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2019 China Connections Trip

DAY NINE

On our second last day in China we returned to school! The Beijing Primary School student delegation and teachers were anxiously awaiting our arrival at the school gates at 8:00am. We were greeted with cries of Welcome to Beijing Primary School and I was pleased to greet those staff who have become familiar faces. In particular we were honoured by Mr Li’s presence to welcome us. As the principal of this school, as well as many others in a set of schools he is responsible for, his time given for us was a sign of the high esteem with which they hold us.

After taking some photos, every TLC student was allocated two Beijing Primary School buddies to go on a tour of the school. The teachers were also give a buddy each and given a tour of the school! Each tour leader had prepared a hand drawn map of the direction they were going to take us around the school and had some notes to assist them to explain each place we went to. Their students are very proud of the school and our students were very impressed!

We met up in the library at the end of the tours and I was able to give the books we gathered to the English teacher who was very happy and grateful for these gifts. We then experienced an art class where we learnt to make a good luck knot. This is made from one long continuous piece of cord that when weaved and wrapped a certain way makes (and maintains) a shape. We had a number of assistants in the room who kept checking (and fixing) our work so we were all very successful with this task! Unfortunately some of them have come unravelled since then – so perhaps don’t ask to see the good luck knot when we get home.

From the school we returned to the hotel to buy lunch, do some packing, have showers and get ready to go to the Kung Fu show. We left at 4:15pm and the show commenced at 5:15pm (on the dot). All we can say is Wow, wow, wow! What an incredible show. I hope the photos can do it justice and I am sure the students will tell you all about it. The hour long show told the story of a monk who grew up and his experience becoming a monk, which of course was all about Kung Fu.

After the show we came back to hotel on the bus, went out to buy our dinner and then had a group meeting to get our final instructions for tomorrow! The students have all been packing this afternoon and will have a small window of opportunity to complete this in the morning before we put the suitcases on the bus and head to the Beijing Zoo.

In an eerie repetition of last year, our visit to the zoo will be made in very low temperatures. So we will be wearing our thermals and many layers of clothes. We will make time to get these extra layers tucked into our suitcases before we check them in so we are comfortable on the plane still.

We can’t wait to see you all. I will attempt to send you an email along the journey home, but make no promises as there may be no time between flights or the students might need me for something else.

Can I ask that you work together as a group please to work out where you will all be standing when we arrive home . I would really appreciate it if you could all be either left or right as we exit the doors (and can someone send me a text to let me know if it’s left or right turn when we come through the glass doors) so that the students are not all heading in many directions as we exit.

We will exit as soon as we are able and get them directly to you so that you may give them big, big hugs. I know you will all be so very excited to see them, but please let us try to get all the way to the spot you have chosen to stand and wait so that they and their suitcase are out of the way of others. I would also very much appreciate if you could let me know before you leave so I know that every one of them has located one of you!

Thanks and see you all soon!

DAY NINE

The Forbidden City – a place that we shared with 79, 972 other people today – is an amazing place. Commisioned in 1406 and having its first official residents in 1420 this city was home to 24 Emperors over 5 centuries. Only Emperors Now, as a museum, it is open to all who wish to see it’s secrets. With 14 million visitors a year, it is closed on a Monday, but every other day 80,000 tickets are on offer. Today they were sold out!

We very patiently waited in line/crowd to go through security until a policeman saw our group of children and made his way to us, leading us through a barricade and out into the side area avoiding security all together. I would like to believe that he saw how beautifully we were waiting and wanted to reward us, but I have come to understand that the Chinese treat their elderly and the children with reverence and respect and I feel this may have had more to do with his decision. Nonetheless we really appreciated the gesture.

We practised our “stay tight” manoeuvre followed by our “Sticky” manoeuvrer in order to get through the crowds and suddenly there was the Forbidden City before us. One of the students had commented that it didn’t seem very big when we were outside and then we came into the first courtyard and she said “I take it all back – this place is huge”. The architecture of the Forbidden City is complex and every element has a story to it, from the 9999 rooms, the 1 million workers who built it, to the number of animals statues on the corner of each roof to the names of each area and building.

We went through the quieter parts of the Forbidden City due to the crowds but really appreciated the enormity of the space and history that came with it. Upon leaving the Forbidden City we had a short walk to the Alley Café where we were treated to a curry and rice lunch and spent the whole time reading all the writing on the walls saying where their guests have come from in the past.

