On Tuesday 13th October 49 very loud, enthusiastic and excitable Year 7 students took to the roads on route to Ba Vi (accompanied by 6 very nervous teachers!).
After a short journey to our destination we began our expedition with a trip to two local food production sites; the Honey Bee Farm and the Organic Vegetable Garden. Here students learnt lots about the production of the foods, and we given the chance to show their cookery skills whilst making spring rolls and vegetable soup.
Tuesday afternoon was spent at the wonderful Long Viet Homestay, an amazing area filled with ancient buildings, beautiful antiques and luscious grounds. The students got the chance to tour the site with the wonderful Exo Travel Guides and then had some time to explore for themselves. Some of them found the swimming pool, some the zip line and many the mini cyclo’s! After lots of cicruits of ‘Grand Theft Cyclo’ and an exciting game of ‘Dunk the Boys underwater’ the students were exhausted and ready for the Vietnamese Feast that was served to us that evening.
Day 2 was spent in Ba Vi National Park, beginning with a 10km trek through the jungle. The route was challenging for some, particulary the uphill bits, but the students stayed motivated and it was lovely to see them being so helpful and encouraging to one another. The afternoon was spent competing in team challenges, held in a remote setting in the National Park. The students laughter and shouts could be heard from miles around the park as they struggled to score goals with their ‘silly shoes’, dropped their diamonds during the mining challenge and fell into the shark infested swamp! The team challenges finished with a photo competition; which team could use their bodies to recreate their team name. Winners = Hanoi!
Thursday Morning in Ba Vi was spent at the Tea Plantation. Students were first taken to collect their own tea leaves from the vast expanse of trees in the plantation. Then they got to see the process of their own leaves being made into fresh green tea. The students were dumbfounded at the amount of hard work that went into making each cup of tea and vowed to appreciate every sip in future!
The afternoon was spent visiting the Traditional Clay House where students were invited to experience first hand, the life of an agricultural work in Vietnam. Students had the chance to; catch fish using woven baskets (Hyun Joon was the champion catcher!), plant fresh vegetables, learning how to water and care for them and finally to plant fresh rice - wadding through mud up to their knees! (and falling over for some of them!)
As it was our last evening, and a celebration for the birthday boy Sam, we spent Thursday participating in some traditional dancing and then being wowed by the talents of some of our students. Well done to those who got on stage and impressed us!
The evening ended with an amazing bonfire and some excellent tunes spun by resident DJ’s Nhu Y and Moc Nguyen!
Our final day in Ba Vi was spent exploring and drawing the beautiful surroundings at Duong Lam Ancient Village. This was followed by a final feast at one of the oldest houses in the village before a very tired group of students took to the coaches and headed back to Hanoi.
The students had a wonderful time in Ba Vi and I am proud to say were an absolute asset to the school. They threw themselves head first into the challenges they were given and participated in every activity with great interest and enthusiasm.
Thank you to all the staff at Exo Travel for making the trip so enjoyable and to the staff at BIS for their patience and good humour. The trip was a real success due to your efforts.
Ms Amy Wild, Head of year 7-8