One semester down, one more to go.

After a long weekend of studying and finalizing final assignments, students wrote their course exams on Wednesday and Thursday morning before our final banquet and flight home.

With Thursday’s exam complete, some of us returned back to our favourite dumpling shop to feast on cheap eats. We then set out to visit Wat Mahathat, one of the many famous Buddhist temples in the city. This once elaborate temple was burned down and destroyed during the Burmese invasion and brings many visitors to the site due to one unique find. With the destruction of surrounding Buddha statues, one Buddha head was decapitated and became entwined in the roots of a tree!

Students had the remainder of the afternoon to pack their suitcases and explore what was left of the city. Some students continue to stroll through the many markets while others took the time to relax after a successful term abroad. By the time dinner rolled around, students had gussied up for our final banquet and last evening together.

Once dinner had been served and the final fruit trays had been cleared, it was time for the premiere of our school documentary! Students from our world cultures and business classes completed a short film on the Salasara Village Project from our travels in Cambodia. Students put their interview and cinematography skills to task and have been working on this film for the past six weeks before showcasing it on the final night. We were all taken aback by the captivating footage and skillful editing of our students… bravo!

We finished off the night with our school Kahoot followed by the white elephant gift exchange. Staff and students went out and purchased one gift to be wrapped and placed in a pile for all to guess. After picking numbers out of a hat, we all had the chance to choose from the pile or steal something already opened. Needless to say, the duck slippers made their way around the room more than once!

From the cricket munching in Cambodia to the beautiful Thai islands, it’s always hard to believe how time passes before my eyes… three years for that matter!

Europe provided us with a romanticized haven of adoration and exploration. From running through the streets of Rome to bathing on the beaches of Barcelona, we fell in love. We were then met with the new and idyllic when we broadened our scope into Asia. From the Great Wall of China to Angkor Wat in Siem Reap, the storybooks of our imaginations came alive.

On behalf of Kathy Young, George Rutherford, Sam Blyth, and our staff, we are all proud of the accomplishments our students have made over the past term. From adventure-seeking excursions to final projects and exams, our students have done it all. Where they’ve had the benefit of tasting a variety of cuisines, they have also come face-to-face with the cyclical challenges of poverty and crisis in underprivileged nations.

With these lessons in mind, our students are one step closer to transforming into the Renaissance citizens of the twenty-first century that we all hope for and need.

Yours around the world,

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