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Trip Week Reminiscence

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Every year, a week is marked off the school calendar for the Trip Week. This is a time where our diverse, international community gets to meet with the local communities around Vietnam, and where the student body gets to connect with one another outside of the usual school environment. Our destinations include famous attractions – such as Ba Vi, Cat Ba, or Sapa – that embody Vietnam’s rich culture and natural beauty.  In the 3 to 4 days of Trip Week, students broadened their capabilities for leadership, attained a greater environmental understanding, formed new friendships, and became a part of the larger community by participating in activities designed for the location. As it happens only once at the beginning of the school year, Trip Week is an extremely valuable experience to prepare us for the arduous academic year to come.

As we arrive at our destinations, we may come across stiff beds, spiders and other crawly creatures, unfamiliar yet delicious food, air-conditioner-less homestays, cheesy jokes made by teachers, missing valuables, budding romance, horrendous stories, funky bathrooms, and other extremely sensational things. These were simply just some of the obstacles that are purposely implicated so that we, as students, get through them together. These aspects, in their own essence, make up the meaning of trip week. Obviously, on these trips, we each have our own responsibilities to create a give and take relationship with those around us. We also have the onus to represent our school well by behaving properly and helping the local community that our destinations allow us to reach.

Trip week will test, and perhaps break you to a certain degree, but it’s all about discovering the little things that you would usually miss in the midst of busy city life. It’s important to put our working personalities at rest so we can get in touch and reconnect with our raw selfs, perhaps changing one’s context and point of view.  Not only do we get to know ourselves and our friends better, but we also get to know our teachers better. There are very few formalities on the trip, allowing us to get to see them in their most human forms. The ambience of a crooked homestay changes when you are among your friends, connecting with people rather than with WiFi.

Trip week is never a bad experience; you just have to jump in with an open and adaptive mindset. A lesson I’ve learnt while on trip week is that nothing is ever certain; you just have to work with what you have. Help other people, for when you need it, they will help you – karma, in a sense. Look forward to a few days without luxury because when you get back, things you used to take for granted will now seem ten times better. All in all, it is an experience no one would want to miss.

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