From here it was another short walk to Beihai park. To get to this we walked through a hutong area and then after purchasing a ticket went through the gates into what seems like another world. With a huge lake in the middle, a Buddhist temple on the hill in the middle and lovely gardens all the way around it was a pleasure to be in. We found a grassy space for the students to play with their Frisbee and balls and were of much amusement to the locals. We have now left 1 frisbee in a tree and I am sure that many a dinner table story was told tonight by the new friends we made while there – in particular the gardener who took an immense interest in why we would want to come to China and also wanted to understand how we communicate without Chinese language.

The bus picked us up outside the North exit of Beihai park and we were soon back at the hotel having showers, preparing for packing, banking and being available for our phone calls home time. The hang out room (Miss John’s room) was a glorious noise fest as they all played a charades type game and listened to music or played card games. Everyone was outside either Mrs Curtis’s or Mr Kirk’s rooms in time for their call to home and I am absolutely sure these calls were enjoyed by both students and parents.

The energy at dinner afterwards was fabulous and everyone was sharing stories of what questions their parents asked them and what answers they gave. Each one of them enjoyed the call home very much. At our group meeting tonight we decided that we would try to come up with something that we have learnt on the trip to share with you all and below are the results from the students.

Something I have learnt is……

  • that I made a new food by trying new food! Molly
  • that I can do whatever I put my mind to Gema
  • that I can survive with my allergies Finlee
  • I can walk The Great Wall of China Emily
  • that China has amazing culture Olivia
  • I shouldn’t be scared to go on a plane – it’s actually really easy . Huntah
  • if you believe in yourself and try the things you thought you could never do – you really are the hero! Jade
  • I can walk the Great Wall of China! Matthew
  • I can overcome difficulties – aka climbing both ways up the Great Wall. Chirathmee
  • that I can walk 14 kilometres ! Nat
  • making new friends isn’t as hard as I thought Kasra
  • that it’s very important to have a camera Charlotte
  • I can overcome my fear of heights by going on the cable car! Morgan
  • that Chinese people love us! Fraser
  • that the Great Wall of China is on a mountain! Jaicub
  • the bullet train can go 308 kilometres an hour Gauss
  • I can overcome difficulties like walking for a long time or feeling sick overseas Rachel
  • that I don’t get homesick (but I still love my family) Stevie
  • I can overcome my fears by thinking about them and thinking of the opposite for example if it’s homesickness I think about how many days left. Sarah
  • that it’s really ok to try new things Cassie
  • I miss my Mum’s cooking Harrison
  • Chinese tour guides are really, really good Darius
  • you can’t drink water from the tap – only drink bottled water. Brooklyn
  • that I was able to do things that I didn’t think I was able to – I’m pretty awesome ! Freddy

Tomorrow we off to visit Beijing Primary School, finish packing and head out to see the Gung Fu show!

DAY EIGHT

There is a quote which is sometimes translated as ‘He who doesn’t reach the Great Wall is no hero’. Originally a line from a Mao Zedong poem, it has come to mean that to get to their goals admirable people must overcome difficulties .

Today your children stand as heroes having been on the Great Wall! Everyone of them showed their resilience, persistence, good nature, team work, care and compassion for one another as they ensured the whole group went up and down the wall in whatever way they needed to.

We had to leave very early (7:00am) to get in front of the predicted traffic and actually made good time to arrive at the wall as a result. There is a process for arriving at the wall which includes having to get out of the bus to buy the tickets and then walk through a long mall of shops where shopkeepers are trying to sell you their products before you can get back to your bus. Happily, after that, the bus was able to take us up quite a lot closer before we had to get out and walk the last part. A toilet break was made before we had a safety briefing about behaviour on the wall and then split into two groups – those doing the cable car up and those taking the stairs up to Watchtower 10 to get on to the wall. Those on the cable car could see our students walking on the wall as we went up – it was very exciting!

After a reasonable wait to get on the cable car, we arrived at the viewing platform at Watchtower 14 and in very short time the walking group arrived!! Some students then went on to spend a very enjoyable time walking up towards Watchtower 17 and back and when they returned the group managed to squeeze onto the steps and get a group photo. Then it was time to walk down and the group were amazing – walking from 14 all the way back to Watchtower 6 before taking the stairs back down from there. The students did approximately 1000 steps each way to get on and off the wall – plus what they did on the wall!

