Update from Mr. Hughes.
Thankfully the windy weather left in the night. We were all pleased to welcome back the blue sky and bright early morning sunshine. The children were up and ready for breakfast after the customary and now famous room inspection. Full marks yet again. After a substantial feeding there was no time to waste as the buses were already waiting to take the children off to the underground city in Xhangbi. Armed with a packed lunch, Year 4 set off to discover this hidden city a little over an hour away from Pingyao.
The time on the coach seemed to fly by. Some played cards while others made use of the quiet time to catch up on a little extra sleep. On arriving Xhangbi, the children visited a few more temples before they found the tunnel system. After a cautious descent down some stone stairs, the children found themselves in the dark. Thankfully all had come fully prepared with torches to help guide them through the underground maze. Excitement engulfed the kids as they twisted and turned in these hand made caves. The pathways were narrow and the ceiling was low, perfect for Years 4's, not so great for teachers, and a living nightmare for Mr Puttock Junior (who stands at 6'3). We all made it out and in one piece...
As we made our way away from the complex tunnel system, the children visited a number of other temples and discovered a few more famous Chinese gods. At about 12:30 it was time for lunch. The venue - an abandoned courtyard - is perfect for eating, even better for a much needed and well deserved run around. Lunches eaten, the children then played tag to burn off a bit of steam. Myself, Mrs Murdoch and Mr Puttock Jnr were clearly the targets !! Despite our best attempts to out run them "strength in numbers" prevailed. Water was needed !!!!
On our return to the hotel, the children had 20mins before the eagerly awaited "Pingyao's Got Talent". All week at every opportunity, the children had been squeezing in rehearsals and practice. The teachers had no idea what to expect... The crowd were hopeful...The suspense was building... It was incredible, every act performed brilliantly. We had singing, dancing, acting, comedy sketches and many more. The children absolutely loved it as some of the photos hopefully show. It always amazes me just how confident our children are and it was great to see so many children stand up and have fun with all of their friends. A healthy meal of Pizza and chips (with ketchup) followed.
The evening and our last night in Pingyao ended with a trip to a traditional Chinese opera house. The children watched a number of entertaining acts before retiring (very tired and with a hot chocolate) to their beds.
So here we are at the end of the week and what a week it has been! The children really have had an amazing experience, they have taken part in so many different activities, formed new friendships and taken another great step in becoming even more independent. It has been a pleasure to be part of this.
This adventure naturally would not have taken place without the commitment and dedication of the Year 4 team. All teachers and teaching assistants have gone above and beyond on this trip, ensuring your children have had the very best care and support 24 hours a day. A huge thank you to the Year 4 team.... Quite extraordinary !!!
We are all looking forward to seeing you tomorrow.
Mr Hughes and Year 4 signing off.... Pingyao 2015 - DONE !