The Bridge Club Bangladesh return trip is finally over. It’s been an extremely tiring week but it’s also a week of lots of laughs and fun (and some nightmares as well…).
The trip began with Karen slept late and seeing Ivan wearing suit at the airport. Karen slept late means she had to do whatever she can to get to the airport and give me the documents needed for checking into the campsite; Seeing Ivan wearing suit at the airport means that he’s not keeping his promise of taking the week off and stay with our Bangladesh friend. So, only Vanessa and I were there to take them to the camp and bring them to Central. Bruce came to help us after getting off from work in the afternoon. Ivan only showed up in the evening for the dinner at the Peak and signed the bill…kinda reluctantly.
We spent the second day in the Chinese University of Hong Kong. Our Bangladesh friends are obviously not as fit as us…they’re exhausted after walking down the hill all the way from NA College to CC College. We actually let them took a few breaks on the way: had a look into the Arts Museum, then let them took some pictures at engineering building. Bruce, Phoebe and I left a bit early to shop for souvenirs so that we can present something in the welcoming party that night. We eventually found Panda Cookies at Kei Wah Bakery. $35@…nice paper box.
The third day was spent mostly in Ocean Park. After thinking up of several plans and considering them carefully, I finally decided to let our Bangladesh friends go free and explore the park on their own after getting them some food (deep-fried chicken) for lunch. According to what they’ve told me, they obviously enjoyed the trip: visited most aquariums and played several rides as well in just 2 1/2 hours. After leaving the Park at around 7pm, we (there were Sunny, Karen, Tracy, Jonathan, Phoebe, and me) brought them to TST promenade for the light show. Finally dinner at CitySuper.
There’re only Vanessa and me on the fourth day. After being reminded that it’s free to enter museums for free on Wednesday, we decided to go to Lantau on Monday instead of museums. Leading them to Lantau with just Vanessa and me available works well because doesn’t matter how they get lost, I can be pretty sure that they’re still on the island. And on this day, someone did “get lost” and took us some time to find her – proved my logic right: though it took us a while to find her, she’s still in that small Ngongping Market. Just imagine we’re in MK instead of Ngongping … =_=!
Tuesday is a “half day-off” for Vanessa and me. All we had to do in the morning was to bring them over to the school and then let Christina take charge of the whole school-visit program. It’s not like we wouldn’t like to participate in the school-visit thing but we’re really exhausted and needed some time to recharge a bit. We picked them up in the evening and took them to Breakthrough Youth Village for a discussion group. Seems they enjoyed the day very much. Several of them told me personally that they enjoyed talking to the students in the school and the young people and learned a lot. Something unexpected happened was that the associate principal of the school impulsively invited us to have dinner at his place the next day, which is exactly what we needed: a local home-visit plus a free meal. We haven’t been able to find any local home to show them and we’re over-budget already on the 5th day.
The day before they leave was a busy day: museum in the morning then SHOPPING! Their shopping list is unexpectedly long. They wanted to buy digital cameras, cellphones, laptops, guitar, drumsticks, clothes, art supplies…etc. Hadn’t bargained in markets for a long time and oh, it’s actually fun to bargain =P Really got a lot of satisfaction when I could bargain something from $12x down to $60 or for some other experts…$40. It’s simply fun. Dinner at the associate principal’s place was wonderful. Their domestic helper is really good at cooking. Her chicken wings, beef, curry chicken, and the cheese cake…sooo delicious!
When we finally came to the last day, we all thought that the trip went smooth and how nice was that! But oops, we forgot about our “honorary” Immediate Past President (IPP). He’s always got a way to drive everyone else mad and still thinks his way is the best way and none other may do it as good. With our IPP, the trip ended with the evaluation/sharing meeting being a joke and a serious internal dispute among ourselves, plus a split between the IPP and the executive committee after seeing the Bangladesh people off at the airport. How nice is that!?
Anyway, the trip is over now and we’ve got to know some great friends. Gotta say that I’d really love to see them again – maybe in Bangladesh, maybe in HK…or maybe we can arrange a trip to somewhere else!