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China Trip Preparation Classes
Need to learn how to say: "Please, no chicken feet for me!"
"That's too expensive, how about a little cheaper?"
"Yes, I think Jackie Chan is handsome, too!"
All are welcome to come along for some extra lunchtime classes beginning at 1:30 in room 214 on the following dates:
Wednesday, August 25th
Wednesday, September 1st
Monday, September 6th
For these fun filled lessons, you will receive your diary packed with lots of useful information, interesting phrases, activities and reflection spaces!
27 August 2010
Thank you all for coming to the Information Evening on Wednesday 25th August. All the documents we distributed to you will be available online from 30th August. We will keep the passports and airline tickets for all students. The passport pages will be returned to students at the next China Trip Preparation Class on Wednesday 1st September.
On Friday 6th August, 8 teachers and 16 students from Wuxi Foreign Language School visited Melboure Girls' College. They had a school tour, observed a range of classes and were warmly welcomed by all students studying Chinese at an assembly. The students from Wuxi Foreign Language School also enjoyed two nights' home stay with families of Melbourne Girls' College students. Our Chinese friends were overwhelmed by the warm reception and left with a fond memory of our girls and their families.
As a reciprocal arrangement, our China Study Tour in September 2010 will also invovle two nights' home stay with families of Wuxi Foreign Language School students.
Visit from Wuxi Foreign Language School
Our Travel Diary
Day 1: On the Road
Today we began our journey to the Far East! The convoy of 30 students along with teachers and some partners have arrived safely at the first stop: Beijing. The 3 flights were relatively smooth and we were all impressed with the manner in which the girls handled themselves and helped each other out. Well done! Although exhausted from travelling, we are settling in for a good night's sleep and are excited about the adventures that await us tomorrow - visiting the Forbidden City. Over and out!
Day 2: Beijing
What a great day we had today! While exploring the 500 years of history the palaces at the Forbidden City offer, the girls learned about the decadence that the emperors of the Ming and Qing dynasties enjoyed as well as some of the scandals which went on behind closed doors. Lunch was served Chinese style - groups of people sharing a variety of healthy dishes. Shopping in the afternoon was followed by a spectacular kung fu show in which different types of kung fu were showcased as the basis of a narrative surrounding the life of a Buddhist monk. A Chinese style dinner was served in which myself and colleagues joined the girls in some stimulating conversation and daring food choices inclucing ear mushroom and lotus flower. Again, the girls were a pleasure to spend time with today and seem to be getting the travel bug!
Day 3: Beijing
Up early today for a tour of the Temple of Heaven! The girls had a chance to participate in some traditional Chinese leisure activities in the park including ballroom dancing and hackey sack. They also met some important officals...
A quick visit to the Bird's Nest - site of the 2008 Olympic Games - was followed by lunch near the Great Wall. It seems that Melbourne's weather has followed us to China because rain accompanied us on the Long March along the Great Wall! A dinner of Peking Duck was a fitting end to our time in Beijing! Stay tuned for another tale of our exciting adventures tomorrow!
Days 4, 5 and 6: Xian to Jinghong
Wow, the past couple of days have been busy ones! The group was up early on Friday to catch a flight to Xian - the home of the famous Terracotta Warriors. Beijing traffic was so crazy that we had to run Amazing Race style to the gate where the plane was waiting for us to take off. We arrived in Xian with some bumps along the way, but the majestic warriors that were created to guard the Emperor Qin Shi Huang in the afterlife brought a sense of wonder to the group. Before dinner, we had a visit to the famous city wall in the centre of the city which was decorated with beautiful lanterns accenting the traditional Chinese architecture.
Saturday brought a change of pace for the group when we took 2 flights to get to Jing Hong a small city near the border of China with Myanmar and Laos! What a change of scenery - the hustle and buste of the city was replaced with vast fields of fruit and rice crops and a more relaxed atmosphere. The girls enjoyed swimming in the pool - Is this a study trip or a holiday? - followed by dinner in which the food of this region was contrasted with what they enjoyed in the north. The evening ended with shopping for traditional handy crafts at a night market!
