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CAS Trip Newsletter

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CAS Trip Newsletter

From September 8th to 11th the Grade 11 went on an extraordinary trip to the breath-taking vistas of Kangding and Tagong. This trip included all aspects of CAS; Creativity, Action and Service. The Grade 11 students worked for over a month to prepare for this trip, including both the bake sales, and advertising and collecting donations etc. We would like to thank everyone, both on our behalf and on the behalf of the children of Balong Nursery School the donations were for. We could never have expected just how much was going to be brought in. Seeing the children receive the donations was certainly a rewarding experience, one that highlights just how meaningful projects of this nature are.  Your contributions and the hard work by the grade 11 CAS students were well worth it. We would also like to thank the leman Community for supporting this project, with a special thank-you to Ms. Cindy Gonzalez and the LFA as well as to Ms. Maude Wilkinson and the Early Years department, who provided help with donation collecting and offered guidance with the creation of activities for the children.

On the first day of the trip we took a 5-hour bus trip from Chengdu to Kangding. The spectacular views from the bus and the first hotel made up for the length of the ride. When we got to Kangding we walked from the hotel to the monastery in town and learnt about its rich culture and history. Dinner was followed by some skilled dancing in the square.  

The second day we went for an arduous hike up the mountain behind our hotel. It took us 3 hours to walk up and 2 hours to walk down. This activity made us work together, stay on track, and to commit to the hike and challenge our physical abilities. We had a picnic lunch on the grassland at the top of the mountain and played some very fun group games courtesy of our guide Tashi from Extravagant Yak. After the hike, we had a small rest and then learnt the art of stone carving. The carver that taught us the basics was the person who carved all the Buddhist scriptures for the monasteries, he has been doing this for over 20 years. This was very challenging but we all persevered until we could all carve something basic. This also made us grow into more creative people and work together to ask questions and help each other. The evening was spent sampling some wonderful Tibetan food.

On the third day we got back on the bus and took a 2-hour bus ride up to the Nursery School, past Tagong, in Balong Village. We all planned activities for the children in the nursery to teach them and entertain them for over 4 hours. Video is linked here.This was such a rewarding experience for the class and one we will never forget. It improved our perception on the ethics of teaching and looking after children as well as allowing us to engage and help in issues of global significance. Afterwards every person in the class gave the children stuffed animals from the donations for them to take home. We are so glad that we could go, help and be with those children. It meant the world to us to see them smile and laugh and have fun. We would like to thank everyone that made this trip possible particularly our guides Tashi and Michael who as always were professional, informative and caring.  Thanks also to Mrs. Crigger, Mrs. Huskisson and Mrs. Penstone-Miller. The importance of this opportunity and the reflections we will now complete for our CAS portfolio are essential for our growth as IBDP students.

Jasmine Penstone-Miller, Eileen Zeng and Klara Musilova