Day 1 (4 December 2018):
Today we launched the Year 8 Dalat Trip 2018 with 75 of our wonderful Year 8 students. Our day started bright and early at 6am where we met at BVIS and travelled to Tan Son Nhat airport. We quickly checked in and boarded our flight. 35 minutes later we arrived in beautiful sunny Dalat. The scenery was absolutely wonderful with sunny blue skies and beautiful green hills. We were far from the skyscrapers and pollution of Ho Chi Minh City!
Once we arrived in Dalat we met our leaders Asia Motion and travelled to Bidoup National Park. We then had a lovely lunch full of tasty Vietnamese food and walked up to our bungalows where we would spend the night.
Later in the afternoon we took part in some exciting activities. During the first activity we learnt how to tie 3 different types of knot, how to build a shelter and how to put up a tent. The second activity taught us how to purify water so it is clean. The final activity was the most challenging where we learnt the skills to build a fire in groups with our teachers.
Our day ended with a meal together and then a fantastic evening watching a traditional Gong Performance. We even got to take part in the dances!
Day 2 (5 December 2018):
After a hearty breakfast, Group 1 set off for an action packed day of outdoor activities. First up was canyoning, with the kids having to abseil down a waterfall followed by a thrilling zip line ride from the top of an even higher waterfall into the river below. It was both challenging and exhilarating and all students enjoyed it immensely.
After a well earned picnic lunch we took to the forest for the high ropes course where the students took a leap of faith, climbing and gliding through the tree tops.
We all arrived back at Bidoup exhausted but invigorated ready for a delicious dinner and Quiz night.
Here's what Group 2 did today as told by Miss Hardiman:
After some tasty breakfast we got ready for today's activities. Our first activity was held at the visitor centre of Biodup National park. First we learnt about the tradition instruments of the local tribes and when they were used. Then (the best bit) we got to make some! Everyone made a Bamboo Flute and then learnt how to play some tunes on it. We worked out the different pitches and then Miss Hardiman taught us Jingle Bells!
Secondly we spent time in the museum, learning about the wildlife, nature and local people. It was really interesting to see the way they once lived.
After lunch it was time for our hike! We got prepared and then began our adventure through the national park. Along the way we saw beautiful scenery, wild flowers and some water buffalo. After our hike we got to the campsite and then set up our tents. We then enjoyed the warm campfire and had a lovely BBQ for dinner! Our day ended with marshmallow toasting, singing and stories by the campfire!
A brilliant time had by all!
Day 3 (6 December 2018):
Day 3 was another activity packed day. We started with a guided tour of the local museum which gave us a real insight into the Bidoup National Park and both the animals and people who live in the area. We were then shown how the local ethnic minority group make their tools, clothes and musical instruments. After handmaking our own traditional flutes, the students then prepared a variety of xmas tunes which they then performed in front of the group. It was a fascinating morning and a real cultural treat.
After lunch we set off on a trek through the forest to the campsite. This was a rare opportunity for many of our students to spend some real time in natural surroundings and they thouroughly enjoyed themselves.
After settling in to camp, we sat around the camp fire, ate a delicious bbq, toasted marshmallows, sang songs and told ghost stories. Before going to bed, we all stared up at the beautiful night sky admiring the vast array of stars. A perfect end to a cracking day!!!
Here's what Group 2 did today as told by Miss Nessa:
Day Three of our Dalat trip started very early for Group 2. After a night of camping, we arose out of our tents in time to see a beautiful sunrise and to take in the crisp, morning fresh air. Not for long though! We had to quickly pack away our sleeping bags and our equipment as we had another full day of activities ahead and we needed to get breakfast and a shower before they started!
After a healthy breakfast of eggs and pho, Group 2 headed to Datanla to take part in canyoning, where we learnt to abseil down the side of a waterfall, and a highropes course, where we climbed up trees and ziplined down them! Both activities were very challenging, some of us had never tried anything like this before but we learned to persevere through our fear and everyone of us made it down to the bottom of the waterfall and to the tops of the Dalat trees (even the teachers!) We were thrilled to have been given the chance to try something so different and to experience things we would not have been able to in Ho Chi Minh City. It was exhilarating, it was challenging but most of all it was unbelievably fun!
We've had such a great time but even so, one thing was on our minds throughout the day...COME ON VIETNAM!! We sat eagerly through dinner, which was a wonderful assortment of beef, fish and tofu, waiting to find out if our teachers would allow us to watch the big game. Some of us might have even begged a little! As a reward, we were allowed to support Vietnam against the Philippines. If only the wifi was a little bit better in the trees!
Day 4 (7 December 2018):
Wow, what a fantastic 4 days we've had! From hiking to canyoning, to camping and high ropes, it really has been a non-stop adventure.
Today both groups met in the main hall for another tasty breakfast. We then divided into tutor groups to begin our last activity - Skills Challenge!
We were given a map and had 3 tasks to complete in our tutor group teams. They were fire making, water purification and shelter building. Quickly each team followed the map trying to discover where each challenge was based. Then one by one we completed the fire making -building a fire that would burn the string, shelter building - building a stable shelter with appropriate knots and water purification - to get the cleanest water.
We were under the clock so had to work fast but we all successfull completed the challenges! We then had lunch and had a closing ceremonies. Many awards were given out during this time to students who had really excelled and been so helpful during our trip. Then it was time to pack our bags and go to the airport back to Saigon.
We would like to thank Asia Motions who have provided excellent service throughout this trip. Also a big thanks goes to all the BVIS teachers on the trip - Mr O'Nions, Ms Griffith, Ms Nessa, Ms Akther, Ms Thuy Tran and Mr Routledge.
Year 8 students have shown determination, confidence, creativity and wonderful friendship throughout this experience. We are very proud of all of them!
I hope you have enjoyed reading this blog. Have a wonderful Christmas holiday and best wishes for the New Year ahead.