Angola: introdução

This week we are staying in Africa but heading to the southern west coast, to Angola!

Angola gets its name from the ancient Kingdom of Ndongo, their kings were known as “ngola”. The Portuguese were the first Europeans to land in Angola in 1484 and they held colonial rule until 1975. They gained their independence after several years of armed conflict only to dive into a civil war that lasted from 1975-2011.

Angola is one of the richest countries in Africa and their economy continues to grow. Crazy fun fact- in 2014 the giant Sable Antelope was discovered in Angola after it was thought to be extinct.

The Flag

The Angolan flag is half red, which represents bloodshed from the colonial rule, gaining their independence, and defending itself and half black, which represents Africa and has a yellow symbol in the center. Half of a gear to represent industry and production and their workers, a machete for peasantry, agricultural production and the armed struggle and finally a star which represents international solidarity and progress.

You will need….

  • strong white paper
  • red and black paint
  • yellow paper

Start by folding the white paper in half lengthwise. Paint the top red and the bottom black.

While that dries, draw then cut out the half gear, machete and star.

Glue the yellow symbols in place and there you have it, the flag of Angola!

Rainbow experiment

Angola is home to one of the largest waterfalls in Africa, Kalandula Falls, it measures 2,300 feet wide and 390 feet tall! If you are lucky you can catch a glimpse of a rainbow that forms in the waterfall’s mist. We’ve studied waterfalls before so I decided to go a different route and focus on the rainbow.

In this experiment water is dyed and varying amounts of sugar is added to gradually increase its density. The colors are then layered in a jar and you end up with a rainbow!

You will need…

  • roughly 2 cups warm water
  • 4 small jars
  • 1 tall skinny jar
  • about 1 1/2 cups sugar
  • 1/2 cup measure
  • 1 Tablespoon measuring spoon
  • red, blue, green and yellow food coloring
  • straw or spoon
  • microwave

Place 1/2 warm water into each of the small jars, add two drops of color to each one so you will have one jar with red, one with yellow, one with green, and one with blue water.

Add 2 Tbs of sugar to the red jar.
Add 4 Tbs of sugar to the yellow jar.
Add 6 Tbs of sugar to the green jar.
Add 8 Tbs of sugar to the blue jar.

Stir each jar well to ensure the sugar is fully dissolved- if it isn’t microwave it for 20 secs or so and stir again- just be careful because it will be hot!

Now to make the rainbow- pour about 1/2 an inch of blue water into the tall skinny jar. Next using the straw slowly drip the green water over the blue. The key here is go slow! We went to fast the first time and did not end up with a layered rainbow!

Left: All at once, Middle: Slowly using the back of a spoon; Right: Too fast with a straw

Repeat with the yellow and then the red. The colors will stay separated and the ‘missing’ colors will appear in between the layers to create a full rainbow. Martin really had a hard time manipulating the straw to we ended up slowly pouring it over the back of a spoon.

For more waterfall activities check out our trip to Zimbabwe and Victoria Falls.

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