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Author: Civano Middle School

Writer: Mollie Monger

“I want that pile!” I said with conviction while playing Bao with my teacher. The one who taught me how to play months before. I learned how to play this game by watching my school teacher Marcus and my friend Annie play this game for thirty minutes, after their game and asking many questions I challenged Annie and beat her in three of exciting turns.


Bao is a very complex, fast thinking, exciting game. Some people believe to think it is just a more complicated version of Mancala. I somewhat agree, but Bao has more of a rhythm to it, as you move the pile of rocks across your side you drop the rock and then the other rocks react to the one dropped “Click, Clack… Click, Clack… Click…” last one dropped into an empty hole, the turn is over.

Once when I was playing the game, I thought of how smart the people who created this game are, as well as the everyone including the young children who play it in  Malawi almost everyday. I think that this game is super complex and difficult, but then again I remind myself that kids much younger than me are playing much better     than I do and much more fluent as well.

We play it on these nice wooden boards that Marcus brought to the school, and learned it in middle school from Marcus who lived in Malawi for awhile. The they make their own boards and play it in the dirt: digs all thirty two-holes into the ground, finds sixty-four rocks then plays with one another right after making the board.

I was losing, I had less than half the amount of rocks that he had. I wanted to beat Marcus at the game he taught me in the beginning. There was one pile that had maybe fifteen rocks on his side, and I had two rocks right across from his on my side. It was my turn, I thought for awhile, but was stuck. I told him “I want that pile!” I finally picked up a pile and my last one landed right in my pile with two and fifteen right across. I got it.. After that I felt, I the student became the master. After that turn I started to get more and more on my side, I emptied his front row. I just won, and beat my teacher.

Added by the website administrator:  Learn more about Bao – the Swahili word for “board game”


Build A Garden

Author: Civano Middle School

Writer: Bentley

I was done watching my indoor plants die from outgrowing the pots and not having a place to transplant them. That is when my dad and I started building our own outdoor garden. I researched and learned a lot about gardening and how to make your local soil fertile.

My school had started building it’s own garden the year before I had all of my own gardening experiences and the school garden was in bad shape, so I got a few of my friends and we stepped up and helped lead in the process of rebuilding and adding onto the garden that was already there. First we dug out the in ground beds and started mixing our local dirt in with some compost for the soil for the beds. Then we built an above ground garden bed and did the same with the soil.

My school bought young plants, mostly tomato and pepper plants with some flower plants, and we planted them into the garden beds. then some of the plants were dying from lack of water, I researched and found out that our soil didn’t have enough clay so the water was just soaking right through the soil. A few months later we dug out two more garden beds and found that that dirt was around 80% clay. We mixed the clay in the garden beds, after we did that the overall soil quality improved, the soil absorbed the water much better, and it held together better.

Overall this was a great experience for me, I learned a lot and had fun, and that is how I built a garden.

Surprise… Your Cat Can Talk

Author: Civano Middle School (CMS)

Writer: Marina Rose

SURPRISE….. Your Cat Can Talk. Your cat has an amazing mind since it can talk. Well guess what, all cats can talk by their body movements and you thought superheroes were cool, well guess what superheroes will never beat the cat superpower. Now yes it does sound kind of crazy ( My teacher told me himself ) but it is true when they purr they are trying to talk to you so wake up and notice these things in life! some ways they talk to you is if their pupils are in slits they try to be intimidating towards you or other animals. They try to act like they are the boss. If it’s back is arched and tail is up it is mad. Cat communication is very important even if you don’t have a cat because if a cat approaches you you will know what they are trying to say to you. In some countries though, cats are not cherished as we them cherish, in Vietnam, Korea, and China, cat is on every menu, they don’t understand the way our cats feel and how special they are and how amazing. If they knew how to understand the cats, maybe they would love them, not eat them. The cat language has many different meanings to everything they say.

How To Build A Chicken Coop On A Tight Budget

Author: Civano Middle School (CMS) Chicken Raisers

Writer: Bridget

Chickens, may not be as big as your dog or cat but they can be pets as well, and  they deserve just as much care as any other pet. However, chickens are animals who live outdoors and need a place to live that has enough space so they can roam around and be free. Chicken coops can be store bought but most are too small to house more than two chickens. Store bought chicken coops  are usually more expensive as well. If you build your own chicken coop not only do you get to decide on your design but you can also choose how big you want it to be so it can fit the number of chickens that you want to house.”PICTURE HERE”

One of the first steps to designing a chicken is making a plan and making a material list. To help conserve money you might consider going over measurements to find out the exact material you’ll need instead of making a close guess. Another way to save money is to go dumpster diving for need two by fours or plywood. Another way to save money is to borrow needed tools from people who already have them instead of buying them yourself. The three ways I suggested you save money are almost guaranteed to save almost half as much as a store bought chicken coop would plus all the extra supplies. Supplies such as saw dust to put on the bottom of your coop will still be needed but these items should not be very costly. Thank for listening to my advice and happy chicken raising!

