The bagpipes are sounding! 🙂
18 students, 3 teacher chaperones, 1 destination.
From 13th November to 26th November 2012, eighteen students from the Bicultural Studies Programme students embarked on an enriching trip to Scotland.
Immersion at Stewarton Academy
Perhaps one of the most memorable snippets of Scotland was our experiences interacting with the local students from Stewarton Academy. We spent four days with our buddies during the entire trip, neither too long nor short, but enough to create beautiful memories. For the whole of four days, we followed our buddies around in school, had lessons, lunch, and even went into their homes.
The students and teachers in Stewarton Academy are mostly accommodating and friendly towards visitors, hence it wasn’t rare for us to receive friendly gestures like a “hello!” or a smile and nod along the corridors. Throughout the course of the four days, I’m sure we all enjoyed going out and having fun with our buddies. They brought us to the beach, the arcade, theatre productions, their comfy homes for movie marathons and long Wii sessions. We were also invited cordially to their school’s charity fashion show, organized by its own students, to raise funds for the needy. Some of our buddies were models and we were so proud of them indeed!
We’ve forged cross-cultural friendships and understood more about the Scottish culture through our interactions with our buddies and their friends. Meeting their families was also a pleasant experience and we were gratified by how welcoming they were towards us. I am sure we definitely miss our buddies so much, even to the extent of contracting post-trip blues, but perhaps saying goodbye doesn’t mean anything. It’s the time we spent together that matters, not how we left it.
“You and I will meet again,
When we’re least expecting it,
One day in some far off place,
I will recognize your face,
I won’t say goodbye my friend,
For you and I will meet again.”
Community project with the Dean Park Country Rangers
We also participated in a meaningful 4-day environmental conservation project with the Dean Park Country Rangers. Based within the field centre at Dean Castle Country Park, the rangers service works to educate, interpret, monitor and protect wildlife and its environment in the region. Every now and then, there will be schools visiting and contributing to the environment.
Our previous batch of BSP seniors had left their legacy behind by working on the boardwalks meant to stretch across the vast piece of preserved land. This year, our batch picked up the boardwalk project once again, constructing walkways for generations of people down the road.
Sawing, hammering, nailing are not what Singaporean kids are exposed to today, but we gamely tried all of it. At the beginning, we were unfamiliar with how to get about doing it, but as there was a constant sense of enthusiasm and healthy urgency to get things done, soon enough our 4-day project hit progress. I believe the end result is not only the boardwalk, but also an immense surge of accomplishment and pride for all the sweat, muscle-aches and efforts throughout the project. At the end of the day, this project has indeed broadened our perspectives towards environmental protection efforts involving youths. Not only that, the essence of team work and reaping what you sow.
“Happy trails to you, until we meet again.”
Visits to Edinburgh and Glasgow
Indubitably, a trip to Scotland would simply be incomplete without sightseeing and shopping in Edinburgh and Glasgow.
In case you didn’t know, Edinburgh is the capital of Scotland and the seat of the Scottish parliament and government. We visited the Scottish Parliament and took in the beautiful architecture while listening to the stories behind every designs. We also had the honor of speaking to a member of the Scottish Parliament, Mr. Coffee, and spent a very intellectual hour discussing about the Scottish politics and in the wake of Scotland’s pledge for independence.
Walking along the streets of Edinburgh, we soon found ourselves stopping every now and then to capture the breathtaking buildings of great historical value. We stopped at Edinburgh Castle, a magnificent fortress which dominates the skyline of the city of Edinburgh, Scotland, from its position atop the volcanic Castle Rock.
Glasgow, on the other hand, is the largest city in Scotland, famous for its shopping heaven in George Square, City Sightseeing Bus tours, and attractions including Glasgow University, Clyde Auditorium, The Gallery of Modern Art and Botanic Gardens. Our group fought for an entire day of shopping at Glasgow, aborting our initial plans of sightseeing, to quench our desires for a great shopping spree. We never regretted our decision to do so, as big bags of clothing, shoes, accessories, electronic gadgets were loaded onto the coach, ending the day with a tired but happy note.
Kilmarnock FC match
Football is Scotland’s favourite sport, and one exciting aspect of our trip there was watching the match between Kilmarnock and Johnstone. With this being the first live match I’ve watched, I would never forget the thundering cheers and chants that rocked the stadium.
At the end of the trip, each of us agreed that it has truly been a true eye-opener. Just like how we left our footprints in Scotland, Scotland has left us with so many beautiful memories that I’m sure we will keep for as long as we can remember.
“Don’t cry because it’s over. Smile because it happened.” – Dr. Seuss
Written By: Goh Xin Yi, 12A11