Charlie Goldsworthy, Year 7, reflects on the World Scholar’s Cup…
Friday saw the final day of the World Scholar’s Cup. We enjoyed more talent show performances, including Meg Duthie’s gymnastics performance. This was one of many unique acts throughout the talent show. Another act we enjoyed was the cover of “See You Again” on a dan tranh, a traditional Vietnamese string instrument. After a short lunch break, we returned to the theatre for the Closing Ceremony. This began with a motivating speech by Daniel Berdichevsky, founder of the World Scholar’s Cup, and the flag bearing procession. It was amazing to see so many countries from all around the globe who came to take part in this event.
Saturday was the last day for us to take in all of the sights and wonders that Hanoi had to offer. This was done by a day trip to Halong Bay. On the way to the boat, our tour guide provided us with the history of Halong Bay, and how it translates to descending dragon bay, or simply “Dragon Bay”. We also saw the process of how pearls are formed and converted to jewellery. Once we were on the boat, we enjoyed our lunch looking out at the picturesque views of the bay. It was only when we arrived onto the island that we could fully see the magnificence of Halong Bay. We explored the stalactites and stalagmites in the caves, marvelled at the natural beauty of these formations and took many photos. Some souvenir shopping took place along the way and we returned back to the hotel.
On Sunday, we packed our bags and travelled to the airport. We sat back and relaxed for the long flight back home. In Melbourne, this first thing we noticed was how cold it was, especially after spending a week in 30-degree heat. The bus trip back to Ballarat was quite possibly the world’s quietest bus trip, with almost everyone taking the chance to go to sleep. We were all glad to see our families again. We weren’t however, too happy about being back to the middle of winter in Ballarat!
The World Scholar’s Cup was an amazing experience. We have all exceeded our personal goals, with every student from our school coming home with a medal. We exited the Convention Centre as different people to those who walked in on the first day. We have made friendships with people from various nations. We have experienced many other cultures at the Fair, trying food we had never tried before. We have all left with something, be it alpacas, medals, trophies or souvenirs. Most importantly, we have taken home memories. Some of us have gone outside our comfort zones, this might be debating for the first time or humming the Jaws theme song to a shark in the Aquarium. Regardless, we have all benefited from the incredible experience we have had together. Throughout this journey, all of us have become closer. We have strengthened existing friendships, and formed new ones along the way.