Day 1 (17/10/2017):
- 14.00: Landed and about to meet PTV
- 17.00: Very successful first day. Students have been fantastic as always and it was a pleasure to hear our guide say that BIS Hanoi are his favourite school because the students and staff have a great energy. We are leaving on boats now to a campsite where phone reception is poor, so the next update will follow tomorrow morning. Fingers crossed for more dry weather!
Day 2 (18/10/2017)
- 08.00: After all the talk of our trip being affected by wet weather, it was a pleasure to wake up this morning to some patches of blue in the sky and Mr Scott even said he caught a glimpse of the sun! Long may it last. Yesterday involved a lot of travel but as soon as we disembarked the the buses from the airport it was straight into the activities with a combination of team building games and an exhilarating rollercoaster ride down to the bottom of Datanla waterfall. We then boarded boats for the journey to Nam Qua campsite which is our beautiful home for two nights with views out over Tuyet Lam lake and the lush surroundings of the Dalat hills draped in mist. It was a sensational view to wake up to this morning. Students exhibited exemplary behaviour and it was great to see them joining people from a Ko Ho local ethnic minority group as they danced and played music for us around the camp fire last night. Today we are off for a busy selection of activities and I will update you on those later.
-17.00: We’ve had a great morning and afternoon, with the various groups successfully managing a trek on Lang Biang mountain and a 25m abseil, whilst the other groups have been testing themselves on the high ropes at Golden Valley. It feels like we’ve already accomplished a huge amount today, but we still have the raft building challenge to come when we get back to the campsite. Students are tired but that’s testament to the effort that they’ve put in today. They will certainly sleep well this evening.
Day 3 (19/10/2017)
- 8.00: It’s a glorious morning here in Dalat with the sun peeking between the clouds as we head across Tuyet Lam lake for the last time. The boats are low in the water as both baggage and students say farewell to the campsite and head for a day of activities before we check into to Monet Garden Hotel this afternoon. The raft building challenge late yesterday afternoon was fantastic, with students using teamwork and ingenuity to build rafts, albeit with varying degrees of success. All teams completed the course, unlike last year when the lake was awash with the flotsam of fragmenting rafts, but it was with pride and a whoop of triumph that the staff vessel eased its way across the finish line in first place. The students were the real winners though as they developed their skills and friendships with smiles on their faces. We warmed our bodies up after the rafting with some great food and then the students enjoyed some well earned free time with marshmallows and games around the campfire. Lights went out at 10.30 and I couldn’t hear a whisper by the 10.40; evidence of the energy invested throughout the day by each and every student. We are looking forward to this morning’s activities and we will all be very grateful for a warm shower when we check into the hotel this afternoon.
-17.00: Day 3 was another wonderful day. Students switched activities so those that had not yet been abseiling had a chance to feel the adrenaline as they descended the cliff face on Lang Biang mountain whilst those who had not yet been on the high ropes activities had a chance to test their mental strength on activities such as the ‘leap of faith’. We then made our way to Monet Garden Hotel where students had a well earned hot shower before preparing for the evening’s activities. The evening entailed an excellent meal followed by the student talent show. The students again showed their willingness to get involved, with 13 acts including almost all students taking the stage before the staff judges eventually voted Dae Hong’s solo vocal performance as the winner.
So onto our final morning of activities before we head for the airport!
Day 4 (20/10/2017)
-8.00: It seems unbelievable that we are already on our way back to Dalat, but as the saying goes, ‘time flies when you’re having fun’. The final day started with a 6.30 breakfast before we checked out of the Monet Garden Hotel. It gave a great sense of pride that the BIS teachers to hear the hotel staff say that our students were the best behaved school group that have ever visited the hotel. It was not hard to believe, as the students were polite to hotel staff, respectfully quiet in the hotel’s public spaces and when lights went out, they were quickly fell asleep. This morning, out first stop was a scavenger hunt at Lam Dong museum, where students competed with each other to complete a quiz that involved finding information about specific exhibits in the museum as well as completing some traditional Vietnamese games. It was an opportunity for the students to be exposed to some Vietnamese culture and heritage whilst again working as effective teams. We then headed to Lam Dong school for the hearing impaired, where we were treated to some short dance performances that had been prepared especially for us. Our students then led the hearing impaired students in a various activities that we had prepared for them, before we gave the school some sports equipment and told them about the figure of almost 15,000,000VND that our students at BIS had raised for them to buy some much needed equipment for the school. That left a short time for a quick lunch before heading for the airport. Almost there!