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Diocesan Girls School

Day 1: 28 Oct 2017

After I was picked up by Kiwi and her family, we took a bus to a mall where I bumped into Magdalene. We decided to eat lunch together before going for a cable car ride to see the big Buddha statue. We waited almost an hour in the queue to buy tickets. During the journey in the cable car, I felt a little anxious; I am rather afraid of heights and was apprehensive that it would malfunction. I managed to keep my cool throughout the ride and in the process, learnt to get over my fears. I realised that I need to be brave when facing challenging situations. At about 4.30pm, we queued for the bus to head back to one of the MTR stations to retrieve my suitcase from a locker. We had to wait almost 1h 30mins to board the bus. This made me learn to be patient, so that I am less likely to fuss over small things that are beyond my control. After almost an hour’s bus ride, we retrieved my suitcase before taking the MTR to meet up with Kiwi’s extended family for a scrumptious dinner. As my buddy’s family members speak minimal English, communication has been an issue. Fortunately, Kiwi has been a helpful translator. So far, my host family has been welcoming and friendly, which has helped me to adapt to the new environment easily.

Day 2: 29 Oct 2017

Lessons learnt today: 
HK has a mountain named after the lion as it looks like a lion’s head when viewed from a certain angle.
While S’pore has ERP, HK has physical barriers where one has to pay tolls.
There are a lot of recycling bins around HK, which suggests that most Hong Kong people are eco-friendly. 
Although I’d rather not go on some kiddy rides, I learnt to just go along with my buddy . I learnt not to complain and the value of not allowing negativity to take a hold on me.  

Day 3: 30 Oct 2017

Stacey: I visited DGS and DBS. The class I was in was very much like my class back in IJ. The students were allowed out of school for their lunch break and their class had a very friendly vibe. The subjects that they were learning were most probably what we would be learning next year. Their Primary, Secondary and Junior College are housed within the same school campus.

Day 4: 31 Oct 2017

Magdalene: I went to the peak today after school. I took a bus then a ferry to cross the harbour. The view at the peak was really nice and it was very cold up there. As I was taking pictures for quite some time, my fingers got freezing cold. Next, we took the peak tram and the tram back to the MTR. The tram is so cute! It's small and is the slowest transportation in HK. When you board the tram, you enter from the back and exit at the front. At every stop, a bell will ring.

Belicia: ...we met up with my buddy’s aunt and she drove us to a place I’ve never been to: Stanley Village. While we were there, we went to Stanley Market and saw many adorable dogs in Halloween costumes. Then, we went to Shiki Etsu, a famous Japanese restaurant in HK. The dinner was really yummy. On the whole, I have been adapting well to the new environment and I wish to explore more of Hong Kong and not just sightsee.

Emma: Today's lessons were fairly engaging and rather similar to our lessons in SG. I found that the students at DGS take Liberal Studies, which is quite similar to the Human Geography lessons back home. Having taken quite a keen interest in it, I listened attentively, which was a surprise for me. After school, we decided to go to Wan Chai for some casual window shopping. I learnt the importance of self-discipline, and social and financial awareness. As part of the younger group of millenials, we need to start becoming socially-conscious, and be more responsible for both ourselves and those around us. We need to take into consideration the effects our words, thoughts and deeds would have on another individual. During our walk which lasted 3h, I convinced my buddy to try some vegan food at a diner there. This made me feel a sweet sense of self-accomplishment. Finally at about 6-7, we had dinner and left for the peak, where we spent 3h and visited Madame Tussauds Museum. I have been bonding better with the family and have learnt to open up around strangers - an opportunity I am increasingly grateful for. As I do not want to take their hospitality for granted, I keep reminding myself to thank them every so often, and help out as much as I can while remaining polite and understanding.

Day 5: 01 Nov 2017

Stacey: One interesting lesson I attended today was art. During art, they learnt how to do Chinese calligraphy. As this was new to me, I was really interested and keen to try writing the words. Although I don't speak Mandarin and couldn’t understand what I was writing, it was still fun writing the words and trying something new. A memorable moment I spent with my buddy was during her handball activity, when she offered to let me play and learn the sport. As I have never seen or heard of handball before, I didn’t feel confident and declined. In hindsight, I think that I should have given it a go. Nonetheless, it was fun watching them play and learning the game from a spectator’s angle.

