Grade 8 (Year 9) Trip To Ba Vi (20th-22nd April, 2022)
After the postponement of camps due to the pandemic for the last two years, we finally managed to hold the school camps this year. The Grade 8s (Year 9s) had a short but enjoyable 3 days 2 nights trip to Ba Vi Homestead with fun-filled activities organised by The Learning Project team.
The students were split into two groups. Group 1 started with a cycling tour around Ba Vi Homestead while Group 2 started off Day 1 by learning how to identify and plant herbs such as basil, mint and perilla leaves. This was followed by utilising the herbs to make Vietnamese spring rolls dipped into fish sauce for a delicious snack. The groups then exchanged activities. Most of the students went off for an hour of cycling while a couple of students stayed back to learn how to cycle. Some managed to learn how to cycle for the first time during this trip! Those that went for the cycling tour were also challenged at the end to cycle up the ‘Mount of Doom’, where students had to cycle continuously uphill to test their strength, endurance and stamina in cycling. The day ended with some students playing board games, some serenading us with their guitars or playing with the several sports facilities in the homestead.
Day 2 had the most exciting activities. The students had to put their balancing skills to the test when paddle boarding. Needless to say, there were some screams and laughter as students toppled off the paddleboards and into the lake. Some enjoyed pushing their classmates off the paddleboards. The other activities involved students visiting traditional clay houses where the locals introduced them to traditional tools that were used to harvest and process rice in the olden days. The rice was then grinded to make rice flour. Each of the students then tried their hands in making Bánh Cuốn, a traditional Vietnamese rice roll, with minced mushrooms in it. Last but not least, students had to jump into a pool of mud in the rice field and use a traditional basket to catch fishes which were then cleaned and cooked in a fire pit made with dried hay.
After dinner, the Learning Project invited a group of H’mong ladies, one of the largest ethnic minorities in Vietnam to perform. They invited students and teachers to partake in the traditional dances and songs, including the famous tribal dance using bamboo poles. As night fell, we circled around to watch the crackling bonfire that was set up in the outdoor common area.
The last day of activities involved a scavenger hunt as students used a given map and hiked through the fields and villages around Ba Vi Homestead by foot under the sweltering hot sun. It was a struggle to identify locations with just a simple map and we all ended up relying on technology to figure out our way around. After several pit stops and breaks, the students finally made their way back and prizes were awarded to the group that managed to complete most of the tasks of the scavenger hunt. The students then packed up after lunch and we headed back to school. I hope they enjoyed themselves and will be looking forward to the camp next year to other locations around Vietnam!
See full photo album HERE.