Monday, September 14, 2009 Y 12:53 AM
Post for Saturday 120909 (Day 8 - Home Sweet Home!) - done on Sunday 10.50 p.m.
Yesterday, it was Saturday, Home Sweet Home Day. Finally, it marked the last day of our Educational and Cultural Immersion trip to Tainan, Taiwan. The hospitality and warmth from our Taiwanese friends, especially Principal Wu and staff of Yizai Elementary School, will be remembered fondly by all who participated in this trip. Once again, we express our heartfelt thanks to one and all involved.
Pupils were in a reflective mood on Saturday. We started off with a briefing at the lobby of the Sunshine Hotel before we boarded the coach to the airport.
Last briefing at the Sunshine Hotel lobby before leaving for home
Pupils were much more adept at packing up compared to the first day in Taiwan. That was heartening. On the bus, many pupils talked about being happy to return to Singapore and seeing their loved ones again but at the same time, sad to leave behind wonderful friends in Taiwan. What they have now are beautiful memories of their entire learning journey. Some continued to reflect on the coach.
Wee Heng busy reflecting on the coach, not wasting a single minute
After we passed through the Immigration counter, we took a group photograph again.
Group photo at airport in Kaohsiung
Fun shot - notice the smiles!
Before we boarded the plane, we did more reflections.
Kendrick and Chester in deep reflection before boarding the plane home
On the plane, pupils were well behaved. We teachers were very proud of these 26 pupils. There was indeed a marked improvement compared to the plane trip on the previous Saturday. The kids have learnt much and 'grown up' in the last 8 days.
Like many others, Gladys is indeed glad to have had a great learning experience in Tainan and looks forward to be home in Singapore to share them with all her friends.
Thank you for viewing this blog. We can only give a synopsis of all that had happened. The children will continue to do post trip reflections to reinforce all learning points. I hope you have enjoyed reading the blog. Do continue to use this as a platform for further communication. My thanks to one and all who have supported and contributed in one way or another to the success of this trip. On behalf of Mdm Toh, Mr Chew and Chongfu School, thank you to one and all!
Mdm Fan :)
Saturday, September 12, 2009 Y 3:48 AM
Post for Thursday 100909 (Day 6) and Friday 110909 (Day 7) - now Friday 11.55 p.m.
We have just completed our reflections at 11.30 p.m. Today, I will update everyone on what happened today (Fri) and also yesterday (Thu) (sorry there was no internet connection at Eco Farm).
Yesterday, it was the last day in Yizai for our children. We were very fortunate to have met the Mayor of Tainan who was present during their Assembly.
The children had bonded with the friends in Yizai and together, there was good mutual exchange between the children and teachers in Yizai and Chongfu. The sincerity of Principal Wu and his team of wonderful teachers were very much felt by all of us in Chongfu during our stay in Yizai. Pupils from Yizai performed several items for their friends in Chongfu and interviewed our pupils of their experiences.
Pupils from Yizai gave a tearful farewell and it was one of the most touching scene of pupils in tears as our coach left Yizai Elementary School. To Principal Wu, the caring teachers and wonderful pupils of Yizai, we thank you from the bottom of our hearts for the hospitality extended to us.
...Almost everyone cried when it was time to leave Yizai. We felt sad to leave our friends who had done so much for us in the last 4 days, taking care of us and spending time with us. The teachers were very kind to us too and we appreciated all they have done...
... felt sad to leave as we do not know when we will meet again. Luckily, we can contact each other by internet. We were very touched by Yizai's sincerity and learnt that great friendships can be made in a very short time. For those who did not cry, they were sad too but they managed to control their tears. It was not easy. We learnt that we have to be strong when there is separation. It is a very memorable experience....
We left Tainan immediately after our touching farewell with Yizai and reached Eco-Farm late at night. After the night trial witnessing fireflies in the forest, the children did their reflections for the day and the kids were ushered to bed immediately. It was late in the night but the children had a fruitful day.
Mdm Fan :)
DAY 6 Friday (today)
Here is a message from Mdm Toh:
Dear parents, we have finally come to the end of the 8 days of our educational and cultural immersion trip to Tainan. They are all looking forward to going home tomorrow. On behalf of Chongfu, I would like to thank all parents for their support in this program. For flight details, please look at Mdm Fan's posting. The return flight details are CI757 T1 at 1650.
Mdm Toh - P4 level I/C.
So, finally, we have come to Day 7 (Friday) of our trip. The children continued their learning today. First thing in the morning, they learnt how fish is caught and had a hand in doing that. Along the way, we saw the walls of a Fort that dated back to the Ching Dynasty. The sight was awesome. It made the children realise that war was a serious matter and it take a lot of effort to defend against enemies.