Magdalene: I shared a memorable moment with my buddy during community service, when we tutored young kids who can't afford proper tuition. We tutored a small boy in primary 6. We taught him English and Mathematics for about 2.5 hours today. I found it very fun tutoring him because he was very cheerful and adorable. Although there were moments we got frustrated, as it was exasperating for us when he kept saying the wrong word over and over again despite our repeated correction. I guess at the end of the day, it was the thought that counts. I really enjoyed the community service as it not only helped others but I got to learn too! 

Emma: Today was fairly eventful and I managed to attend new lessons such as Music and I.T, which IJ does not offer to regular students. The music lessons reminded me of our times in the primary school, which brought back fond memories. They had to present a slideshow on a theme music and I think the group I could relate to was the one that chose 'The Phantom Of The Opera", which was and still is a classic…

Belicia: Today I attended RE lesson. I found it interesting as we learnt new values and watched a video about two twin-brothers forgiving each other. As for the memorable moment I shared with my buddy, it happened after school on Monday. We were bowling when, all of a sudden, a stranger approached and attempted to coach us. It got really awkward, so we tried making faces at the man to signal that we didn’t want him around us. We learnt that we have to protect and take care of each other...In the end, Kiwi’s parents chased that guy away.

Agatha: Today I learnt Chinese calligraphy too. I found it interesting in the beginning and thought that it wouldn’t be very hard. However, I realised that much control over the brush is needed to draw a proper stroke . There were moments I gave up trying to master the proper strokes, relying on what I am familiar with rather than focus on the proper way to hold the brush...

Day 6: 02 Nov 2017

Agatha: School today was much like the past few days. Today, I accompanied my buddy’s mom for grocery shopping while my buddy stayed home to study for a test tomorrow . I felt more comfortable with my buddy’s mom and learnt more about the family. We exchanged our experiences in each other’s country, which helped me have a better understanding of the differences between Hong Kong and Singapore. Unlike Singapore, Hong Kong is further from the equator, hence, the times of sunrise and sunset change like the seasons here.

Bel: I just had dinner at home. School was very interesting. I had liberal studies today and I found it very interesting as they learned about media credibility. They also had a science test today so I went to the library to edit the video for our presentation tomorrow. After school, Kiwi had math tuition as she has a common test tomorrow, so I stayed in school with Stacey, Emma, Maggie and Alyssa to complete editing the script and the video. At about 625pm, Kiwi came to pick me up from school and we went home early. This was the first time that I had a home-cooked meal and I really enjoyed it. We talked about how it’s like to study in Singapore and how our schedules are different. Through this meal, I got to know kiwi’s family better.

Magdalene: Today's highlight is the experiments we did during science. We wanted to test whether there is a difference in oxygen, carbon dioxide, temperature and water vapor in breathed air and unbreathed air. We found out that there is 16% of oxygen in breathed air and 21% of oxygen in unbreathed air. There is 4% of carbon dioxide in breathed air while there is 0.03% of carbon dioxide in unbreathed air. Water vapor is saturated in breathed air and is variable in unbreathed air. And the temperature of breathed air is about our body temperature while unbreathed air's temperature is about room temperature. Sometimes, I wasn’t sure if I was doing it right, as there were quite a lot of experiments to do. But I had fun doing the experiment with my buddy and her classmates as they are very kind and helped me along the way. I’ve learned more about chemistry in this lesson.

Stacey: ...during english literature, I found out that DGS does not have the same format of answering questions as we do. For example, they don't need to write up to 4 paragraphs per question. Instead, they have to answer in short sentences or paragraphs and give evidence from the passage. On the way home to my buddy's house, I again experienced the MTR's peak hour. This is quite similar to Singapore's peak hour which starts at 6. The trains were very crowded and there was little space to move around. This is not something new to me. Still, I’ve discovered more about the Hongkongers simply by observing the people and surroundings around me during the wait for the train.

Emma: ...many of their lesson materials are different from ours, for example in school, we learn the history of our own country, however they are exploring the history of italy/greece (I think), during the ancient, medieval and renaissance period. While I was aware of the terms, I was unaware of what they actually meant. We also had home econs yesterday where we got to bake banana cupcake, due to dietary restrictions, I was unable to share them, however I had found joy in the baking process, we had co-ordinated w her original group and I had enjoyed helping everyone out when we were done. I believe teamwork can successfully complete a task, and that is what had happened w us as we ensured we were looking out for one another...