Visitors from Macau

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Nine students and two teachers from St. Paul's School in Macau was here for a week to improve their english and learn more about British culture.

A memorable experience

for 11 visitors from Macau

 

What started as a germ of an idea a while ago turned out to be a huge success this month when a party of 9 students and two teachers from St Paul’s School, Macau came to UK for a visit.

Before the trip I met with the Principal, Father Alejandro (Alex) Salcedo and teacher Philip Lai at the school along with Ip Lam from the Rotary Club of Macau and the trip was planned. Despite having been delayed by a tropical cyclone for 36 hours, the students arrived at Manchester airport and were whisked away to Petty Pool Outdoor Centre, Sandiway which would be their base for much of the stay. Following a trip to Liverpool where they all saw Albert Dock, the Beatles Museum and the Pier Head, the students went on a walk along the Sandstone Trail nearby to Petty Pool the following day. Walking in Macau is not a normal pastime and to say they were worn out after 2 hours is an understatement. 

A weekend of home hosting by members of Rotary Club of Sandbach provided a much needed contrast with life in Macau though. Their country which is a Special Administrative Region of China has a population of over 600,000 living in an area of 30 Sq. Km making it one of the most densely populated countries in the world – compare that with 17,000 or so in Sandbach! They have over 25 million visitors annually, attracted by the many casinos making their country more lucrative than Las Vegas. First impressions were that we all lived in castles compared to their normal apartments in high rise blocks. The hosts provided differing programmes from a trip to the North Wales coast and Snowdonia, to Jodrell Bank, looking at farm animals at Wheelock Farm to shopping and cake baking but all the students enjoyed their time and their command of the English language improved immensely. The weekend ended with a barbecue at Kath Hovey’s home with our Club President David Lewis as head cook. The event was attended by several Club members and Interactors who organised boules and pitch and put competitions – croquet was scheduled but there was no time left before departure back to Petty Pool.

Following a day in Manchester visiting the Old Trafford ground (and shop!) and a day on all the apparatus at Petty Pool, the party returned to Sandbach for a day with the Club. This started with crown green bowls at The Limes followed by lunch at the Market Tavern with Rotarians, after which the historians of our Club showed the students all the sights of our small town.  On the Wednesday evening a farewell party was held at Petty Pool with several members attending. The students put on a short programme of music and singing – Hey Jude proved popular with all before all bid a tearful farewell to the host families. 

After leaving Sandbach, the party took a train to London accompanied by Grace Milner, Interact Club President and two colleagues for a couple of days sightseeing before returning to Hong Kong and then Macau.

It had been a most enjoyable experience and I am grateful to all the Club members who made the trip so successful.

Rtn Eric Cowcill (Chair, Youth Service)

Following are the comments received from the nine students

 

Abby: 

I would like to express my gratitude to the Rotary club of Sandbach for giving me this great opportunity to stay with my host family.  Bill and his family are kind to me.  They let me experience the British culture and told me a lot of history of his place.  After staying with them for 3 days, I don't dare to speak English anymore.

 

Koey: 

It's very nice that I could meet my host family. They are very nice and friendly.  As my English is not very good, I can't express myself clearly.  However, they were very nice and tried their best to encourage me to speak English.  I also learned a lot of British and Indian culture.  Finally, I would like to thank them for taking good care of me.  I have promised them that if they come to Macau, I will be their tour guide.  I'm looking forward to seeing them in the future. 

 

Jessica: 

I'm very glad to have this chance to stay with my host family.  It can let me experience the British culture. I'm very lucky to have been chosen to stay with Jo and Alastair. They are very friendly.  Even our English is not good, they tried very hardly to listen and explain to me.  My English has improved a lot in these three days. They are like my second family who give me a lot of love and care.  I won't forget these memorable time.  I hope we can met again in the future.

 

Miki: 

For these three days, I stayed in Tim's home with Bobo. I enjoyed my stay with them because they took of me like a family member.  On the second day, they held a birthday party at home and they introduce me to their other family member.  We had a lovely afternoon. I am lucky to have this wonderful chance to stay with them.  I hope I can stay Tim and Nicola 's home again. Thank you for their love and care.

 

Wesley: 

I stayed in Eric's home with my teacher, Philip.  Eric told me a lot about himself.  During the weekend, he drove me to visit many beautiful towns and seaside. Moreover, he took me to try some local dishes.  I had a wonderful day with him. Finally, Eric showed us his favourite car after the BBQ gathering with the Rotarians.  I learned a lot during my stay with Eric.  

 

Joyce: 

First, I have to express my gratitude to the Rotary Club of Sandbach for making this exchange programme happened.  During my stay, I felt like I was home with my host family. I promised I will keep in contact with my host family after I return to Macau.

 

Mandy: 

I'm happy to be given this wonderful opportunity to stay with my host family.  They are very kind and friendly.  In these three days, they took good care of me.  We chatted all the time, which made my English improved a lot.  I treasure this wonderful experience and I will never forget it. 

 

Bobo: I would like to thank my host family for taking care of me for the past three days.  In the weekend, they held a birthday party at home.  Tim and Nicola introduced me to their family and I felt I was like their family member.  They were very nice to me.  I'm glad that I can have this chance to practice my English.  I hope I can meet Tim and Nicola again in the future.

 

Judy(mickey): I am very happy to meet Alastair and Jo  and have spent a wonderful weekend with them.  They took good care of me in these three days.  Sometimes I didn't understand what they said but they would encourage to talk to them.  I earned my confidence in speaking English from them.  It will be the best and most memorable experience in my life.  If I have chance to go there again, I hope I can stay with them.