We woke up at 7:00 and had breakfast at 7:30. The first part of our day we went to a Buddhist temple where we had the head monk show us around. He taught us about some Buddhist gods and their different roles. Ones job was to spread happiness and another’s was to see the world with a clear view, meaning that he’d see when you did something bad and when you did something good.
We next learnt about some of the morning rituals of the monks which involved waking up early and ringing a bell to wake themselves up, and then a drum to wake everyone else up. He then showed us the place where worshipers could come to pray and we were specifically told that it wasn’t only the inscense that helped Buddha to hear you, but it was your heart.
Next we went into the main building of the temple where we learnt how to pray to Buddha. It was an interesting experience as it was quite different to other forms of worshiping.
Then we learnt how to mediate with the monk where we had to sit in a crossed legged position and were told to try and clear our minds for 10 minutes while we meditated. A bit later we had the opportunity to eat lunch at the temple where they were a few strict rules that we had to follow. During lunch we had to be silent, we had to eat everything in our bowls, and the food was also all vegetarian. The experience was quite amazing but also a little but stressful because I had to make sure that I ate all the food as I didn’t want to feel rude.
When then went back to Utahloy where we had 3 hours to prepare a presentation on Australia as later we were going to Zengcheng local High School.
We may have procrastinated a little bit but we got it done in the end. Next we headed to the high school where we had to wait until 4pm for their classes to finish. We then got separated into two groups where there were 4 people per class as well as a teacher. We each presented a part of the presentation which was a bit tricky as we had to speak very slowly and clearly and we couldn’t use slang. The students were very interested in what we were talking about but didn’t always understand everything. We then each had a section of the room with students to have more personalised and relaxed conversations which was also a very interesting and fun experience.
As we left the classroom, pretty much all 50 students in the class rushed to get our WeChat codes and about 20 girls rushed to Riley to take a photo.
After that we had the opportunity to interact with the students in their clubs. Mia, Sadhana and I went to dance club which was very fun but also very unexpected as they were incredibly confident which we weren’t expecting. A few of them got us to dance with them, but in the end, we taught them the Macerana. They all picked up very quickly.
Towards the end, Tanya, Isabella and James came and joined us where Tanya surprised us all with her amazing dance moves. Even the students were impressed.
After that we all took photos and once again everyone scrambled to get our WeChat’s which made us feel like celebrities.
The day was definitely a highlight of the trip for me getting to spend time with all the students, and then having a platform where we could communicate with them (although with quite significant yet funny language barriers)