Today we had a relaxing day while exploring the local Dai culture - the Dai are one of China's 56 minority groups. In the morning, the girls investigated a local Dai market in which they could try some of the local fruits, pomelo was a favorite! Then off to Menglun Botanical Gardens with a stunning variety of rainforest plants.
In the afternoon, the girls participated in a traditional Dai water festival. According to tradition, the more water splashed on a person, the luckier s/he will be! It seems that some of the girls, and a few teachers, will have a future filled with luck!
Day 7: Jing Hong
Today the group was up early for a tour of the traditional produce market in Meng Hai - a small town outside of Jing Hong. While exploring the wares of the market, the girls came into contact with some of the members of the hill tribes such as the Bulang, Dai and Youle people highlighting that China is made up of many diverse communities. After the market, we went to the Octagonal Pavilion, a Buddhist temple which was severely damaged during the Cultural Revolution. A Chinese style lunch was followed by a wander in a tea plantation and asting the locally produced Pu'er tea. The girls enjoyed swimming in the pool and relaxing for the rest of the evening.
Days 8-9: Jing Hong to Shang Hai
Tuesday was a day of travel for the girls! After a relaxing morning, we flew to Shang Hai via Kung Ming. The flight in Kung Ming was delayed, but the girls had no trouble amusing themselves while we waited - some were desperately missing Western food and fled to the KFC... A long day of travel meant a peaceful nights' sleep!
Today, we spent the day seeing some of the famous sights in Shang Hai. In the morning the girls visited the Yu Gardens - a typical Ming style Chinese garden - and took pleanty of beautiful pictures.
In the afternoon, the girls were able to contrast the architecture of the city while enjoying a boat cruise along the Huang Pu River. A visit to the third tallest building in the world, the Shang Hai Financial Centre, provided an arial view of the city. A delicious Chinese style dinner was followed by an acrobatics show that left some of us on the edge of our seats!
What a busy day we have had and on top of this it is a special day for the Chinese, it is Mid-Autumn Festival! This is a time for celebrating with family members, so we would like to give our thanks for our local and national guides for giving up their time to take care of us - Thank you Jamie and Maggie!
Days 10-11: Shang Hai to Wu Xi
Thursday was a busy day in Shang Hai! The group visited the bund quickly before heading to the World Expo! First stop: the Australian Pavilion - where the girls watched an interesting video highlighting Australian stories and values!
After 10 days of touring and eating Chinese food, the meat pies were a welcome snack! After, the girls were free to visit other pavilions such as Indonesia, the Netherlands, Bolivia, Thailand, Germany, etc.. Some of the girls received the VIP treatment at the Canadian Pavilion - provided their accents didn't give them away!
The teachers were on their last legs by the end of the World Expo, but the evening, the girls still hadn't had enough shopping... So off we went for an interesting shopping experience in some of the more traditional laneways of Shang Hai!
On Friday, we went to the French Concession in Shang Hai then off to Wu Xi to meet our friends at Wu Xi Foreign Language School!
What a wonderful Welcome Ceremony our friends put on for us! The girls watched singing and dancing, speeches and even a saxophone performance. In the morning, the girls were a little nervous about the homestay, but by the end of the day when it was time to go, they knew they were in good hands! This will be an amazing experience for the girls as they are fully immersed in Chinese culture!
Days 12-13: Wu Xi to Melbourne
The girls spent 2 nights at their homestay in Wu Xi. When we met them at the Wu Xi Foreign Language School on Sunday they were in good spirits and eager to share their experiences with their friends. Some had visited gardens, made dumplings, gone shopping and experienced Chinese culture first hand - what an amazing experience. When the time came for us to go, for some it was a tearful parting, we were sent off with such love that we know the relationship with the sister school will continue to blossem in the future.
A few days after our return to Melbourne and getting back into the swing of things again have, I think, allowed us all to reflect on the trip. We have covered a huge expanse of land and have experienced things that many people take a lifetime to discover. The girls conducted themselves in a way that reflected the values of the school and I think that I can speak for the team of teachers who accompanied them in that we are all very proud of the girls and that we couldn't have asked for a better group to go with. Furthermore, the China Trip Team that made it possible for this trip to happen, specifically Lucy Chen and Linda Brown, couldn't have been composed of more down-to-earth, compassionate and hard-working people. On behalf of the students and the rest of the team - Thank You!