An Independent School • Grades 5-12

by Lizzy J. '21

This month, Lakeside Upper School students are at six locations around the world, developing their understanding of and respect for different countries and cultures, as well as the common issues that face us globally. Read their blogs for their thoughts, and learn more about our Global Service Learning program.

It’s almost the end of pre-trip week, and our whole group is looking forward to the month-long adventure that lies ahead. We started off the week with a variety of icebreakers to get to know each other, as many of us had never met before. We have also been learning more about China and where we’ll be staying in particular. Personally, I know that I’m very grateful for the opportunity to learn anything I can, because I knew very little about where we’re going before this week. Everything from studying maps on the terrain of the Tibetan Plateau to watching Crash Course videos on the history of China has been very fascinating and engaging!

Right now, we are working on partner research projects that cover a range of country-related topics from Food & Agriculture to Culture & Language. We’re presenting these at the end of the week and I’m excited to hear what my trip-mates have been researching. At the same time, we’ve been trying to learn a bit of basic Chinese. About half of our group speaks Chinese proficiently, but the rest of us (myself included) have been attempting to stumble over our tones and memorize a few useful phrases. I’m trying my hardest, but I still always get a few laughs when I attempt to talk.

In addition to this, our trip leader Bradford taught us a few phrases in the local Tibetan dialect that is spoken in the village. This was especially fun because no one knew the language, so we all got to struggle together. Our group has been getting along quite well, and it’s been nice to have the chance to get a feel for our group dynamics in preparation for all the time we will be spending together these next couple of weeks.