Grade 8 Exploring Northern Yunnan

Day 5- Taking the mountain

Today the main mission is to hike up a mountain. The students had tremendous fun hiking. They were able to enjoy each other's company, put in a bit of excercise and also take in the beautiful surroundings. For some this was quite memorable as it was their first time hiking up a mountain. At lunch, the students received a much needed break. They ate cross bride noodles which was?tasty and heartfelt as it was local dish. Their highlight was summiting the mountain. The sight was amazing the feeling the same. For many it was worth the climb inspite of the rigor and cold.?

Day 4- Hiking and more hiking

In the morning, the group hiked up the mountain to visit Sha Xi village. The original plan was to go to Tiger Leaping Gorge but due to the flooded river, alternatives plans were made. Our students visited a Buddhist?temple and received an informative history lesson. They learned even more detailed history like why some chose to become Pusa. During the hike, chaperones and students played games to engage the students in a more light-hearted activity as they took on the challenge of hiking for several hours.?By the time the students reached the top, despite the long hike, the view was spectacular and it was an experience that many of them don't?get to have back in Shenzhen.?

It was also great to be outside in nature and experience something different!

ISNS student

In addition to the hike, today was a unique experience as students were given the opportunity to cook their own food. Students tested, tried and tried again as they endured through many culinary mistakes. For many of our students, this was their first time cooking so the novelty of the experience was quite memorable. In spite of some failed attempts, the students continued on and ate what they could from their cooking. Many reflected?on their mistakes and what improvements they could make the next time. For most, it was as an experience that will stay with them.

Day 3- Fun and meaningful activities

From my perspective, it was a very meaningful experience for us to have.

ISNS student

Here are reflections from our students about their experience from the day.

This morning we went to a school exchange in the local village. We split into groups and organized different activities such as musical chairs, capture the flag, and Pictionary. In addition, we had a group paint a mural, and another conduct an interview with the school’s headmaster. I was a part of the capture the flag group. My favorite part was entertaining and playing with the kids. From this experience, I improved my communication and collaboration skills, especially with those younger than me. - Chiin?

This afternoon, we did 3 activities: Basket weaving, cooking potato pancakes, and pepper picking. For basket making, we met two of the older ladies from the local village who are experts on making baskets. The baskets are made of bamboo and are all handmade. These baskets are a useful tool for harvesting. However, we found folding the bamboo to be quite challenging. While making the baskets, we took shifts and made potato pancakes. The potato we used was locally sourced and quite rare as many of us had not seen it before. The potatoes were cut into slices then placed into a pan. The most challenging aspect was trying to flip the sides of the pie. The final activity we did was chili pepper picking. It is really exciting because we used the baskets we made ourselves. Overall, we all found the three activities fun and memorable.?- Lisa

This afternoon we went on a biking trail with Mr. Wu. It was a really fun trip and we saw many things such as mountains and rivers. My favorite part was when we saw the mountains and the people farming. We also went to the house of a friend of Mr. Wu’s and met with the other group who went to make baskets and pick peppers. The ride was also really bumpy but it was also really fun.?- Gary

Day 2- Yunnan Cuisine and scavenger hunt

Reflections from our Grade 8 students on their experience.

Today we woke up at 7:20 AM, it wasn’t early compared to the first day. The breakfast was so awesome! Noodles were the best! After breakfast, the bus ride was two and a half hours. Those who didn’t have enough time to sleep all night fell asleep almost immediately. Upon arrival, we have another great meal in Shaxi old town.?-Karsten

So after lunch, we discussed?the activities we were going to do. We first talked about our plans for tomorrow with the school exchange and then we had a group split to find out who wanted to go biking or learn cooking. After this, we talked about the scavenger hunt, which was the main attraction this afternoon. We were split into 5 different groups. Each group started in different stations but had to complete the same tasks. The most challenging part was hiking from one village to the other. However, we persevered to the end and completed the scavenger hunt. The Fantastic 8 (my group) won in the end and the prize was ceramic sculptures.?-Zihan

After we got back from the afternoon activity, we had dinner. The students split into 2 groups for dinner, some sat in the courtyard and the other inside the inn. The food was very tasty and we all ate a lot. ?The beef was one of our group’s favorite dish. After dinner, we watched some amazing performances. One was a group of traditional music players who played classical pieces for us. We all enjoyed the music because it represented the Bai culture. After some local ladies were performing a traditional dance and we had the chance to dance with them and learned their dance moves.?-Victor

Day 1- Landing and digging right into the culture

Today it was the first day of the field trip. The day started at 4:30 AM. We landed safely in Lijiang at 10:40 AM, and after we landed went to BaiSha Old Town. The trip leaders are extremely nice and friendly! Soon after we got to our accommodation, we got into warm clothes and started our first activity. It was really awesome.?

We learned about the culture of Yunnan. Rock, our local leader did an introduction about the culture of Yunnan. We learned about the local rituals and culture including the Dongba (the characters that are still used til now; they’re images that symbolize a word), specifically about two characters. with a simple illustration. After we did an activity that was similar to a scavenger hunt and it allowed us to explore more of the culture. We had to go around the town with our teams and complete experiences.?

After that activity, we had some leisure time and we took the opportunity to look around at some local shops. We got to see lots of local accessories, snacks and saw how the locals live. Once our time was up we went had dinner, which was delicious. It was a combination of hot pot and BBQ. After a very filling dinner, we called it a night went to our dorms because it was so cold outside. At the end of the day, we are reflecting on how a community’s culture could affect ones’ personal culture and background.

- Reflections from Jade and Nadia