By Anya and Hannah, Yr10

“Over the Easter holidays a team of 19 pupils from Year 10 went to Vietnam.

Thật tuyệt! (It’s great in Vietnamese).

We landed in Hanoi, after a very long plane ride, where we would stay for the first few days. Our acclimatisation phase of the trip consisted of getting to know more about this amazing country and included a visit to the Temple of Literature Museum, as well as Hanoi prison where we learnt about the history of Vietnam from the colonialization of the French to the influence of the ‘American War’. We also did lots of sightseeing and lots of shopping.

On the third day we woke up and got ready for our favourite part of the trip, the community initiative. This consisted of us meeting and making friends with lots of the local Vietnamese children and building a road to help connect residents in this very rural community. This was very tiring, yet our spirits were kept high by the presence of Miss McDougall and her wonderful dance moves.

Every day, after finishing our work in the village, we got the opportunity to experience new things such as learning to work in the rice fields, having cooking classes with the locals and ending of the homestay with a farewell party, where we show-cased our dance moves! The food we were served throughout the homestays was amazing.

Once we left the homestay, we began the 3-day trek. During these three days we were all sharing a room between the 19 of us which I don’t think anyone enjoyed. Some of us felt the best idea was to escape the problem and stay downstairs all evening with the teachers who were great company. The trek was great and had some of the most beautiful scenic views which made the breaks that much better! After spending another full day back in Hanoi, it was time to go to Ha Long Bay and relax. We took a boat ride to Ha Long Bay in which we explored two caves and went kayaking in the lagoons; in which we were very successful (with the help of Miss Andrews). For our last few days, we went back to Hanoi where we went shopping, again, and enjoyed our last group meal.

Overall, Vietnam was possibly the best two weeks of our lives and has taught us independence and how to make decisions under pressure for ourselves and a large group. Everyone took turns in being leader for a day which was very scary and stressful. It wouldn’t have been the same without both world challenge leaders- Greg and Huan- but especially Miss Andrews and Miss McDougall. We all thank you for an amazing trip.”