Sunday, December 29, 2013

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ANTIPS | Community Project


I'm back from antips! :) :)
During these past three weeks I've honestly had the most amazing time with such just the best group of people, and I still can't believe that it's all over.

I was in Team two from my school, along with Diem, Abbey, Georgie, Sadie, Emma, Bei, Taylah, Rosie, Sophie, Karina, Laura, Amelia and Amanda. Ryan (from Antipodeans) also came with us, along with two teachers; Em (Ms Jones) and Kim (Ms Wood).

This trip was predominantly student run, and throughout the year we had fortnightly meetings to fund-raise for our projects and to plan the general itinerary of the trip. All the teams flew into Bangkok first and stayed a night there, before going there own ways the next morning. My team decided to do both our community project and trek in Vietnam before moving on to Hanoi and Luang Prabang in Laos for some sightseeing.

I kept a diary for the whole trip and took approx 12890589028195870 photos, so I'll post about my trip day by day, though it'll probs take me a while to finish.


DAY ONE, 4th December

Everyone arrived at school early in the morning to be briefed by our antips leaders about everything (budget, safety, etc), before bussing to the airport and spending 9 hours on a plane to Bangkok! Watched We're the Millers and the Hangover 1 and 2 on the plane and o m g they were all so good I cry.
Arrived at Bangkok pretty late so just went straight to the hotel and prepared for an early next morning :)


DAY 2, 5th December
Today we all woke up ridic early to go catch our plane to Hanoi, although evidently we didn't wake up early enough since we almost missed our flight. Lol literally got to the airport and sprinted to the other side to catch our plane, and by the time we got there everyone was waiting for us. Didn't have any time for breakfast or anything so Kim bought us all chocolate croissants which are actually my favourite things ever.
We flew to Hanoi and once we got there we met Phuong (our in country partner who is fAb) and had a five hour bus trip to Mai Chau! On the way, we stopped at this little restaurant where we had lunch, and once we got to the village where we would be staying we basically just explored for a little bit then went straight to bed (ridic early lul as with all the other days on project).
Our group stayed in two different homestays, and each half of the group would sleep in a massive room together underneath these massive mosquito nets. The family who our half stayed with were so nice, and they had a son named An who was actually the cutest kid ever.
Food was actually really good since we had two chefs come around with us and cook all our meals. It was really funny cause they cooked everything in peanut oil meaning that I couldn't eat anything, so they would always cook an extra plate of each dish without peanuts and give it all to me, and each meal I would effectively have the same amount of food as the rest of the table combined. Was great actually.
lizard wine :|

Where we stopped for lunch!



DAY 3, 6th December

Today we woke up ridic early because the rooster went off at legit like 2. Lucky we'd slept at like 8 the night before.
After having breakfast and getting ready, we headed off to the kindergarten and spent a while watching the kids who were the cutest things ever, before getting to work on the toilet block we were building. I started off moving bricks, then started digging this massive hole for the septic tank, which took aggggggeeeesss and by the time we stopped we were only like a third done.
Once we were done work for the day (sometime in the afternoon), the kids did these cool viet dances for us and the teachers tried to teach us one which worked out really really really well. After that, we just played with the kids some more. LOL there was one kids who was super violent and kept running around kicking and punching everyone, and started fighting with Ryan for ages.
We stayed there for a while then left, had a long fight about the shower (lol), then had some free time where we played with An from next door.

their old toilet block



Ryan + evil baby

our homestay :)

DAY 4, 7th December

Today started off the same way as yesterday; had breakfast then went to the kindy where I basically dug  hole all morning (except this time it was a different hole, one to use as a burn hole for all the rubbish that was lying around). We came back to the homestay for lunch then just chilled a bit, before going back to the project where I returned back to my original hole lol and dug for ages. By that point we were all so sore butttttttttttt oh well.
Once we'd done enough for the day, we went to explore the village a bit. We walked pretty far and saw heaps of people working in the fields. This one guy was weaving this fence and he showed us how to do it. Was cool. The guy who was making the fence then told us about this cave nearby, so we decided to check it out. It turned out that the cave was on this massive cliff though that wasn't safe enough for us to climb so lol didn't end up doing that.
We returned to the homestay after that ten spent the rest of our afternoon playing with An before falling asleep at a reasonable hour (approx 7:30).


DAY 5, 8th December

For breakfast today we had egg on this bread roll which I didn't realise was runny and ended up spilling everywhere. After that we went back to the kindy and I started off moving heaps of bricks from the front yard, then continued digging the hole for approx 1389589180987 hours, BUT WE FINISHED IT FINALLY.
Once we got back to the homestay, we did this embroidery class and it was there that I discovered my hidden talent.

