A Slideshow Showing All Of Our Great Memories
For the last 2 days, I’ve been on Lantau Island with the rest of the 5th Grade. We went to Lantau Island to disconnect with the city, and learn more about the environment, and the issues that the environment is facing. We stayed at the YWCA Sydney Leung Holiday Lodge and went to Mui O and Pui O. Our guides were from a company called Ark Eden, which is a charity dedicated to preserving the nature, but also offer tour trips in Lantau. I was part of Group B, which didn’t have my best friend in it. I was slightly disappointed at first, but I forgot about it after the first few minutes! I did a LOT of stuff and I want to share some of the great memories with you!
After going through customs, we (Group B) went straight to Pui O. Pui O is an amazing place, and is inhabited by… WATER BUFFALOS! They were everywhere! Originally, the buffalos were imported from Vietnam for farmers to use to grow rice. But when the farming stopped in the 1970s, the buffalos were set free and now roam around Pui O. They are fed by the locals, but they also find food for themselves. One group of buffalos has Billy the cow, who was saved years ago from dogs by locals, and thinks he is a water buffalo. I got to pet Billy, which was really quite fun.
Our guides for the day, Tom, Sue and Dina split us into groups when we got to a saltwater marsh. With Tom, we learned about the berm, which is a group of plants that hold the soil together near the beach, and start the freshwater marsh. The berm was very interesting, with strong roots and defense systems in each plants that held the soil together, and didn’t let the tides destroy the marsh. Dina taught us all about Water Buffalos, and with her, we learned about how they group and about their different habits. Dina knew a lot about the buffalos, and what she said was really interesting. Finally, we looked at birds with Sue, and observed them to see what kinds they were.
We then went to the beach, and we had a BLAST! We changed into our swimming gear and ran straight into the big ocean. It was fantastic! We had a water gun war, boys versus girls, and we won! But the girls falsely claimed that we “quit” and that they won! How crazy is that!?
We then went to the saltwater marsh to look at fiddler crabs and fish for other marsh animals. When we got there, something WILD happened! Two buffalos ran into each other and started fighting either for territory or for females. They crashed and we had to slowly walk away, but they ended the fight shortly afterwards. Dina and Sue then took us into a Mangrove forest, and we saw a few fiddler crabs. The males had 1 gigantic claw! We then fished for tiny sea animals with Tom, but we let them go because we were observers. I saw a lot of tiny animals and netted a few too! When we had to go, Tom suddenly licked a piece of poo after someone dared him to do so, which set everyone on a wild frenzy!
Finally, we walked past a river to a mountainside area. Where we again split up. Dina told us about various issues the buffalos and cattle of Lantau were facing. One of them was that people were crashing into them and blaming them for the car accident, which led to the government taking a group of cattle to Sai Kok and a group from Sai Kok to Lantau. The cattle are now in critical danger. Tom and Sue took us up a quite steep path to a little abandoned rice plot, and we learned about 3 kinds of native trees. They were very cool.
Afterwards, we packed up and went back to the YWCA camp!
The YWCA Sidney Leung Holiday Lodge was an amazing place to spend a night. Although we had to make our own beds, it was a really cool place. We all sat down on a row of steps to hear who was in our dorm, and it felt slightly like a game show because whoever got the key was “the lucky winner!” I got put in a room with Jackie, Bryan, Brook, Boey, Long, Alex and Hoon. After making our beds (we’d find out we did it awfully wrong), we put together a shower schedule and after that, everyone went to play British Bulldogs, which is an awesome game.
We had dinner in the dining hall, and although food was quite good, there was not quite enough. We had to share average sized plates of food, but it was just a fun time to chat and relax. I learned that I was going to “die” the next day, and meet CHARLIE THE POOPING GIRAFFE! And afterwards, we watched A Bug’s Life. It was a good movie and all was great… Until what I call DOOM!
We went back to our dormitories and we all found a way to chat through the balconies. Some people even climbed out to get into other people’s rooms! But we slowly got tired and Mrs. Huiet had to come over and teach us how to make a bed! I read with a flashlight for a while afterwards but I got bored soon, so I stopped, and the first cry came… Alex was slightly sobbing because he missed his mom, but he stopped quite soon, until someone bursted out crying like a pig’s cry! I tried to find out what happened, but I was too tired to really care.
