This day started just like the previous ones: After breakfast it was time for the morning briefing in the Assembly. Afterwards we all went to the library to listen to one of the librarians and get informed about how to check-in and check out books. Each student receives a username and password that will allow him to check in/out books and even look at their availability online! Then we had an IT-Orientation, receiving important information about our schools e-mail accounts (each student has an own school-email) and our login procedures for the schools email page and Haiku, an online learning platform where all the classes, our schedules, all presentations and information and the school calendar are posted. Due to the bad weather (it was still raining) our hiking tour and the camp where canceled. We were very sad, since most of us had already packed their backpacks and put their hiking schoes aside, ready to wear them. The unexpected change in plans resulted in lots of free-time and thus we decided to go Ma On Shan to have some Bubble Tea and get our passport photos taken that were necessary for the Octopus application forms. The Octopus Card (it’s similar to the MetroCard in New York City and the Oyster Card in London) is a multi usage smart card charging for the public transportation in Hong Kong. It was first only used on bus and MTR, but later the range expanded to many places such as stores, restaurants, parking lots and later as entrance card to schools, office buildings and residential buildings. Havin an Octopus Card ss an LPC student having surely makes life easier! Steve told us that Octopus is one of the earliest and most successful electronic currencies in the world! So we grabbed our wallets and made our way to the MTR (subway) station. Ma On Shan is only one station away from us and right at the station there is Sunshine City Plaza, a big shopping mall. As soon as we arrived at the Bubble Tea shop we were surprised to see almost all our co-years there!
Hannah, one of my co-years from Wales absolutelyloves Bubble Tea! So everytime I drink it I have to think about her. It’s sweet, fruity, bubbly, and if you live in Hong Kong, Bubble Tea is pretty much destined to rival your favorite double-tall-super-sugary-caramel latte. It’s a tea-infused milky or fruit-flavored cold drink that’s a drink you can eat.But of course,it can’t compete with Chai!
Jeremy, Belce and me took Munya to the Wet Market, since he has not been there yet and we thought that it would be quite an experience. So once again we walked through the crowded market, staring at the life animals, fish tanks and all the exotic fruit. Later we strolled around in the mall, went out for towel shopping and then walked back to the school. every time we saw a sign in Chinese we asked Jeremy how to pronounce it and then kept on repeating the new words we learned. So much fun!
The evening turned out to be unforgettable and touching. Since we could not go on camp due to the weather, we played the camp games in the gym and in the assembly hall. We sat in a big circle, closed our eyes and were then painted in our faces by the second-years. The atmosphere was magic, since it was raining and the sky was very dark. We played several trust games where we partnered up and had to follow our partner with closed eyes, just by feeling his hand or finger on our shoulder or listening to sounds. Realizing that you could trust people you just met 4 days ago felt very great. we were all amazed. Later on we put our thumbprints on a big piece of cloth and started walking around it, humming and singing songs in Hebrew. It felt like a welcoming-ceremony.
After the games we went back to the assembly hall. For Playback. Playback, supervised by Steve, is a theatre form that celebrates the lives of the audience, us by inviting us to share their life stories and feelings with the Playback team who perform or ‘play them back’ using abstract improvisational movement and sound. Playback is therapeutic, as Steve told us. Our schools Playback team serves a wide range of audiences including physically and mentally challenged care centres, a refugee centre and a home for the aged as well as local schools. One by one we shared our stories, emotions, thoughts about our journey to LPC, life here, our worries and much more. And for every single one of us the playback team improvised a performance, leaving us in awe. I am amazed by how the Playback members didn’t just listen to our stories and “replayed” them, but also perceived the unsaid things and put them onto stage. We were all very touched by their performance. Thank you for that wonderful experience.
Dinner was unforgettable and great! The second-years had made a BBQ for us, with grilled corn, lots of burgers, vegetables and noodles. Dessert was even more delicious. Various types of cheese (even Brie!), crackers, bread and nutella – and of course to balance all that out: lots of lots of fresh fruit!! Yummy!
We spent the rest of the night in the common room, talking to our second-years and buddies about their experience, sharing thoughts and realizing how happy and thankful we are to be part of UWC and Li Po Chun. It feels like home.