MESCA-meeting! Mong Kok! School life! GIF!
Good morning! Zao An! The past days have been filled with activities and homework so that I didn’t have time to blog. Homework? Yes, because school has started on Monday, but I’ll write more about that in my next blog post. Here is a little summary of the last days:
We submitted our Quan Cai choices to Steve, the director of Education Outside the Classroom and had to undertake a swim and float test for Coral Monitoring and Dragon Boat. It was quite a funny experience to jump in the pool with clothes (and Converse)! :D
On Sunday evening MESCA had organized a little welcome-meeting in the spiritual room. You are probably wondering what MESCA is! Well,to celebrate the diversity at LPC and share the particularities of cultures, Cultural Evenings dedicated to different regions of the world take place at certain times of the year. You will find the name of all the evenings and their abbreviations when you click here. MESCA stands for Middle East, South East and Central Asia. Just like "back home" we sat down on pillows on the floor and listened to oriental music. Kalpana, our college counselor, came as well, since she has Indian background. She brought delicious food and sweets. After introducing ourselves and talking about our life at LPC so far, we went over to the "informal chatting" and treating ourselves with delicious Boondi Ladoo a, a crumbly sweet halva with a very delicate texture that immediately melts in the mouth. Yummy!
In the middle of the week we had a Dragon Dance tryout which consisted of different athletic disciplines, such as running and a little workout. In the end we even got to try holding and moving the dragon! Sweaty as we were after that, we felt inspired to go to the gym and burn of some more calories. One more time, we went to Mong Kok, Hong Kong’s densest and probably liveliest area, jammed full of shops, street side stalls as well as the famous Mongkok Ladies Market where you can get pretty much anything you need from handbags to toys. Clothing is the markets bread and butter (Lots and lots of “I love Hong Kong” T-Shirts, qipaos and jeans), but you can buy Chinese themed souvenirs and electronics as well (That’s why my local friends call it the “tourist trap”) For me, Mong Kok is THE place to literally bump into people and it is definitely worth seeing (at this point I have to admit that my friend Shushismita and me like going there a lot, because it is diverse, exciting and has very reasonable prices), just for the ‘peoplescapes’ alone.
The narrow streets are bathed in colorful oversized signs. I am always fascinated by the fact that there is a cluster of merchants sell one type of product on a single street. Mong Kok has entire streets and street sections dedicated to the sale of kitchenware and pets! During my last visit to Mong Kok, Jeremy, Munya, Natalie, Malika, Kudrat and me walked through one of the pet shop streets, staring at the incredible variety of colorful fish and fluffy little dogs. The animals were beautiful, yet we felt incredibly sad about the fact that there were kept in extremely small tanks or cages and sometimes bad conditions. After that we discovered a tiny little shop that sells freshly made coconut milk and of course could not resist to try it. It was delicious, a little bit of Aloha in a cup.
This time we went to Mong Kok to look for costumes. On Saturday there will be Café. The Café team organizes performance evenings that consist of the College community sharing dances, songs and poems with each other. It is an event that works to boost morale on campus and bring together the College for one night. The Café team also cooks a wide variety of baked goods that we sell throughout the show with the proceeds going to a different charity each Café. This time Café is themed “Childhood heroes”! My childhood heroes were Mulan and the little Mermaid, but since it was not possible to find their costumes for a reasonable price, I decided to be Lilo from Lilo and Stitch J After strolling through the Ladies Market in Mong Kok, we took the MTR to go to Central where we found an entire street dedicated to the sale of costumes and wigs. Our time in the city ended with a sweet little treat: Cupcakes in Hong Kong’s Soho, that is packed with little cafes and restaurants.
The evenings have been wonderful. On Tuesday after Check-in in the dayroom, we ended up playing the Ukulele and singing songs. After realizing that it’s Hillary’s dad’s birthday, we sat down on the floor and recorded a video of us singing for him. On Wednesday my tutor group had organized an informal tutor group meeting by the poolside. While listening to our first year’s stories about unforgettable UWC legends, we enjoyed lots and lots of ice cream and got to try Potong, a very popular ice cream in Asia, made with coconut milk and bits of Yam, Red Bean or Black Glutinous Rice.
Yesterday we had the chance to listen to a Global Issues Forum presentation. GIF is a Quan Cai in which students prepare a range of presentations on a variety of topics of political, environmental, social, economic, cultural and religious significance and present them to the community, followed by discussion. Yesterday’s topic was “The price of Education”. We grabbed chairs and pillows and all sat down in the lecture room where everything the PoewerPoint was set up. The content of the presentation included the differences and between private and public schools and their benefits, the Finnish and Hong Kong school system and a case study of UWC. In the discussion afterwards very interesting points were made, such as the government’s responsibility to provide education, every students right for education and opportunity. One of the questions discussed was whether education should be treated as a good and service or not. The atmosphere was wonderful; agreement with an argument or previous speaker was shown by raising our hands and doing a movement similar to imaginary quotations (second and third finger), disagreement by doing fists and softly bouncing them against each other. Even though some very interesting opinions were expressed, the entire discussion remained respectful and calm, which is something that was impossible in my classes in Berlin! I am once again amazed by the mutual respect at LPC.
After GIF it was time for a meeting with Hayley, our Head of House, in the Block 3 Dayroom. We talked about the upcoming Mid-Autumn Festival (there will be a long blog post about this soon!! Stay tuned, the festival is wonderful), overnight extensions and snacks, which from now on will be provided in our dayroom on certain days of the week. How could we survive without peanut-butter-and-jelly sandwiches?! It is almost a staple crop here!! Yummy!