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Hong Kong

Ying Wa Girls School

Day 1: 28 Oct 2017

Some lessons learnt:
My impression of Hong Kong is that it is similar to Singapore as both have limited land space and are densely populated. 
  • HK is a beautiful country, as I saw many mountains during my bus ride to the hotel.
  • Never leave the hotel room without the keys! 
  • Include everyone in, socially & emotionally.
  • HK & S'pore are strong competitors.

Day 2: 29 Oct 2017

Itinerary: Kat Hing Wai Walled Village → Lau Fau Shan → Hong Kong City Tour (Victoria Harbour, Victoria Peak, Aberdeen Fishing Village, Stanley Market)
  • I think today’s itinerary was interesting as it had various destinations and that was very educational for me. For example, when we visited the Kat Hing Wai walled village, I learnt more about the lifestyle and living conditions of the people staying there. I also enjoyed the Hong Kong city tour where we got to shop for items that we like.
  • The most memorable place in today’s itinerary is the Victoria Peak because I could have a bird’s eye view of Hong Kong’s scenery from just one place.
  • Stanley Market was the most memorable place as I giggled a lot with my friends and had heaps of fun. I also found out that our teacher likes paintings and loves taking pictures.
  • We managed to bond and come closer as a group today, which was most evident during our dinner at the restaurant. Initially, there was awkwardness as we are from different classes.

Day 3: 30 Oct 2017

First day at Ying Wa Girls’ School. Visit at Jockey Club Climate Change Museum, followed by Ladies’ Market.

Seraphine: Today I met many of the Ying Wa students in school. Most of them were pretty friendly to us and tried to make us feel comfortable in the new environment though they could be really noisy and loud during break times. All of them were really curious about us and our lives in Singapore and tried to ask as many questions as possible within a short period of time. One thing I could relate the most is the bonding of their class. Though they are very loud at times, they manage to include everyone and talk to everyone in their class. This is similar to ours in CHIJ, though ours is not as bonded as theirs.

Esther: The buddies in Ying Wa are very friendly and considerate. For example, one buddy would start conversations to make the atmosphere less awkward. Another buddy sitting beside me made me feel very welcomed and comfortable in class and around the school. She asked me for what I wanted to eat for lunch and didn’t mind walking a bit further just to let me eat the food I chose. When I didn’t understand what the teacher was teaching, she would not hesitate to explain it in a way that’s clearer for me to understand. In between breaks, she brought me down to get some food and she even gave me a file with a timetable inside to give me a clearer understanding of their school schedule. During PE lesson when we had to group ourselves, for a moment I felt scared as everyone was already in their respective groups. Fortunately, my buddy pulled me over and introduced me to her group. What made me feel touched was when she told to eat less in the morning as she would bring me egg tarts for breakfast. She later explained that she wanted me to experience Hong Kong food as much as I can. These small actions made me feel very comfortable and welcomed in in Ying Wa School.

Zhi Er: Ying Wa girls are friendly. Hong Kongers lead a very busy lifestyle. There are many counterfeit products sold at the Ladies’ Market. We must do something to save the earth from climate change as many animals are dying because of it. I learnt that we need to be patient to get to know more about our buddies. School life in Hong Kong is hard; we have yet to learn the subjects they were learning 

Day 4: 31 Oct 2017

Second day at Ying Wa. Visited Tai O Police station and Tai O fishing village, where we observed traditional houses on stilts and had a ‘how to make salted egg yolk’ lesson conducted by a resident.

Chloe: Today was the second day and I felt more comfortable around my buddy as I know her better. The salted egg class at Tai O was fun as it allowed us to fool around with our friends. I also learnt about the life of people in the fishing village and how their houses were built.

Crystal: I learnt to be more open. It wasn’t as awkward as before. After answering all the questions the buddies posed, things got less awkward. I have become more open and learn not to avoid their questions. The best part of Tai O Village was the salted egg yolk class. It was interesting and educational.

Cecilia: Today, I got closer to my buddy and my friend. I have learnt to treasure what I have, especially after observing the simple huts found in Tai-O...I really enjoyed the gigantic donut balls sold there.

