The Year 9 expedition went, as usual, to Sapa. We have been very lucky with the weather over the last two years but sadly our luck ran out this year. However, the rain and mist didn’t stop us enjoying our visit to this beautiful corner of Vietnam and only stopped us doing one activity.
After collecting students from the Opera House and BIS we settling into our train cabins for the journey North. With the new road to Sapa it will be interesting to see how the train line survives but it definitely adds to the adventure of the travel to arrive in Lao Cau after a (reasonable) night’s sleep.
The rain stopped our wholesale exploration of the town but we did get a chance to see the church and the market before heading out to Ban Ho, our home for the next two days.
The highlight of the trip was the Amazing Race. House teams used clues to navigate themselves along the valley and up the side of a steep mountain to a small village school. Here we helped serve the children their lunch, played games and even mixed concrete and repaired their playground. All through the event each house team wrote a journal and these were added to the points earned by the team; congratulations to Dalat for their win. Individual students were nominated by each House staff member for their contribution on this challenging day.
These students were:
- Hanoi: BUI Huy Quynh Anh (Kelly)
- Hue: PHAM Huong Nhi
- Dalat: DANG, Dinh Trung
- Saigon: VU Bao Trang
The only casualty of the weather was the farming on the last day. After we found out the villagers weren’t going in the field that day as it was too wet we decided to do another activity. Each house group wrote and performed a play about their time in Sapa. Through several uncanny impersonations of Mr Short we discovered that the students had really enjoyed their week and learnt a great deal.
We had another brief visit to Sapa Town on the way back to the station although the rain forced most staff and students into the cosy coffee shops of Sapa with roaring fires and hot chocolate.
Thirty eight happy, tired and to a certain extent dirty students and 6 staff arrived back in Hanoi in the early hours of Friday morning with an increased appreciation of another part of Vietnam, rural life, the ethnic groups of the country and en-suite bathrooms.