The highlight of today was our trip to the Red Cross office in Kaohsiung. On behalf of Chongfu, we presented a cheque to the Red Cross Branch in Kaohsiung. This was the collective effort of the donation drive in Chongfu School in our bid to help the typhoon victims in Taiwan. We hope our small effort will contribute to the overall relief efforts for the typhoon Morakot victims.
Thereafter, we continued our learning journey by visiting the First British Consulate at Dagou, where 75th year celebrations were ongoing. After the last dinner in Taiwan for this trip, the children were accompanied by the teachers to the night market where children bought last-minutes souvenirs for their loved ones. The day ended appropriately by a visit to the Love River of Kaohsiung, as the children look forward to seeing all loved ones tomorow.
Click here for photos: Tainan Day 7 Friday
The children have come a long way. There were hiccups and frustrations along the way but the children learnt. They are now more aware about the cultural differences and similarities between Singapore and Taiwan. More imporant, they learnt interpersonal skills as they live with their classmates amid differences in opinions at some point or other. Many felt they have become more independant and confident than when they started off at Changi Airport last Saturday. Mdm Toh, Mr Chew and myself took every opportunity to home in on every aspect to provide the children with guidance to grow holistically.
We have our tour coordinators, Mr Yuen and Venny, to thank as they were very much a part of us during the entire trip. We thank the parents for entrusting their children to us and for their encouragement. I am sure the children have found the trip a fruitful experience. Post trip reflections will follow.
We will be leaving Kaohsiung tomorrow morning. We look forward to seeing you all at the Changi International Airport Terminal 1 at 1650 - CI757. We would like to thank one and all for making this trip possible for the children. Thanks for reading this blog. We will keep it alive as a platform for communication between our children and pupils of Yizai. The sky is the limit - the children have each moved forward a step in their pursuit of excellence towards holistic education.
See you soon
Mdm Fan :)
Thursday, September 10, 2009 Y 12:20 AM
Post for Wednesday 090909 (Day 5) - now Wednesday 11 p.m.
Today is the 5th day of our trip. After lunch, we visited the Aborigines Museum and was exposed to learning of the culture of Aborigines. Next we headed to the park where the grand statue of Ling Mo Niang Mazu was situated. Further down the road, we visited the Temple of Sen Mu Niang. Along the way, we walked along the old An Ping Street. Natasha felt she wanted to feel safe walking down a street in another country, for just a while, so we held hands and swung our way along the street, with the rest following in twos. It was a procession! Our next stop was the visit to the Canal Museum. Pupils toured the museum and bought souvenirs related to what they have learnt. They should be able to tell you the history behind all the souvenirs bought should you see them. Our last educational stop was the Confucius Temple where pupils learnt more about the great master and his teachings.
Elliot and Wee Heng outside the Aborigines Museum
Group photo in the park of Ling Mo Niang Mazu Statue
Pupils going down the bomb shelter at the Canal Museum
Writings on the wall of the Confucius Temple
Qian Nian Lau Shu outside Confucius Temple
After dinner, the kids went back to the Hotel to do their reflections. A selection is as follow:
* At the Aborigines Museum, we learnt there are 14 types of Aborigines and each have their own costumes. They live hard lives and most of them have never left Taiwan and did not go to school. We feel sad but fortunate when we hear that and appreciate what we have.
* Some of our friends did not go into the Seng Mu Niang Temple as they have different religions, like Christianity. Though they did not pray, they still respect all religions. That is great.
* Today, we learnt more about Confucius and his teachings. We all respect and appreciate his teachings. Some started to pray to him for blessings in SA2 exams.
Tomorrow, the Mayor of Tainan will be at Yizai where they will be sending us off in the afternoon. The kids were busy practising some song items to perform for Yizai tomorrow (as I was downloading the pictures) and will be packing for checking out tomorrow. It will be a learning process for everyone. It is again a tiring day for all. Tune in again tomorrow as we will head for Eco Farm in the evening.
Mdm Fan :)
Wednesday, September 9, 2009 Y 2:21 AM
Post for Tuesday 080909 ( Day 4) - now Tuesday 11.15 p.m.
Today the children attended a full day session in Yizai while the teachers went for a series of meetings. No photos were taken. After school ended at 3 p.m., we headed to Si-men Elementary School for a quick tour and proceeded to visit the An Ping Tree House, the highlight of the day. The kids were totally exhausted. After a sumptious dinner (Tainan steamboat), we headed for the night market, where many bought little souvenirs for their loved ones at home. It had been an extremely tiring day for all. The children completed their reflections late and they are all off to bed. They behaved well at meals. There is much learning everyday, including interpersonal skills and life skills - all of which will do them good in the long run.