We had lunch at a restaurant not far from there and then got back on the bus for what we knew would be a long trip home due to the traffic from the festival of sweeping the tombs. Happily this gave most students the chance to have a snooze/sleep and the bus was very quiet for a long time. On arrival back at the hotel it was dinner in the hotel restaurant and then a MacDonald’s run for dessert for those who wanted to go!

We finished the night with a group meeting and talked about all the plans for the next 3 days so that everyone would know what they could start to pack and start to prepare for the packing afternoon on Monday.

Tomorrow we will be seeing the Forbidden City and Beihai Park next door to it – and then calling home – we can’t wait to talk to you!

DAY SEVEN

We set out nice and early for the Summer Palace today, knowing that we may experience some traffic delays due to the festival starting of Sweeping the Tomb commencing. This is celebrated on April 4 or April 5 , depending on the lunar calendar and is a national holiday in China, Hong Kong, Macau, and Taiwan with most people having the day off from work or school to allow time to travel to ancestral gravesites. In Beijing, this will run for 3 days.

On arrival at the Summer Palace we were amazed at the history of this place but also it’s beauty. The Summer Palace can be divided into four parts: the Court Area, Front and Rear Area of Longevity Hill, and Kunming Lake Area. We walked along the lake down the side that looks up at Longevity Hill, including some of the famous corridor of paintings. This 728-meter-long corridor is also the longest corridor in Chinese classic gardens. The emperor built the gallery for his mother to so she could walk out doors regardless of the weather so she might view the garden in rain or snow.

From the Summer Palace we travelled to the Hutong area and walked through these narrow alleyways to the home of a local person who has lived in the house for 3 generations (150 years). They provided a lovely lunch, followed by our kite making lesson and then the home owner played the students some songs on a traditional Chinese string instrument. Once the kites were made, we travelled through the Hutongs to the large square where the drum and bell tower are and everyone flew their kites!

Back to the hotel to have some free time before dinner and then an early bedtime as tomorrow we tackle the big one – The Great Wall!

DAY SIX

After breakfast at the Sunny Café – students had some free time to sort their personal belongings, work on their shopping budget, plays games, visiting the bank of Mr Kirk or resting. This was followed by a dumpling lunch and an exciting afternoon of shopping! Dressed in our bright Red China Tee Shirts and utilising the budgets we had created the students took on the challenge of sticking to their budget and negotiating prices.

Starting on the first floor, we moved from one section to another seamlessly like the well oiled machine that we are now. Bargaining was embraced immediately by most students while for others it was a slower process of watching others do it and then finally becoming brave enough to do it. Watches were followed by technology in the form of airbuds, smart watches, fancy headphones and phone accessories.

Moving from the first floor to the second floor - shoes, toys and every handbag ever imagined – our bargaining skills were increasing every time. We caused a stir at each new section and it was fascinating to see the shopkeepers prepare their best item to show off in the hope of convincing some students to shop with them.

Lastly the third floor – pearls, chopsticks, fans, magnets, cups, teapots, silk clothing etc. was the final destination (for us anyway) and then we commenced the downward journey, back through toys on the second floor and eventually to revisiting the very first shops we went to on the first floor.

Finally we were back on the bus like a bunch of schoolkids coming home from the EKKA, showing each other what had been purchased and proudly telling their stories of bargaining and what were the most successful or efficient processes to use. Apparently a student discount is allowed. Now these items just need to manage to get into suitcases. There was a lot of talk about finishing off the snacks to make space!

Dinner was a special celebration as one of our students had a birthday today! We had a traditional Beijing dinner called a hotpot where there is a pot in the middle of the table with hot water and some spice flavourings in it. The table is covered in plates of uncooked items (prawns, chicken, crab, lamb, cabbage, noodles, tofu, greens and so many more) which you add to the pot and once cooked ladle back out into you bowl, add sauces and toppings and tada – dinner!

After dinner we shared in a most beautiful birthday cake covered in fresh fruit. Happy Birthday was sung in English and Chinese, followed by individual singers in Afrikaans, Arabic and pig Latin.

We had a group meeting to complete the night and have been all tucked in bed early to get a good nights sleep before our day tomorrow – when we are visiting the Summer Palace, Hutongs and making & flying kites!

DAY FIVE

Today started early – every single one of us was in the lobby with our bags all packed at 6:10am. All bags were loaded onto the bus and then we went to the restaurant for a quick breakfast. They were very kind and opened a half hour early for us!

At 7:00am we were driving to the train station and after going through security we were ready and waiting when it was time for our platform to open. While waiting in line we struck up conversation with a tour group from Australia and they commented on how well behaved our students were. We were already proud of them, but that was nice to hear.

