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Nan Chiau High School Global Classroom

Humanities Learning Journey - Vietnam 2015 (Day 6)

Visiting the Cu Chi tunnel was an experience of a lifetime. The talk given by the war veteran was an eye opener as he described the complexity of the tunnels and the challenges the Viet Cong faced living in these tunnels. The QnA session was extremely unforgettable. We were in awe listening to his calm and collected responses to our questions. The experience going through the tunnel gave us a glimpse of the harsh reality that faced the soldiers who lived there under extreme conditions. We left the site with valuable knowledge and an insight about the Vietnam war only few have the rare opportunity to hear it .

The powerful images at the War Remnants Museum brought us closer to the war. Despite the fact it was from the perspective of the Communist Vietnam, the exhibits we saw were strong enough to evoke our emotion and empathy for the victims of the war. We were confronted with tough questions about the ethics of war and the various dilemmas confronting the issues of war.

At the Ben Thanh market the students were actively engaged in the geographical investigation of observing and recording the type of landuse in this lively shopper's paradise. Of course they had a great time bargaining with the shopkeepers for the things they liked. While some appeared to have a natural flare for bargaining, we had a few that failed miserably. However the idea was to allow the students a first hand experience in communicating with the locals and playing grown-ups!





Humanities Learning Journey: Vietnam, Ho Chi Minh 2015 - Day 4 and 5

Day 4: Situated just southeast of Ho Chi Minh City, the Can Gio Mangrove is a lush and protected national park with UNESCO Biosphere Reserve status. After putting on our rubber boots, we were all ready to walk into the mangrove mud flat to begin our very first mangrove planting experience! Our feet sank deeply into the soft mud and it was no easy feat to move from one spot to another. It was a test of determination and we give our utmost respect to the farmers who have helped out with the replanting of the mangroves after the Vietnam War. Some of us were covered with mud but it was an enriching experience for all of us! We are honoured to be given the opportunity to contribute to the sustainability of the Green Lungs of Mother Earth. At the end of the mangrove planting, we were given a certificate of participation for our active role for our green effort.

We visited the Can Gio Island, which is also known as the Monkey Island. It consists of 80,000 hectares of mangroves and water coconut forests. During the Vietnam War, this area was badly deforested by Agent Orange, resulting in the destruction of a vast forest area and the disappearance of flora and fauna. When we reached the island, we were ‘greeted’ by many monkeys. These mischievous monkeys could be seen stealing things from the visitors. The highlight of the visit was the guerrilla war base used during the Vietnam War. We saw the resilience of the Vietnamese soldiers. Surviving with little basic necessities, it was amazing how the fighters adapted and coped with the extremely challenging conditions. We listened attentively to the heroic anecdotes of these fighters risking their lives to fight against their perceived enemies. The base camp was not simply a lesson of survival but of bravery acts that defy our imagination.

At the water puppetry theatre, we had the opportunity to interact and participate in a friendly basketball match with the Vietnamese youth. Though it was just a short match, it promoted good will between us and we were also able to make new friends on this trip. After the match, we proceeded to watch the traditional water puppetry show. It was truly an authentic experience to witness the thousand year old tradition art form. We were privileged to have the hands on experience at the end of the show, as well as the chance to interview the puppeteers. As we were intrigued with how the water puppetry show was run, many of us started to ask questions enthusiastically. What was most amazing about the show was that the puppeteers were behind the screen, yet they were able to skilfully coordinate their intricate movements, bringing the puppets to life.

On Day 5, we visited the Mekong Delta, which flows through 6 countries and is the 8th longest river in the world. We cruised along the Mekong River and had a glimpse of the floating wholesale market and the friendly villagers. We also got to see the cottage industry, where candies, pop rice and handicrafts were made. Despite the advancement in technology today, all of these were produced and made manually. They were able to preserve their heritage through the production of these items.

Another highlight of the day was the visit to the padi field. We were all very excited and looking forward to this as we could get to live a day in the life of a farmer! Rice cultivation is not an easy task and this had taught us a lesson of mindfulness to appreciate food and not waste it.






