By Lorena Malheiro, Grade 7 student at WISS
When we first arrived in Xiamen, my first thoughts were that it was very similar to Shanghai, except it had more farm lands and it seemed to be a very hard working place.
On the first day of the trip we went hiking up the mountain for 3 hours, then we picked tea at a tea farm and ended our day with a bonfire telling stories and performing skits. We even slept in a Tulou (traditional home in the Hakka village) house!
On our second day we went on a Tulou tour and scavenger hunting. The tour told us everything about the Chinese history and everything about the Tulou. It taught us the building’s purpose, history, locals of the Tulou and how they defended it. To me it was interesting because I really enjoy history and I was very eager to learn something about Xiamen’s greatness.
On our last day we climbed the Via Ferrata. I wasn’t very experienced with climbing so the via Ferrata was very new to me. I learned about the safety rules of having a harness on how to put one on. Via Ferrata also had some pretty cool obstacles and such a breathtaking view once you climbed up to all the way to the first. Via Ferrata was definitely my favorite.
In the trip we had a lot of fun but we also had challenges. In my perspective the most challenging activity was hiking. My challenge was that I did not experience anything close to a hike in my everyday life also that I had short legs, which was hard to climb with. But I overcame these challenges by often getting distracted in conversations with my friends so that the fatigue feeling of the hike wouldn’t bother me. I also tried to keep an energetic mood during the hike so it would be easier.
I also got out of my comfort zone everyday so I would be able to enjoy the new things and try something new. At the tea-planting activity we had to pick tea leaves and drink different types of tea. I never drank tea so I did not know how it would taste like. I still tried the tea out and I really liked it. I thought the taste was very unique and while drinking tea I felt very calmed down because of the taste, the smell, and how the hot liquid goes down your throat. This definitely felt very satisfying for me because my throat was a little sore.
On our last day of Xiamen, before we left for the airport we set goals and reflected on our trip. We talked about overcoming our fears, importance of teamwork and what we enjoyed most about our trip.