Once on the train we had to fit our suitcases in and around our seats – it was tricky but we did it! The train left exactly on time at 9:18am. Our top speed was 308kms an hour and the students played card games (lots of Uno!), read books, chatted, took photos or had a nap. On arrival on Beijing we had assistance from porters who got our bags off the train and onto trolleys. We then had a leisurely stroll a few streets away to the bus and the porters helped out by putting all the bags on the bus.

We love our new hotel. It has a lovely big lobby and three lifts! It is in a fabulous location and we are looking forward to our breakfast in the morning at the Sunny Café. One of the students commented to me on the walk back to the hotel this evening that it sounds like a happy place and who wouldn’t want to eat breakfast there.

Dinner was Peking duck – a traditional dish from this area created around the time of the Yuan Dynasty (1206-1368), from the time when Beijing was called Peking. We had many other yummy dishes while waiting for it to be cooked and sliced, but it was worth the wait. After dinner it was a stroll back to the hotel and everyone in bed between 8:00pm – 8:15pm, as we have another early get up tomorrow to commence the drive to The Great Wall.

We are so very excited about tomorrow, but I think we will sleep well tonight!

Mrs Lisa Curtis

China Connections Trip Coordinator

DAY FOUR

Can you believe it’s Day 4!! We can’t.

Today we headed out to walk the city wall from the East gate to the South Gate. Our history lesson today explained the origins of the wall and that the Emperor, his family and high officials only would live inside the walls. In the evening the bells would toll and the gates would be closed and in the morning the drums would sound and gates would open. The wall was a defensive position, with archery positions all the way around. As you will see in the photos (hopefully up on the TLC blog soon) the wall is quite thick across – apparently inside the brick we see is the original wall from the 1500’s that was made from dirt, lamb and a rice extract to make it sticky.

We walked from the East (Dragon symbol) gate at a leisurely pace, stopping along the way to take photos and admire the view. It was forecast for light showers so we all had rain ponchos/raincoats with us. It did spit a little, but not rain. At one point we thought it might rain and so some of us put them on… then it went away. Near the South gate end (Phoenix symbol) we located a gift shop.. no more explanation needed. Rest assured there were toilets along the way and everyone has now used a squat toilet!

After this we walked a short distance to a restaurant that was like being outside but inside – the food was delicious! We were hungry after our big walk as well. I think some students have taken a real liking to noodles – as there were none with this meal and they were hoping for them. A short walk on and we were back at the hotel.

We commenced our packing efforts during the afternoon, as we have an early start in the morning due to the bullet train to Beijing. A quick group meeting was held and then some free time was available to those who packed quickly and the teachers helped out by visiting the rooms and giving advice.

At 4:00pm we were out again to our cooking class. This was held in the same building as the Tang Dynasty show we went to a couple of days ago. Three chefs took a group each to teach how to make dumplings. Mrs Harvey, our guide Kang and our trainee guide Morty all helped to translate the chef’s instructions to the students. It was impressive to see how engaged every student was with this task. They followed every little instruction and tried so very hard to make their dumplings look like the chef’s. At the end these were taken away to be cooked so we could have them as part of dinner.

While waiting we were treated to a display of knife skills by another chef – who chopped/shredded potatoes with his knife with such precision – I think we would call it a julienne shape but tiny. It was slightly smaller than a piece of spaghetti. There was complete silence throughout and applause at the end. These were returned to us as part of dinner too!

As part of our dinner we tried two traditional Xian Shaanxi (this region) dishes – one was called a Xian sandwich, which was pork in a bun. Then something called Biang Biang noodles… these are fat and flat noodles and were so very tasty but a challenge with chopsticks! It’s a good thing our chopstick skills have improved! Of course the big winner for dinner was our very own dumplings and there were none left at all!

Final packing was completed on our return and an early bedtime today – 8:15pm. We are up early at 5:30am so we can have breakfast before heading to the bullet train. As we packed today, it has been interesting to hear the students comment on how much they like Xian and will be sad to leave it. I hope they love Beijing just as much.

I look forward to giving you our next update from Beijing!

Mrs Lisa Curtis
China Connections Trip Coordinator

DAY THREE

Today was a lovely, relaxed day. On the way to our first stop we had a short history lesson on the origins of the Buddhist religion. It was fascinating and the students were very attentive. Then we visited the Big Wild Goose Pagoda which was built to house the scriptures of the Buddhist religion from it’s earliest days. While scriptures are no longer housed there, the pagoda itself stands seven stories or 63 metres high – although at one point it was a nine story tower until an earthquake in the 1500’s and it has been a seven story one ever since.

