compete on stage in a debate for all to watch, admire and scrutinise. Unfortunately none of the South Africans qualified to take part but there was a Kenyan who qualified, so we claimed her as one of her own. She spoke really well when it was her time to debate and ended up on the victorious side in the end. Africa 1, rest of world 0. The motion put to the debaters was ‘Childhood is becoming more and more imperfect’ – a tough topic. Both sides debated very well with the affirmative (for the motion) narrowly losing out to the negative (against the motion). It was really good for our teams to see the best in action and they learnt a lot this afternoon.

We returned to our hotel for a brief nap before we needed to be back at the GMM Live House for the Scholar’s Ball. Over the course of the past week is has been relatively problematic trying to get all of our ‘herd’ to move briskly between the conference center and the hotel. Evidently, when there is a Ball to attend there is suitable motivation to get things moving. Katherine and Cailin were very close to a jog and the rest of the hard resembled a group of fast walkers jostling for position at an Olympic event. Everybody ‘crossed the line’ in record time for the trip from the Convention Centre to the Hotel. All they needed was the right motivation. At 19:30 we met to walk to the venue. Everybody cleans up really nicely, it must be said. The biggest challenge awaiting us on the walk to the Convention Centre was to somehow avoiding perspiring.

We arrived at the Convention Centre relatively free from perspiration; though completely avoiding it was nigh impossible. Everybody still smelt and looked good so we headed up to the Live Centre to get our groove on. It was time to break it down, to bust a move, to mash potato, to watch me whip and of course, to watch  me nae nae. The dance floor was packed. The Scholars jumped up and down to rhythm of Burch’s beats on stage and the smoke from the smoke machine filled the air. The beats kept coming and we kept on dancing. At 12:30 we decided it was time to head to the hotel for a well earned sleep. We took a more leisurely stroll back to the hotel and disappeared straight to bed in preparation for the early start tomorrow.

In the morning we are heading to a temple which houses a 3 ton statue of Buddha made from pure gold. Plans to remove the statue and bring it to SA are already afoot so if we have to pay slight penalties for our luggage being overweight we’re sure you’ll understand.

*Salty is a term used by our contingent to mean grumpy / unhappy.

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