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Pelican : June 2009
Learning more than just a language After months of preparation, on 4 April 2009, 11 students and two teachers flew out of Canberra airport on our long-awaited trip to Japan. The 16-day trip included sightseeing in Kyoto, Nara, Hiroshima, Miyajima, Iwakuni and Tokyo, and a home-stay in Kamakura. This trip was one of our Language Faculty’s excursions to give students the opportunity to practise their Japanese language, experience the contrast of traditional and contemporary culture, and check out the latest high-tech gadgets. Japan was warm and sunny, and the cherry blossoms were in full bloom. The Kyomizu and Kinkaku temples were magnificent, as were the Nijo castle in Kyoto, the Todai temple in Nara, the Itsukushima Shrine in Miyajima, and the Kintai Bridge in Iwakuni. Students were impressed with the high levels of cleanliness and the efficiency of the bullet train and public transport in Japan. They enjoyed eating Okonomiyaki (savoury pancake); sleeping on a futon; using a public bath; looking at the latest electronic products in Akihabara; Disneyland; attending a tea ceremony and martial arts classes in Kamakura; and purchasing a duplicate samurai sword in Nara. They also learnt a lot and were given plenty to think about at the Peace Park and the Hiroshima Museum, which many found quite confronting. The boys were initially a bit nervous about home-stay, but I was pleased to learn afterwards that they quickly embraced the Japanese customs. Some of the students have already started saving for their next trip! Thuy Coombs Japanese and French Teacher Bridge at Iwakuni. Tour Group at Miyajima. Front Row from Left: Patrick Shea, Andrew Matthews, Jacob Galafassi, James Hague Back Row from Left: Thuy Coombs, Dylan Tully, Eamon Cross, Benjamin Fittler, Brett Yates, Nicholas Gillies, Peter Langford, Adam Cheer. Slam dunk in the US On 27 December 2008 the College Basketball Club sent 13 excited basketball players and five coaches, managers and parent support staff to the West Coast of America. We left Canberra at 6.30am and, after 18 hours of flying time, arrived in Los Angeles at 8.00am the same day (after crossing the international date line). We spent the day at the famous Venice Beach, where Hayden, Zach and Reece were challenged to a three-on-three game against three excellent street-ballers. We lost 13–10 but earned the admiration of all those who watched. Over the next three days, we travelled to Los Angeles, Portland and Kelso, Washington, where some boys went hunting with their billets. New Year’s Day was spent in Eugene, Oregon. While we were there, we competed in the Crow High School Cougar Classic and were successful in winning the tournament. We also watched the University of Oregon Ducks Basketballers, which was a magnificent spectacle in their 10,000 seat stadium. After travelling back to Portland, we flew to Oakland and San Francisco. This was followed by a visit to St Mary’s University, where the team met Australian Olympian Patty Mills. While in San Francisco, we visited the world famous Golden Gate Bridge and infamous Alcatraz Prison, both of which the boys described as “awesome and hectic”. In Los Angeles we went to Disneyland and Universal Studios as well as attending a professional ice hockey game and a basketball game. All players still speak fondly of their ‘trip of a lifetime’, including their fantastic billets, different cultures (even within the USA), great basketball games and new friends. For the record, we were undefeated on the tour. Wayne Kaye MIC Basketball Standing left to right: Steve Kirby (Assistant Coach), Bernie Kaleb, Glenn Baird (Coach), Jake Lord, Eli West, Jordan Cremerius, Wayne Kaye (Tour organiser), Josh Leonard, Reece Kaye, Adam McIntosh, Hayden Galbraith. Sitting left to right: Ricky Stein, Zach Bowden, Tarrant Sewell, Adam Hunt, Jake Crane. 13