An attached story to the Big Wild Goose Pagoda is Journey to the West as it is known to some – or to people from my generation Monkey Magic . The story is that this monk goes on a 17 year journey accompanied by three disciples – The Monkey King, a pig god and a sand/water god. There is a new version of this on Netflix at the moment. If you are not familiar with it, this might be a nice show to watch with the kids on their return as they have heard the story now. For those who know the story I was tempted to call on my flying cloud and zoom around….

Around the bottom of the pagoda are many buildings with beautiful architecture and buddha statues. Some students chose to make a small donation and say a personal prayer for enlightenment while we were there. They all looked through the buildings with respect and reverence, hats off and quietly. We were very proud of them. There may have been a giftshop purchase or two here as well. We spent some times in the adjoining gardens having our morning tea and admiring the Cherry Blossom trees, which are in bloom. They really are very beautiful.

Then we walked back to the bus and on the way we met a Chinese school group from another province – the excitement on their faces when our students said hello to them was magical. We stopped and got together for a photo with them and then waved goodbye to our new friends!

Our lunch stop was again amazing food and the students are trying nearly everything. Today we had a deep fried chicken arrive at each table with the head still on it which the students took in their stride but no one wanted to eat.

From lunch it was a short bus ride to the Art Museum where the students took in a quick tour of the art and then participated in a calligraphy class where they learnt to write all the fundamental parts of the Chinese characters. The more difficult part was learning to hold the brush, as it is a lot like a pencil hold – but the brush needs to be straight up and down, not slanted like a pencil. I imagine it will not surprise you to know that some items were also purchased at this venue.

Back to the hotel for showers and start to pack up in readiness for Wednesday, then out for a short stroll through the Muslim quarter to our restaurant – where we were thoroughly treated once again, this time to an amazing Chinese Muslim meal. One of the students at my table this evening said “This food is so good I could cry”. We are getting very good with our chopsticks now and occasionally the staff will offer or point out a fork, but they are declined in favour of the chopsticks.

The Muslim quarter houses 60 000 Chinese Muslim’s and the street that runs down the middle is a thriving food and restaurant destination. Some of the kids were comparing it to Eat Street but did comment that Eat Street was not as busy or as noisy! We saw all manner of street food being made from scratch right there as we walked past. The noisiest was where two men with huge wooden hammers were pounding the sesame cake and the one that got the most photos was the fairy floss in the shape of a flower or bunny ears!

After our lovely dinner we strolled back through the Muslim quarter towards the amazing lights of the Drum Tower and watched a water foundation with lights and music choreography show. This was exceptionally clever – the water made heart shapes! We were all completely sad when it ended.

On the way back to the hotel we stopped at a corner store and everyone was allowed to choose a treat – soft drink, lolly or ice-cream. We wandered happily back to the hotel and got ready for bed. We had to cross a road for the first time on this tour and the kids were very happy as we had to use the manoeuvre we had practised at school where we move seamlessly from walking in pairs to 4’s when the light goes green and back again to pairs once we are back on the footpath..… we are very clever and a little bit proud of ourselves too!

As I write this email, the students are all sound asleep. We are having big days, but good days. The teachers are immensely proud of the students for their attitude to the trip and we know you would be too.

Tomorrow we are looking forward to walking the city wall from the East Gate to the South Gate during the morning and then in the early evening we will have a cooking class where what we make will become dinner. We can’t wait!

Mrs Lisa Curtis
China Connections Trip Coordinator

DAY TWO

After a good night’s sleep we were up at 6:30am and at breakfast by 7:00am. There were many options for breakfast and some new items were tried, but everyone found things they liked and the teachers found coffee.

We needed to leave the hotel at 9am and so we met at 8:30am. Only a small number of students had to return to their room to get the required items for the day, which is an amazing feat considering it was their first morning! We were very impressed.

Our guide today was Andy (who has just returned from a trip to Brisbane) and he gave us a lot of information about Chinese history (Zhou, Qin, Han and Tang Dynasty being the most important of the 13 Dynasties that all chose Xian as it’s capital over a period of 1300 years) and how it related to the Terracotta Warriors (the eighth wonder of the world) and then also a lot of information about the Terracotta Warriors, such as that it was discovered in 1974 when a farmer dug a well and covers an area of 20 hectares.