Patty Pickle: Therapy Dog

Author: Civano Middle School

Writer Ember

Hello! My nickname is Ember, and I’m a student editor from Civano Middle School. We have recently gotten a therapy dog who stays at the school with us all day. Her name is Patty Pickle, and she’s a yellow lab. Patty was training to be a guide dog puppy, but couldn’t continue because of a medical issue. Now she’s a happily employed therapy dog who works at the Civano schools.

MINI Cooper Owners — UNITE

MINI Cooper Owners


Author: Andy Delgardo-Keller

A proposed new club: Civano MINI owners. If you are interested in meeting fellow MINI enthusiasts, here’s your chance. Please email Andy at Please Add MINI to the subject line.

photoThe MINI Cooper has long been a car that is unique, as are their owners’ enthusiasm for them. I bought my first MINI in 2010 while living in Colorado. I was a member of the Colorado car club “MINI5280.” Our club hosted MINI’s in the mountains every summer with MINI Coopers attending from all 50 states, including Hawaii. We as MINI owners are often called Miniacs! Yes, it’s a great car to drive and personalize or as we like to say in the MINI Community “Youify.”

I am now a member of the “Arizona Dynamic MiNi Collective”. We are the Tucson club chapter called the “Madmen.” Because there are several MINI’s seen around Civano, I thought it would be fun to form a neighborhood club. Most MINI clubs focus on one or two charities that the members support. This could be the basis of our club along with fun outings for us Miniacs. Let’s give it a GO. Email me.

Bob Small To Host a Travel Party at the Civano Activity Center


As you may know, Helga and I travel with Grand Circle and Overseas Adventure Travel often, and this party is a chance to share our love of travel with you.

A representative of the company will be giving a video presentation about unique and exciting travel opportunities, and share travel advice and tips. There will also be exclusive discounts for  travelers who decide to reserve a trip within 30 days.

  • NEW TRAVELERS receive $300 per person off his first trip
  • Prior Grand Circle and OAT Travelers receive $100 per person off
  • Enter in a raffle for $150 in Travel Credits to use on any trip.

Hostesses:       Bob and Helga Small

DATE:                    Monday, Nov. 10, 2014 starting at 6:30 pm

LOCATION:      Civano Activity Center

Refreshments will be served and a slide show of some of our trips will be shown.

RSVP:   Sign upsheet or call or email or other 398-7100 or

Find out more about the trips at or

Learn the Art of Wood Carving

By Ralph Terry

When the word carving comes to mind what do you visualize?  Would it be a branch cleaned of its bark to be used for a walking stick or a finally detailed bust of a person. You might have seen a carving of a bird or animal or a fancy cane or willow tree bark carved into a castle.

Carving can include many figures, designs or shapes. There is someone out there that is an expert or a novice carver that enjoys passing time with the hobby of carving.  Carvers are always willing to share their carving expertise.

If you have ever desired to pick up a knife and whittle on a piece of wood but didn’t know how to get started, you can join a carving club in Tucson called South West Wood Carvers.

Their objectives are:

  1. To assist members in receiving recognition for their form of art.
  2. To promote exhibits of their art.
  3. Offer assistance to those who wish to learn various methods of wood carving

If you are interested in learning the art of carving you can contact Southwest Wood Carvers on line at or Ralph Terry at

Both men and women participate in the  Southwest Wood Carvers Club.

Some examples of the different types of carving are:

Animal Painted
Animal Painted


Chip Carving
Chip Carving
Free Form chip
Free Form Chip
Tree Bark
Tree Bark








Wood Burning
Wood Burning
Comical Bust
Comical Bust










Civano Neighbors Forum was Updated Today – a Significant Milestone for the Site

By Jerry Walker, Civano Neighbors Website Webmaster

As near as i can tell, today, after a week of effort, is the first time that the Civano Neighbors Forum has been updated since Simmons Buntin installed it; at least three years ago. Now that it is updated to the current release of the product, I will be learning about the features that we have not previously had available and implementing the good ones. I will report changes in the Civano Neighbors Website Forum Board; the one that appeas under the General Board.

One change that is definitely coming is to increase the amount of information gathered when a new person wants to become a member so as to make it easier for me to figure out who the good guys are; meaning Civano residents and associated and more easily identifty those trying to do us harm. Since I became the webmaster, two months ago, about 95% of the people who signup with the Forum turn out to be bad guys from all parts of the world. The day after I became the webmaster, we experienced a “denial of service attack” which means someone tried to penetrate our website by bombarding us with requests for pages on the site. Our site did not experience the crashes that you have heard about in the news but the traffic to our site was so high that our website host threatened to take the site down if we did not improve our security. It turned out that our security, implemented by Simmons, was exactly what our website host wanted. So, all was well, the website traffic went back to normal and life proceeded.

So, watch for changes and as always let me know what you think.