We left the school early Sunday morning and headed for Dublin airport for our connecting flight at London Heathrow. Here we left for our nine hour flight, which to a lot of us seemed an eternity as we were all hit by the fact we were going on a once in a lifetime trip to Beijing and were unable to sleep. Upon arrival we were greeted by our interpreters for our week stay Maggie and Toni, who worked for the U.C.D Confucius Institute.
Over the next week we embraced Chinese culture, language, history and cuisine. On the first few days we went to classes in the morning to learn the basics of the Chinese language, a famous Chinese song and the ancient art of calligraphy. These classes were held on campus of St. Paul American School, which is where we were staying, and taught by laoshi Chang. During our stay we went on several trips to historical landmarks, including the Forbidden City, Tian’an Men Square, The Great Wall, Qianmen St., Temple of Heaven and Temple of Earth and the Summer Palace. We were guided around these landmarks by our tour guide Emma, who gave us on inside knowledge on them and answered any of our questions. We also enjoyed trips to an acrobatic show and the Olympic Stadium and its environs. After the trip we all concluded that walking the Juyongguan pass at the Great Wall was the highlight of the trip for us all, except for the teachers who seemed to enjoy the shopping aspect of the trip a lot more..We would like to thank Ms. Spellman for her hard work in organising the trip, and also to thank the two other teachers, Ms. Henneberry and Ms. Dagg for giving up their time to come.
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