So we arrived after about an hour’s drive and the first stop was….wait for it… drum roll…. The toilets! This is a common theme of the day and will be for days to come so I probably will not mention it again – presume we go at every opportunity! Then we went into the Terracotta Warrior Museum area which begins with a beautiful stroll through gardens full of cherry blossoms and then up to the actual site. We visited Pit 1, which is the largest and the one you generally see when viewing information about the Terracotta Warriors – the iconic picture of them all standing in rows. It was crowded but we got very good at seeing a gap, getting in line behind each other and shuffle shuffle shuffle to the front to get a look and photo. We really did work like a well oiled machine!

Pit 2 is smaller than Pit 1 and contains war chariots and cavalry. After visiting this Pit we visited the gift shop and I cannot tell you much, but suffice to say items were purchased! Pit 3 is the smallest of the three and it is considered the command centre of the entire army.

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From here it was a 30 minute walk through the local area shops and into the streets adjoining one side of the Museum complex where many homes have been converted into restaurants. We were treated to the most amazing meals that just kept coming out of the kitchen. The students were so impressed by the food and so many of them were trying new things and feeling very proud of themselves. Then we remembered that we had dumpling dinner tonight! Perhaps we should not have enjoyed so much!

On the bus back to the hotel, we had a quick quiz to see who could remember what Andy told us on the way there and prizes were given out! The bus ride was reasonably quiet as many students took the opportunity to have a nap and when we arrived back at the hotel it was time for showers and getting dressed in free dress items.

We met at 5pm and this time no one had to go back to their room so we headed out to the Tang Dynasty Show and Dumpling dinner and were the first to arrive. The venue was called Shaanxi Grand Opera House Xian and it is a restaurant firstly, with tables on tiers that all face the stage. The dumplings were delicious with some of them being shaped as the items they held – the chicken and the duck were very cute. Once you finish the dinner, your seats are where you view the show from.

We bought popcorn to enjoy during the show, which consisted of many small musical and dance items that told the story of the Tang Dynasty with numbers such as White Sleeve Dance, Spring Outing, a Percussion group performing Gossiping Ducks and Hungry Tiger and all culminating in a finale called The Great Tang Rites and Music. The costumes and sets were amazing, the musicians and dancers well practised and when they added in the big screen at the back, lights and music – it was quite a magical show.

During the day today many students had small conversations with people relating to being asked where we are from mostly, but it was heart warming to see the students proud response when they realised that had conducted a conversation in Chinese.

It was a short drive back to the hotel and everyone was into bed shortly after that!

We are looking forward to our day tomorrow viewing the Big Wild Goose Pagoda’s, Calligraphy Class and a walk for dinner to the city wall area to see the Drum Tower lit up at night. There is a plan to get a number of photos up onto The Lakes College China Trip blog very shortly to share some images that help to capture the amazing time we are having!

Mrs Lisa Curtis
China Connections Trip Coordinator


DAY ONE

All the kids are in bed now. As you can imagine they were absolutely exhausted. After checking into our hotel, we went to a very nearby restaurant for dinner and the students were amazed by the variety of dishes offered for them to try. There were many happy eaters afterwards and even the pickiest of eaters found something to try and love. The most innovative dish was large calligraphy pens where the tip of the brush was edible – and yummy!

All students travelled well and were fabulous representatives of The Lakes College. We received a number of complements on their good behaviour on the plane trip to Hong Kong and entertained our fellow travellers as they observed the students filling in their own arrival cards (with supervision and guidance) when flying to Xian.

We spent a little bit longer than expected in Hong Kong with our flight delayed by 30 minutes, but we kept busy buying food, playing games and watching the planes fly in and out of the airport. The teachers were pretty happy to get coffee too. Some of the students were amazed at how the mountains seemed to miraculously appear as the smog/fog burned off during the morning.

During a game of hacky sack, Mr Kirk managed to somehow lose the ball when he kicked it behind him during a game with the kids and it promptly disappeared on to the top of the shop nearby! Miss Johns taught a number of students an amazing card game that tests their maths skills and reflexes!

We had our first brave student use the squat toilets at the airport and everyone was very proud of her! I think perhaps this group will be known as the supportive team group from what we have seen so far. They are wonderful.

I will write again tomorrow night with an update of our day visiting the Terracotta Warriors.

Mrs Lisa Curtis
China Connections Trip Coordinator