Flop Balls: Communicating Across Cultures

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Flop balls are on their way to Ethiopia this week! A group of UNC Wilmington education students (including our niece) will be spending the next two weeks teaching in two schools in Addis Ababa as part of an international field experience. One of the schools they'll visit delivers instruction in English while the other teaches in the local language, Amharic. Anticipating possible language barriers, we offered to provide them with a tool to help create connections through play - flop balls.

The UNCW student-teachers can lead engaging activities with the students using flop balls that tie to a variety of lessons depending on their objectives. We provided them with a guide to get them started, but know that a group of creative education majors in a unique setting will come up with new applications that we can't wait to hear. That's what we love about the flop ball, there's no "right" way to play or use them for your group.

Now, you'll notice three different custom flop ball designs in the image. That wasn't our original plan, but "flops" come in all shapes and sizes. We had created a few different mock-ups of designs to look at, but accidentally sent the manufacturer all three. When we opened the delivery expecting to see one design, we had a medley instead. Not a major error and the students didn't mind. Who knows - maybe having three different styles of flop balls will allow them to create a new type of game. Staying open to the possibilities is key to making the most out of mishaps that happen in business and travel. We hope the students stay open and have an amazing experience as they teach and learn.

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