Project Week, once again, was a massive success. It was my second time leading a trip to this wonderful part of Fujian province and I can honestly say that I thoroughly enjoyed it. The students were fantastic throughout and they truly displayed the kind, hard -working, risk taking and persevering attributes that we, here at NAIS know that they are capable of.
It was a very early start for everyone, with a 04.00am meet up at school. However, the students appeared very bright-eyed and excited for the trip. The flights were on time and by 10.30am we had arrived and met the Insight team in Xiamen. Three hours later after a long coach journey, we made it to Tulou where the students took part in various team building activities. The next day they had a tour of the town and were shown around the local tea-making community. Students even got the opportunity to sit down and sample the tea of the town with local families!
The next two days combined the service element with the high ropes and Via Ferrata. Both days developed different but equally important values. During the service, the students were extremely motivated and mature – getting knee deep in mud to plant the mangroves in order to protect the shore line against coastal erosion. During this part of the trip, student also helped to clear up the coastal area and did leaf painting, with help from the island’s local people. The students proved themselves to be extremely hard working and mature students in their application and dedication to service and helping other.
The high ropes and Via Ferrata (also known as the Iron Road) once again brought tears, fears and cheers! Students pushed themselves outside of their comfort zones and helped each other to complete the difficult, height-based physical activities. It was fantastic to see the attitudes and perseverance qualities of all the students as they collaborated well right to the finish. The high ropes and the leap of faith are no mean tasks and these students demonstrated resilience throughout.
The last day brought with it some more service, where the students planted trees in a nearby conservation area, in order to help protect the local landscape. Once again they shone as they got completely immersed in to the digging, planting and watering of these trees. Great team work! After this, we had one final coach journey to the airport where we all thanked the Insight staff for their excellent service and enthusiasm during the trip.
This Year’s trip to Xiamen proved once again to be a thoroughly enjoyable and worthwhile trip. I am proud to be the leader of this wonderful group of students and this trip has reminded me of why I am in this profession. The kind, generous and hardworking attitudes and characters of our students make them an absolute pleasure to work with. Now onward with the rest of the academic year!
Student Project Week Reflections
The best memory over project week was definitely the Via Ferrata. It was a jaw dropping view and I was just absolutely amazed by the view. Although at the beginning I was petrified as I am super scared of heights, I just got used to changing my harness so that I was secure on the ropes and iron road. It was extremely enjoyable and was definitely the highlight of my trip.
My biggest challenge was the leap of faith, like I said I am super scared of heights and I was up there for 10 mins practically screaming my head off! I was dying to get back down on the ground and I thought that the only way back down was by jumping so I reached my arms up and jumped and ended up catching the trapeze bar. I am now not afraid of heights and would love to try the leap of faith with a lot less crying and screaming!
During project week I learnt that I am capable of taking risks even though I was super scared. I also learnt that even though I don't particularly talk to some of the people in group 4 with me, I was able to work as a team and conquer all the activities that we faced with them. I know that I have made amazing friends! During project week I learnt that Xiamen is really good for tree planting. I remember on our tour we sat down in a little tea shop and tried all the tea, it was really delightful and all there was were laughs and jokes with Mr Northedge, Mattea (insight adventures instructor) and my friends.
My advice for the future Y8 who will go on a life changing adventure in Xiamen is to never give up as the majority of activities and challenges we face are in the air so all though you may be scared like I was, just keep on going because what you achieve at the end is one of the most wonderful feelings in the world! It gave me a huge self-esteem boost after the leap of faith and Via Ferrata as now I know I can do those two things again with full confidence and a huge smile on my face again!
My best memory from project week was definitely the mangrove planting because it was really nice to know you were helping out someone but also it was really fun because everyone kept falling in the mud. The biggest challenge I faced was at the start of one of the courses on the Via Ferrata there was a bit where you had to go down the rock and there was nothing to hold except the rock itself. I thought that I couldn't get passed it and wanted to go back up but I got passed it and it got a lot easier.
I learnt on project week about myself is that I'm a lot braver than I thought I was because I thought I was not going to be able to do the Via Ferrata because I would be too scared. I also learnt about the places we visited that there was a big variety of food.
I would advise the next year bunch of students to make sure you pack everything that was on the list and make sure u listen to the teachers and leaders because it will make it a lot easier.
My best memory was doing the Via Ferrata because I faced my fear of heights along the way while I was rock climbing. My biggest challenge was the Jacobs ladder because I had to work with others and it was quite hard because we had a certain amount of time to finish the Jacobs ladder. I overcame this by pushing my teammate to try his best and don't give up. I learned that I can achieve great heights if I try. Xiamen is a wonderful place and I really enjoyed it and I think the year 7s would too. The best part of the trip is the Via Ferrata.
My best memory is when I did the leap of faith because it was very challenging and exciting. I would like to have another attempt on trying to grab the pole because I failed on grabbing the pole.
My biggest challenge was the Jacobs Ladder because it was hard to keep standing since the ladder was always shaking which made it challenging to keep my balance. I overcame my fear by working with Aryan who supported me a lot.
The photo represents Challenging and Service because shoveling is hard but we did it to protect the land, which is service, destroyed by typhoon which was devastating.
I learnt that the houses had 4 floors and the children were on the 3rd floor and the grandparents were on the 4th so that they were not distracted from the noise the children made.
I would like say that Xiamen is a very fun place and to make sure you bring a pair of clothes which can get muddy.
In the picture we were cleaning up the beach after the typhoon that has hit. There were bottles, plastic, foam and lots of other things that got washed up on the mangrove island beach. I think that service is represented in this picture because they were cleaning up and picking up trash with bags filled up. And the background looks like there have been a disaster which there has been. Overall our whole year group collected over 50 kilos of trash and helped the environment.