Each year we welcome over 2,500 students and staff from schools worldwide.
Grades 6-8 (22 - 26 April 2013)
So April has come and gone and what better way to round the month than with a week cruising on the barge with Harbour International School, Hong Kong.
The group was small - only seven students and three teachers - but what fun we had.
For some of the students it was the first time that they had been away from home so you can imagine how scary it seemed at first. However they were great and really immersed themselves into the program.
We carried out water testing, looking at dissolved oxygen, nitrate levels, pH, turbidity and temperature. The students were fully engaged and were egger to find out the results. They carried out the tests with great accuracy and were pleased with the results they got. We also did a macro-invertebrate study on some the water hyacinth and the students were astonished that there could be so many things living on just one plant - and the fact that they could get their hands dirty was an added bonus.
It was not all science and lab work. We got off of the barge at various points too, so the students could stretch their legs and have even more adventures. We visited a fighting fish museum where the students learnt about the history, life cycle and the role fighting fish have played in Thai society.
The students also visited a local OTOP business at Wat Krachao that made hand-made and environmentally friendly joss sticks and local Thai snacks. As with all barge trips we couldn’t help but get stuck in and in no time all the students were up to their arms in green joss stick goo making their very own joss sticks. They loved this and we had to prise them away.
It was not all sunshine and smiles, as one day we had a terrible storm right in the middle of dinner. The rain was coming from all directions. Yet again the students were amazing and didn’t complain, carried on with dinner even when we forced them to go below deck. The storm passed and we got on with our adventures. This time we stopped of in Ko Kret for some cycling. It was a great opportunity for them to experience riding out in the countryside, something several students had never done before.
The students also visited a local school and were introduced to and had a go at some native Thai dancing and made paper lanterns. This was a great opportunity for two groups of students from different parts of Asia to learn and exchange ideas.
We stopped of at the shopping mecca Asiatique. This was a great experience for the students to see all the different shops, stores and boutiques that it had to offer. It was also a great place to see the effects of urban regeneration and how a disused site can be regenerated into something useful.
So we have come to the end of an amazing week with the Harbour School. We ate, we drank, we cried and we had so much fun. Whether canoeing in a klong, eating in the rain, making cakes in the baking heat, looking at all the interesting things in the fresh market, or seeing a member of the barge staff dressed as a giant Asian Open Billed Stork, it was a great pleasure to have the Harbour School visit us and we hope to see them again next year, as they were great students, great teachers and a great time.