The other side of Hong Kong

Live. Act. Create impact.

Saturday, the 21st September 2013, will be the first ever UWC day! It is a day to raise awareness about UWC and the UWC missions and values to create a more peaceful and sustainable future.  There will be events and initiatives all around the world. So, if you want to know more about it or want to join, please take a look at the UWC Day microsite. You will find an interactive map with details of the events and suggestions to help you plan and submit your own event or initiative.

Since most of us LPC students will not be on campus due to the Mid-Autumn Festival, we celebrated UWC day yesterday and conducted a college meeting. All students, teachers and staff got together in the courtyard and after awarding some of our teachers for 10 or 20 years of being at LPC, we were split into groups that each discussed one of the UWC values:

  • International and intercultural understanding
  • Celebration of difference
  • Personal responsibility and integrity
  • Mutual responsibility and respect
  • Compassion and service
  • Respect for the environment
  • A sense of idealism
  • Personal challenge
  • Action and personal example

I was in the discussion group for “Compassion and Service” and once again it was not only an inspiring but also a very moving experience, after one of our second years from Namibia told us the story of her uncle who was suffering from AIDS and her motivation to take part in Teen Aiders, a Quan Cai that aims to promote HIV/AIDS prevention through awareness and understanding as well as breaking down the stereotypes and obliterating misconceptions of this deadly virus. Students undergo extensive training by various foundations in Hong Kong, and with this training offer fun, informative workshops in English to local and international schools in Hong Kong. Involvement in World AIDS Day preparation and community work for different AIDS organizations is another aspect of this service. Hearing about her goal to make her country a better place and help the people was incredibly inspiring.

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After going back to the courtyard all groups shared a summary of their discussion and we discussed the UWC mission, as well as one of Kurt Hahn’s famous quotes: “Your disability is your opportunity. There is more in you than you think”. Personal challenge is one of the core motto’s here and it is amazing how it is incorporated in everyday life.

Later on Hayley took us to Sai Kung for our tutor activity. It is a beautiful beyond the tall skyscrapers and well away from the hubbub of downtown Hong Kong. The nature was breathtaking place (looked like Hawai’i!), mountains sweeping down to the blue ocean and little boats lying in the water. We took a little “hike” on a snail like trail through lush green sub-tropical forest and dense exotic vegetation, surrounded by tiny streams and mangroves,
until we came to a little beach with a view of our school and the skyscrapers behind it.

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We enjoyed the scenery, took lots of pictures (even build a tower of rocks to put my camera on them and try out the self-timer) and talked about art. From the little beach we were standing on, we could see LPC on the other side. The clouds had formed a whole right over it so that sunrays were peeking through, illuminating the hill our school was on. We started joking about whether it was just a beautiful natural phenomenon or whether our school just got enlightened. Aitan, Hayley’s son travelled on Shuhei’s shoulders and made the best out of our time together by helping us throw rocks in the water and watch the ripples.

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I have to admit that in the past days I have been surprised about Hong Kong, I did not expect the city to be so green! While mentioning nature, I would like to share one more experience with you:

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Two days ago we had our first Dragon Boat meeting and the scenery was absolutely breathtaking. While taking our first strokes we realized that we got to see beautiful contrasts. On our right there were no buildings, only mountains and hill all the way down to the sea, with a white Buddha statue throning in-between them and on our left side skyscrapers, reaching for the clouds. While the water was calm and peaceful, you could hear the city humming if you listened carefully. The first training ended with a beautiful sunset peeking through the clouds. You might be wondering “What? Dragonboat? Why?” It is one of my Quan Cai’s, so stay tuned, there will be an entire blog post about it soon! If you want to read about our hike up to Hong Kong’s second highest peak, click here.

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