NCHS Science Exchange Programme at Kyoto, Japan Day 5
After checking out of the Daishin-in Temple, we eagerly headed to Sagano High School again to attend lessons. We then attended the Traditional Math Lesson, Wanshu. It was an enriching experience with us learning things we would never have learnt in Singapore, such as Mamako Date, a mind-boggling puzzle that took many of us to solve. After that, we headed to the computer lab to have cultural exchanges with the first-years. For the first activity, we had to create a tower using spaghetti, strings and tape, which had to hold a marshmallow on top of it, which proved to be no easy task. Next, we proceeded to interact with the Japanese using questions we have prepared beforehand, which we shared with each other about our different traditions and cultures. Following that, there was a next group of Japanese students that came in, which we conducted another activity, which was to build a catapult using certain materials provided. Next, we carried out the same activity as the group before, which we had an equally great time.
Then, after lunch, we headed to Arashiyama to carry out a series of activities with students from Sagano High School. We were assigned to groups with at least two or three Sagano students. We had to head to different parts of Arashiyama to complete questions on the activity sheet given to us. Throughout the activity, we interacted more with the Japanese students assigned to our group and through their explanations, we learnt more about Arashiyama and Japanese culture.

NCHS Science Exchange Programme at Kyoto, Japan Day 4

In the early morning of Daishin-In temple, we woke up to sleepy yet excited hearts and mindsets, we could not wait to go to Rakuhoku High School to attend the exhilarating activities that were awaiting us. We had a traditional Japanese breakfast, served with miso soup and simple vegetarian dishes that were delicious and many people asked for seconds as always. After our breakfast, we left for Rakuhoku High School. The journey took us 1 hour to reach. Once arriving at this grand school which produced 2 Nobel prize winners, we proceeded to the meeting room where we were soon brought to classrooms where we were greeted by an overwhelming crowd of excited students. 1 NCHS student was grouped with 8 Rakuhoku students. They were extremely friendly and warm and we felt at home as we were treated so well. We made many new friends and throughout the bonding games and activities that were conducted, we bonded with them and connected with them through social media.

After the school visit ended, we went to Kyoto University with the 3 schools; Sagano, Momoyama and Rakuhoku High School. We learnt about the international civil engineering course offered and explored the design labs where replicas of real life civil projects were made, and we also visited a hydraulics lab. The university visit was enriching and fun. With that, the day ended.


Today,is the last day of construction work.We see our finished products and are really proud of it.Painted library and toilet and the new drainage system.We somehow felt that all our hard work has been paid off and the whole project is a successful one.Today,we held a carnival for the children.We organised games for them to participate in. The only purpose of this carnival is to let the children enjoy themselves.One memorable moment for me was when i gave away stationaries to the children.I still remember clearly how the children reached both of their hands out to receive the gifts.Their face all written with gratitude.We feel happy and satisfied too.The only purpose for our team to come to cambodia is to help the children lead better lives.We did it at the end of the day.


At Gulangyu Island(鼓浪屿),our interests are piqued by the fascinating facts shared by our tour guide on how the various embassies came about on the island.




Humanities Learning Journey - Vietnam 2015 : Day 3

Today, we visited the Fairy Spring. It was a magical experience. The landscape was amazing as the stream meanders its way through the dramatic dunes. Signs of weathering could be seen on the rocks and stepping on the oxidised sand barefooted was a first time experience for all of us! As we ventured further we met several tourists of various backgrounds and it was a nice experience meeting not just the locals but these tourists who were very forthcoming . This definitely enhanced our understanding of the relationship between human activity and the natural landscape.

We also visited a family-run fish sauce 'factory' where we uncovered the secret recipe of how a good bottle of fish sauce is made. Many mud pots of fish sauce were placed under the sun in order to facilitate the fermentation process. What was most eye opening was the amount of hard work put into the production of the fish sauce. Instead of relying on technology, pure manual labour was observed from the labeling of the bottles to the filling up of the bottles - one bottle at a time.

We look forward to sharing with you our Mangrove experience tomorrow!

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Day 4: today was a day worth remembering. After 2 days, we really improved as a team in terms of discipline and interaction with the kids in cambodia.This is a picture of one of our groups carrying out the recycling lesson.we felt that the lessons really benefitted them and they had fun.The smiles on the kids faces were genuine.They appreciate all our efforts in teaching them.