“Wake up… Wake up Felix! Brook is singing We Are The Champions!” Is the first thing I heard that morning. Alex woke me up but Brook’s loud singing woke up everyone in the dorm room and everyone else in every other dorm room! We had 3 people walk in and shout at him before 6:00! I thought about taking a shower, but I decided against it to count how many more people would come in!
In the morning, we cleaned up our rooms, and I did someone’s bed for them! People were “tired”, and didn’t want to do anything! I chatted with Devon and other people through the balconies, and learned that we had allegedly talked about “gay stuff”. And people were listening to us through the wall. I found that it was strange that they couldn’t name ANYTHING we talked about other than “gay stuff” and said that they didn’t know who said what. Just strange… I turned around and saw Jackie, and he tried to get me away by sticking out his tongue at me, and I pouted to make him go away, just for Brook to try to push us together! We ALMOST KISSED!
Afterwards was breakfast, and it was quite fun, except people were all obsessed with the toast and everyone finished up ALL of the two loaves on each table! I made a ham sandwich and I liked the tasty butter! I really loved the YWCA, but going to Mui O afterwards was even better!
The next day, we packed everything up and went to the beautiful seaside town of Mui O. We got new guides, Jasmine and Kristen. They took us to a horribly polluted beach filled with trash from the great pacific trash patch. We wrote down the things we picked up for the ICC, or International Coastal Cleanup. We put our trash into one giant recyclable trash bag, and I got to be the person who recorded what we got.
We then took a long, long hike up to Eden Rock, where Ark Eden is based. Did you know that poisonous caterpillars were extremely distracting when you’re trying to listen to someone about a gigantic hill you are about to climb? Well, I found out that very day. At Eden Rock, we met Ark Eden’s 8 dogs. I only remember Lucky, Spicy, Smokey, Belle and Radar. The other group got to walk them, but we didn’t. Now, to the interesting part! Jasmine told us to gather and she explained how we would go up the mountain to plant trees. At that exact time, poisonous caterpillars decided to start swinging from trees, and it really distracted our conversation!
“Ok… I’m going to die now.” was what I first thought about when I saw the dirt path leading up to the slope we were going to climb! It was so steep! I walked, or stumbled up steep paths, held ropes to climb up rocks, and even jumped across someone’s grave! The part with the rope was extremely hard, especially when we were stumbling down! The roads at the end were the worst! You had to run down because it was so steep and there was rain and mud EVERYWHERE! When we got to the top, Jasmine showed us how to plant a tree from saplings using Aaron’s sapling. We had to take the plastic sheet off, pour fertiliser into the soil, put the tree in, and then add mulch, which is just dead weeds. The views were spectacular though! I found that this was actually quite fun, but I didn’t think so when I was half falling down from the mountain when trying to go down! I had to get help from Aditi! But when I finally got down, I realised that I had actually done it, and I was so, so proud!
We then walked back to Eden Rock to learn about the Eco house, and go composting. We split up into 2 groups, and 1 went with Jackie, an old lady who works at Ark Eden, and the other went with Jasmine and Kristen who taught us how to compost. I went with Jasmine and Kristen first, and we went to see Charlie The Pooping Giraffe, who was actually a severely limped pig. He was limped because when he was a pet, he was taken up the mountain every day, which pigs aren’t supposed to do. We then learned how to compost, and it is surprisingly easy! All you have to do is get leaves, weed and some buffalo poop (which can be replaced). You pile them up into a container, and then you’ve got yourself a compost bin! With Jackie, we went to see the Eco house, which is a house made with recycled materials, and uses as eco-friendly products as possible. There, we found different labels about 5 main points that they used to determine what to do with the Eco House: Energy, Food and Water, Waste, Eco Products and Greening. The house had a lot of interesting things, and we were introduced to Soap Berries, which are berries that when rubbed with water, produce a soap like substance. We then had a little chunk of a sweet organic desert, and left for home! We really had a great time in Lantau, and we demonstrated all of the ESLRs, by really acting mature and appropriately.