Anywhooooooooo once that class was done we all walked down to the snack store and spent all our $$$$$ :)

Phuong + bong

me + five plates of food, while the rest of the table shared 5 between them


DAY 6, 9th December
Today was Abbey's 17th birthday!
In the morning we headed off to the project, and today I spent my time mixing cement. o m g cement is hard to mix like srsly.
Once we were done with the cement, I started picking up rubbish from all around the kindy to fill this massive burn hole that we'd dug. That basically took up the rest of the afternoon, and once we were done we went to have lunch (and also prepare a performance for that night).
All day, Phuong had been like "Nah, you won't need to work in the afternoon", so naturally we all went to work in the afternoon cause Phuong time lul ("the toilet is just around the corner"...*20 minutes later*..."just a couple of minutes away!!").
We spent the afternoon moving sand. Diem and Amelia weren't feeling too well so they went back to the homestay to rest, and the rest of us went to visit the primary school  to play with them and give them gifts.
At night, we had this 'exchange of cultures' performance, where both us and the locals prepared performances for each other. We had literally spent about 5 minutes during lunch time preparing ours, so it was actually just us singing a mash up of three Australian songs; the 'gimme a home among the gum trees' one, Waltzing Matilda and the 'we are one' one. +1 for knowing the names of all the songs.
The locals had prepared these big traditional dance performances with traditional clothing and everything  which really put our *amazing* performance to shame, but it was cool to watch so oh well.
We also did this thing where music plays and you have to jump through these sticks that people were banging shut...............idk how to describe but it was cool and the song was stuck in my head for ages after lulz.
PS we also got cake for Abbey's birthday ily cake
cutie kiddies
ily break time ihy cement

septic tank
BUILDER VS. RYAN (builder won)

the kids loved bubbles so much, was so cute

socks and thongs hawt2trawt
The day after that was our last day at the project and our first day of trek, and I'll post about the trek in my next update!
Also, it was my bloggerversary a couple of days ago. I meant to post on the day but this post kinda took me ages so I didn't get to, but HAPPY 2 YEARS OF READING MY BLOG EVERYONE. That is, everyone who wasn't late to the party. So really just happy two years of reading my blog to Diem.

Tuesday, December 3, 2013

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I'm going on antips tomorrow (!!) so I figured I better catch you guys up on what's been happening these holidays before I go offline for three weeks.

The second week of these holidays was jam packed with outings since we were trying to squeeze in everything before antips.

Mrs Field's with my muuuuuuuuuuuuuum

On Monday, Diem had a travel doctor appointment to get her Malaria tablets so she asked me to meet her at the city for lunch. We had pancake manor for lunch since we hadn't eaten it in ages, and while we were there I decided that I really wanted to get more Malaria tablets as well sooooooooo I booked an appointment for Tuesday and Diem changed hers so we could go in together.

all 4 us

On Tuesday we had our actual appointments, so we went into the city again and had lunch there (obs) at Grill'd. The doctor there was actually so nice, like not even kidding. He even gave me some free malaria tablets so I could buy them in a pack from the Chemist and like didn't even charge us for the consultation or anything :')

On Wednesday Jessie had her piano exam, and she wanted me to page turn for her so that's what I did :) It was really funny cause Sonja actually had her piano exam on the same day so we could have easily run into each other, but we were at different times lul.

On Thursday, we met up with this big BGS/BGGS group for laser tag at Strike and lunch. It was so funny cause the entire event was basically a result of me going though my old messages, coming across our group chat and accidentally sending a thumbs up to everyone LOL.
Since we went on a Thursday, it was basically unlimited laser tag for $10 so we played a few times, had lunch at the food court (had Japanese chicken curry, was so good oml) then went back to Strike for some more laser tag. While we were having lunch at the food court, Dylan met up with us since he happened to be in the city at the time. We also ended up running into a bunch of BGGS people who were also playing laser tag and played heaps of games against them lololololol


2 kewl

On Friday I had to collect my sleeping mat from school so Diem and I went out for lunch again LOL so many lunches this week. We actually really wanted to go to Wara Wara buttttttt apparently it only opens at 11:30 and since we had to be at school at 12:30 and I'd developed a serious ramen craving by that stage we went to Kadoya instead.

On Saturday I didn't really do much, but on Sunday I went out to the movies and lunch with Diem, Sonja and Charlotte! We went to see Catching Fire and it was actually so so good. Pumped for the next one. After the movie we went and had lunch at Ginga (lol ramen again ily ramen) before I headed home.
That night, I went out to Pancake Manor with my mum and Daniel since he was leaving for Japan the next morning. I actually ordered so much from pancake manor my stomach was like ready to explode. Like not even joking. Lol didn't even order as much as Daniel though, it was funny. Finally got a chance to order the chocolate jewels though, which I swear I say I'm going to order "next time" whenever I'm there. Tasted goooooooooooooooood.

On Monday (yesterday) Daniel left for Japan! I went with my mum to Carindale to buy some last minute things for antips, then we went to Oma and Opa's place since Opa was visiting the house for the first time since September to see how he'd be able to cope with staying at home. We stayed there for quite a while before heading home.

And that brings us to today!
Diem came over this morning and we basically just packed for ages, had sushi for lunch and made some more Chai tea.

Annnnnnnnnnnnnnnnnnnnddddd we bought Arctic Monkeys tickets!! So pumped.

Then tonight we had a farewell barbecue for antips at school where we basically just ate and listened to Ms Euler speak for a bit.

And that brings us to right now!

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