Visitors from Macau
This this is a report about the annual study tour of ten students and two teachers from St.Pauls School, Macau
Students from Macau
For a third year a group of 10 students, and 2 teachers visited UK in late July /early August for a two-week trip. They flew into London Heathrow in the early morning of Friday 20th July where I met them off the plane. A hotel in Paddington had been booked and after a tube ride into the city and a quick breakfast we all set off on their tour of London.
This year the students had researched their trip and prepared an itinerary with one of the students assigned to each attraction giving a brief summary of the landmark being visited and how to get there which proved to be very successful.
First stop was Buckingham Palace where we caught the Changing of the Guard, then on to Westminster Abbey and Big Ben. The latter was shrouded in scaffolding and protective covering and nothing could be seen so we went into the nearby Supreme Court building instead.
After a quick snack lunch we went along the Thames and saw the London Eye and then Westfield Shopping Centre where their cultural experience of shopping began in earnest! Dinner in Burger King for the students and a local Indian restaurant for me and the teachers was followed by more shopping for night time snacks in the supermarket nearby the hotel. This was set to become a nightly experience!
On Saturday, after breakfast, the first port of call was the British Museum, which was very interesting, and then shopping for the picnic lunch in Hyde Park. This was hugely successful for it is unlike anything in Macau - they just don’t have open spaces and were totally bewildered by the scale of the park. A walk around the park and the Serpentine ended in Oxford Street and more shopping. I had booked a fish and chip restaurant for dinner which again was a hit – followed by the nightly trip to the supermarket!
Sunday saw us all going first to Covent Garden, then on to St Paul’s Cathedral (though we couldn’t go in without paying) then on to Tower of London and Tower Bridge. These we visited by bus which again was a first for they only have single deck buses in Macau.
After the Tower we went east on the Docklands Light railway and took the Emirates Cable Car across the Thames to visit the Emirates Experience centre. This again was a new experience for all (including me) and along with the Hyde Park picnic was the highlight of the tour for many.
Train and tube saw us back in Leicester Square for a trip around M&M World and the Lego Shop before dinner in Chinatown – and yes, of course, the inevitable trip to the supermarket!
Monday saw everyone catching a train to Crewe where we were met by staff from Petty Pool Outdoor Centre where they were to spend the next few days.
They spent the first day using all the various apparatus at Petty Pool and then we hosted the party for crown green bowling at The Limes which, for once, was warm and dry, unlike previous years! They were joined by a couple of Interact members, Stella and Jacqueline, and following lunch at the Market Tavern the students gave a short presentation to Rotary members about their time in London. The students showed interest in the after-lunch short history tour of Sandbach and were particularly interested in the number of pubs which seemed to be round every corner!
Trips out to Chester and Llandudno followed later in the week and then over the middle weekend we home-hosted the students with several club members having the students in our homes. This is always much appreciated by the students who see how we live which is vastly different from their lifestyle on the 24th floor of an apartment block.
Past Presidents Richard and Dave Lewis put on a barbecue before the students returned to Petty Pool for a few more days before departing back home via Hong Kong, but not before giving a short farewell presentation.
The whole visit was a resounding success and enjoyed by all the students who had a wonderful time here in England and one which I am sure they will not forget. My thanks go out to all the home hosts, Bowling Green organisers and barbecue providers for their contribution on behalf of our Club.
Rtn. Eric Cowcill
(Chairman, Youth Service)