A few pictures taken today:
Ye Qing playing the piano for the 'zu ren ' while the group toured the Music room at Si-men
Paying attention to 'zu ren' during the briefing.
Bai nian lau shu
We've been here!
I was with the girls for the Tree House brief while Mdm Toh and Mr Chew were with the boys. They had no cables for downloading photos. We will try to capture some group photos of the guys tomorrow.
Group C members:
Their collective reflections are :
We saw a huge tree that was so old (the teacher told us it was close to a hundred years old) that the roots were so long and big they were all over the house. Some went into the house and others stuck to the walls of the old house. It was amazing! The tree was able to live so long without man's help. It was able to grow and survive. It is so resilient. We want to be strong like the tree and be resilient in all we do too!
That's all for today. The kids and teachers are extremely exhausted today and hopefully tomorrow would be better!
P/S : The boys are eating a lot :)
Mdm Fan :)
Tuesday, September 8, 2009 Y 1:07 AM
Post for Monday 070909 (Day 3) - now Monday 10.50 p.m.
Today, we had a rousing welcome by the 'Lions' of Yizai and the cheerleaders. We were all very touched. Pupils were paired off to their buddies and ushered to their classes. Everyone agreed Yizai is a wonderful and beautiful school and were happily recounting their experiences after 3p.m. The group proceeded to the Seafood Factory and witnessed the process of making those wonderful fish products / snacks. After dinner, we all went for a quick stroll at the An Ping Canal before they did their reflections. There are many details but I think this would suffice. The children are eating fine and I have read out all your messages from the tag board to your children. Over here, we teachers are very appreciative of your positive and encouraging comments. Looking after such a large group of children is not easy. We work long (but fruitful :) ) hours and it is impossible to take and post a photo of every single child every day. What we do is to capture the essence of the day and let you know what is happening. We hope today's photos will give you a summary of what the group did for the day. Please click here: Tainan Day 3.
Today, Group B will give a collective group reflection. The members in Group B are:
Here is their reflection:
Yizai is very different from ours. The teachers and pupils welcome us with a Lion Dance and cheerleading performance. I think they had done a great job and put in a lot of effort to do that. We really appreciate their hard work.
At the Seafood Factory, we learnt that making fish floss is a difficult and long process and needs lots of manpower. We really appreciate their hard work just to provide us food and must treasure all our food.
Today we were all shouting and screaming like hooligans in the restaurant. It was very disgraceful. Our teachers were very disappointed with us and gave us a long lecture. We felt shameful that we actually behaved like that. We did our reflection and hope to improve on our behaviour. We had disgraced ourselves and our school and we are very sorry. We must never do that again.
Before we went back to the Hotel to do reflection, we visited the An Ping Canal - it was beautiful and I look forward to the next few days in anticipation. I felt fortunate as I was selected by the teacher for this trip. We must do our best to learn more about Taiwan.
That all for today. It is now 11.33 p.m. Tomorrow we all have to attend school. It will be another hectic day.
Mdm Fan :)
Sunday, September 6, 2009 Y 11:28 PM
Post for Sunday 060909 (Day 2) - now Sunday 10.05 p.m.
After the great 'wave off' at Changi Airport, the children boarded the plane. They ate well (nice to see children eating so much and eating well!) and the journey was smooth. We touched down at Kaohsiung at 9.10p.m. and reached the Sunshine Hotel around 11.30 pm. The children went to their rooms with anticipation. They bathed and had a good sleep, exhausted after the flight and coach journey.
Refreshed after the good sleep, we had a buffet breakfast at the hotel and headed to the Shadow Puppet Museum of the Cultural Affairs Bureau of Kaohshiung (the only museum of puppet shadow in Taiwan), Zuoying (Spring and autumn pavilions and Wuli pagoda), followed by a sumptious lunch of Zeng Zhong Pai Gu. After lunch, the group proceeded to the Ts'ai-Liao Fossil Museum of Tainan County before we had dinner.
I am using my personal camera to download the pictures. Sorry it takes a long time to delete personal photos so I will post them all today. Tomorrow it is a school day and a long day for us. There will be much less photos. Click here to view for photos of Day 2: Tainan Day 2
During dinner, we had surprise celebration. HAPPY BIRTHDAY, Yu Ting! What a way to celebrate her 10th birthday!
Today, Group A will share their reflections:
Natasha: When we were in the plane, Mdm Fan explained how to look for our seats looking at our boarding pass. I felt very grateful and finally found my seat. I have learnt something even before I reached Tainan!
Joan: When I was on the coach going to the Hotel, I was seated on the right. I was shocked I could not see any driver in front when the coach got moving! Later, I discovered people drive on the left in Taiwan. That was the first difference between S'pore and Taiwan that I discovered after reaching Taiwan. That was fascinating.