Day 5: 01 Nov 2017

Cultural exchange/sharing in the respective classes at Ying Wa. Places visited: Wetland Park, Heritage 1881.

Katlyn: Today, we had presentations of the two schools. I realise that we need to prepare earlier if we want a better presentation. As we didn't have much time to prepare our respective scripts, we ended up reading off the slides, and that can’t be good. Still, I feel that it was quite good on the whole. Our buddies’ presentation was somewhat like ours and their powerpoint slides were also well done. I like that they involved Seraphine and I. For example, they gave us good Hong Kong food to taste. Ms Yap (form teacher) told me that the class was really happy on learning that we could eat in class for this day, because they were never allowed to do so. I find this special arrangement a very thoughtful gesture. Going out to lunch with my buddies was the memorable event of the day for me. Even though they brought food from home, they showed sincerity when they brought us out for lunch. They also translated everything for us and helped us order because we didn't know any Cantonese. I find my buddies very thoughtful people who put others before themselves.

Crystal: My presentation should be delivered at a better pace. They may not have understood what I have presented as I was talking too quickly. The most memorable moment with my buddy/buddies happened during the games held after the presentation. I enjoyed the greater bonding and camaraderie, especially during the times when I had to collect things from some of them or interact with them.

Chloe: The most memorable moment today took place during the Math class, when the teacher started rapping about quadrilaterals. The whole class had a good laugh and we all opened up after this, talking about what we found in toilet bowls: from noodles to lemon slices. We could all agree on the conditions of the toilets and I really felt the class had fun.

Danita: Today, Esther felt okay in the morning and wanted to participate in all the activities planned for us. However, for her own safety, the teachers did not allow her to go without her parent’s consent. Unfortunately, her parents weren’t awake in the morning so she had to stay in the hotel for the time being. I ended up going to Ying Wa by myself to give a presentation about our country and school. The preparation for it was quite a last-minute thing, so I was nervous as I had never been so unprepared for a public speech. The Ying Wa girls went up first and gave a presentation about the many festivals celebrated in Hong Kong, and the different ways they are celebrated. It was very entertaining as not only did they provide the interesting aspects, they also held a quiz for us. My presentation, on the other hand, was not that entertaining and I thought I was stuttering a lot, but according to Ms Teo, I was fine, so...HAHA. After school, I learnt that Esther’s parent had allowed her to participate in the activities so she followed us to Wetland Park where we saw many animals and plants. On the whole, I really enjoyed myself today and am looking forward to the subsequent days. One thing I’d be sad about is that this trip would be over in 4-5 days.

Day 6: 02 Nov 2017

Going to school at Ying Wa followed by Lantau Island tour by cable car and Ngong Ping 360.

Katlyn: During lunch, my buddy recommended places serving very good food that is within my budget. The art class was very fun and I managed to complete the mini project they were doing. We had to make christmas cards using photoshop. I was struggling at first, but with the help of my buddy, I managed to finish the whole thing within minutes. My thoughtful buddy even emailed me the card so that I could print it once I’m back in Singapore.

Hannah: My buddies helped me order my food as the seller didn't speak English. After buying our food, we ate it in class. During the time, they talked to me and asked me questions. I felt more comfortable with them as they were beginning to treat me as one of their friends . The other girls in the class were also beginning to chat with me. I really appreciate the small things they do for me, such as sharing their notes or advising me on what I need to do :)

Seraphine: Today, my buddy sat next to me for the first time. Normally, I would feel awkward around people I don’t really know, but I didn’t feel that around her. Though there remained a slight awkwardness between us, it was better than my first day there. She is really good at socializing with other people. She made me feel comfortable and laugh several times . I believe that we would be closer tomorrow, but alas, it’d be my last day in Ying Wa.

Alicia: During Math, we learned about formulas on mensuration. The teacher made a song about the formulas to help the students remember them. Everybody laughed as she sang, so I could feel both the liveliness of the class and the bond the students share. It was interesting to see them sing along. Teachers in our school would not usually use these techniques to teach students.