Saturday 23 April - Saturday 7 May
“Two memorable weeks of standout characters, laughs and life lessons,” is probably the easiest way to sum up Yew Chung Shanghai’s visit to Chiang Mai. From the physical to the mental, these young adults were put through their paces and challenged to go outside their comfort zones, which they did with the enthusiasm, positivity and the unique personalities that they have become known for over the years at VSP. The sixty-four students and nine teachers were initially shuffled around into their Science/CAS groups for the first few days of the trip to complete school project work, and then afterwards into their activity groups for some action-packed fun.
The two science groups carried out river studies, one with a geography focus and the other with a biology focus. Both groups visited the Mae Sa River, with the biology students focusing on biodiversity along the river and the changes found between three different locations, and the geography students focusing on the river’s geomorphology as it moves downstream, with respect to the river’s size and discharge as well as the surrounding landscapes changes. The fieldwork for both studies took one-and-a-half days, ending with lunch at Mae Sa Waterfall where the students had the chance to relax and swim for a couple of hours before heading back to Traidhos to complete their write ups.
The CAS groups spent one day on Mon Cham Mountain with Chiang Mai University’s Forest Restoration Research Unit working with their researchers and helping with the maintenance of the plants that they are growing on the mountain, and the other day was spent at Ramperng School, nearby Traidhos, doing some community service involving painting some of the school buildings and interacting with the school kids.
Once in their activity groups for the trip, the students were treated to a week and a half of adventure and teambuilding. Each group went through a two-day Leadership Course where they had the chance to observe how each of them handled being the leader of a small team, whilst tackling a range of challenges designed to get them harnessing and practicing skills that they can take forward in life. In addition to this they went through many of the popular activities VSP offers, such as Makhampom Art Space, Elephant Nature Park, Rock Climbing and Kayaking. The students also took on one of our more challenging treks, taking four to six hours to complete, ending in Mae Tang Valley with an overnight in a Karen village and a rafting trip down the river the following morning.
Fourteen days is a long trip, and one packed with a lot of activities, but these students took it on with fantastically, positive attitudes, which only made the trip better. Truly a memorable trip!