Ning Ling: At the Immigration counter, my friends and I bowed to the officers - I though that was polite and they were smiling happily. We must remember to be polite at all times and at all places. I also offered to take drinks for my friends and teachers. I earned a 'Star' for that! The important thing is not the star but to help each other and be polite at all times, especially now that we are in Taiwan.
Wei Ling: I found our trip to the Fossil Museum to be very interesting. We had studied Fossils (Unit 7) and we saw the life specimens. I took many photos to show my classmates as I want to share with them what we have learnt here.
Claris: I saw someone from our group throw a pillow to the back and made Ning Ling's drink spill. I felt that was an inconsiderate act. We should behave ourselves on the plane especially we are representing Singapore and Chongfu during this trip.
Gwendolyn: I learnt to be patient. I shared a room with Shu Min and learnt to take turns to brush our teeth. We leant that we should take care of each other.
Adele: When I landed, I felt that there is not much difference between Singapore and Tainan. I felt I have grown up a little as I am more independent. I know that as I thought I will be homesick but I was able to control my emotions.
Shu Min: At the Puppet Museum, I learnt that each puppet has a spirit and if the head of the puppet is torn, it has to be replaced. I think this is very interesting. I did not know that making a puppet involves so many things. I am going to read up more about it.
So that's all for today. The children have all gone back to their rooms. The weather is very humid here, almost the same as in S'pore. The pictures are taking a long time to download. Stay tuned. Parents, don't worry about the kids. They are learning a lot on how to be independent. Let's give them the room to do so. All are happy and well.
Mdm Fan :)
Saturday, September 5, 2009 Y 4:31 PM
I am heading to the airport for lunch now. If you are still reading this - CHECK that you have everything. See you all at Terminal 1 at Changi Airport.
Mdm Fan :)
Y 3:44 PM
thanks to Mdm Fan, this blog is up and running...do keep it going. I do hope you have prepared the materials and the scrape book which you were briefed on last Wednesday. Let's make this trip a fun, enjoyable and enriching learning experience for all...three cheers to all who have made this trip possible:) See you at the airport Terminal 1 at 1530 hrs.
Y 11:33 AM
So everybody should be ready by now! Remember to bring your scrapebook and all your research materials. Let's look at some pictures of places we will be visiting. Click here: Some places we will be visiting
There is also a beautiful picture of Lotus Lake in Kaohsiung - but we will not be visiting this place. This is just to let you know there are many many beautiful places in Taiwan but we can only visit a few. Let's open our eyes wide during our trip and we will be able to learn much.
Remember to bring all the essential items you have been briefed earlier. You are not only representing Chongfu School but Singapore as well. Do put on your best behaviour at all times. Let's all have a safe, healthy and fruitful learning journey together!
Mdm Fan :)
Wednesday, September 2, 2009 Y 11:46 PM
So, after three briefings, you are all very excited by now! Have you started your research? Look for information on Taiwan, Tainan, Yizai Elementary School and other places you will be visiting. Today, I will be posting some pictures of activities conducted in Yizai ES.
Click here: Some Yizai photos
For more information on Yizai Elementary school, click here: Yizai Elementary School
That's all for today. Remember to do your research!
Mdm Fan :)
Monday, August 31, 2009 Y 2:21 AM
Finally CA2 is over! Now the date for departure is getting nearer! Do note the flight details:
Singapore to Kaoshsiung
Date: 5 Sept 2009
Departing: Sin 1755 hr
Arriving: Kaoshiung 2215 hr
Date: 12 Sept 2009
Flight: CI 757
Daparting: Kaohsiung 1245 hr
Arriving: Sin 1650 hr (yeah!)
Do remember to assemble at Changi Airport at 1530 hr on 5 Sept, Terminal 1, Ci758 check-in row. Wear your PE T-shirts with long pants/ jeans/ track pants and school shoes/ track shoes.
Read up on Yizai Elementary School and Tainan, Kaoshiung on Tuesday and know more about where you are heading. That's all for today. I will post some pictures of Yizai Elementary School soon. Stay tuned!
Mdm Fan :)
Sunday, May 24, 2009 Y 7:22 PM
Tainan is the oldest city in Taiwan and was the capital during imperial times. It is famous for its temples, historic buildings and snack food. The city is currently the fourth largest city on the island with a population over 760,000.
Like other Taiwanese cities, most people in Tainan, including taxi drivers, cannot speak English well (except for high school and college students), though some of the older generation can converse in Japanese. However, to help visitors get around, there are free tri-lingual (Chinese, English and Japanese) map-guides available at the railway station.
I will post the details and itinerary soon. Remember to check regularly :p
Y 6:12 PM
Hello everyone , this blog is up. If you have any queries do not hesitate to post a message at the tagboard. (:
Q AND A
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