01 Nov, 2018
10 : 00
From October 22-26, our Year 8’s were the second year group to complete the physically and mentally challenging Dali hike. The hike involved three days of hiking along the old tea-horse road in the Flower Valley of Mt. Cangshan to an elevation of approximately 3100m. For reference, Chongqing is at an elevation of about 400m.
Day 1 and day 2 were the most difficult for our students. The length of the hike along with the elevation gain demanded mental toughness and allowed students to show their resilience. A small group of our students challenged themselves even further and hiked an additional 4km up to the Flower Valley for a fantastic view.
Our trip ended with a multitude of cultural activities. Students completed a cycle tour through Dali old town, learned how to make local cheese “rushan”, weaved a bamboo basket, learned and made a traditional tie-dye cloth and took part in a traditional tea ceremony with a local Bai family.
The tea ceremony, “san dao cha”, summed up the Dali trip perfectly. The ceremony consists of three different teas. The first is a bitter tea called “hardship tea”, showing that in life there are hardships that you need to endure. The tough part of this trip was undoubtedly the hike. The second tea is a sweet tea, symbolizing the fresh feeling after hardship has been endured. After completing the hike, there were many feelings of joy and relief but also a proud sense of accomplishment. The third tea is an exceptionally intense tea promoting reflection on what has been done.
Students will remember this trip for many years, recalling their effort and mindset to overcome the challenge. It is experiences like these that begin to shape what the Year 8’s will become in the future. If this trip is an indication, the future is looking bright for them.