Steamboat Mountain School Global Immersion Studies Blog

Steamboat Mountain School GIS Vietnam/Cambodia 5/3

Posted by Marta Miskolczy on May 2, 2016 4:40:11 PM
Colton '18, Vietnam and Cambodia, 5/1/2016
Today we visited a school in Siem Reap, run by PSE, and painted a mural on one of their interior walls. In the morning, half of the group worked on sketching things out while the other half played with the young children there. In the afternoon, everyone (including some of the kids there) helped to finish the painting.  Some of the kids also played tag with us in the afternoon until we were worn down. Finally, we finished things up and said our goodbyes.
In the evening, after a great dinner, we went to a free concert given by Beat Richner, a Swiss doctor who helped create and run five hospitals in Cambodia that are completely free for children. Dr. Richner was an excellent cellist, and we saw a film aobut what motivates him to do his amazing work. In the end, we all donated a little to help hom and all the local doctors and staff he has helped to train. Visit  www.beat-richner.ch to read more about him.
              
Silas '18, Vietnam and Cambodia, 4/27/2016
Today we visited the S-21 prison camp and the Killing Fields in Phnom Penh, Cambodia. Even before we left Colorado, I knew this would be a very difficult experience. For me, the experience wasn't entirely new, as I have been to the Holocaust Museum in Washington, D.C. However, the prison camp and Killing Fields, in many ways, were even more raw experiences. The many images of victims (without their stories) made it easy to imagine yourself or someone you know in that situation, making the experience extremely powerful. It is a memory one cannot forget.
 
Pablo '19, Vietnam and Cambodia, 5/1/2016
Angkor Wat
Today we had an early departure so we could bike among the temples. The jungle temples we visited were filled with wonder and mystery. After lunch and a midday rest, we returned to the huge primary temple of Angor Wat. We learned how it was part of an entire city constructed in the twelfth century with amazing art and architecture containing elements of both Hinduism and Buddhism. Our only disappointment was that we could not explore longer, as we were ushered out with the setting of the sun.
The Vietnam / Cambodia group just finished up working at a school for underpriviledged children. They also planted over 50 mango trees which will bear fruit in only 3 years! 
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Topics: Student travelers, vietnam, Cambodia, boarding school with international travel program

Steamboat Mountain School GIS Vietnam/Cambodia 4/28

Posted by Marta Miskolczy on Apr 28, 2016 11:41:18 AM
Maya '19, Vietnam and Cambodia, 4/26/2016
Travel is some of the best stress relief. I'm not talking about a vacation with swimsuit tans. (I'm not saying that's not great--it is.) I love the kind of travel that is unexpected and unfamiliar...the kind that control freaks hate. Allowing myself to be submerged in someone else's lifestyle, culture, or history, I forget all of my troubles. On GIS I have found this type of travel. At a homestay, I had the experience of looking across a field at a resort and loving every bit of where I was. (I didn't fully enjoy the spiders.) If I had come here before, I would have stayed at that resort. I would have experienced a "vacation," and my travels would have been empty. I hope to embrace the uncomfortable and the weird every chance I get. This is how I wish to travel--full and free.
 
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Topics: Student travelers, vietnam, Cambodia, boarding school with international travel program

Steamboat Mountain School GIS Vietnam 4/27

Posted by Marta Miskolczy on Apr 27, 2016 11:02:10 AM
Mim '19, Vietnam, 4/24/2016
Today our group biked around Hoi An in the morning. First we went to an organic garden where we also learned how to make rice paper. A local woman explained why it was important to do things that are safer for the environment; it seems as though sometimes we forget that going back to natural ways can truly benefit the way we live.

We later went to visit a coconut field and were challenged to grab one. The boys were more than happy to oblige, and I realized that patience is the key.

As the sun was setting, we visited a traditional Vietnamese house that incorporated three different architectural styles--Chinese, Japanese, and Vietnamese. We learned about a type of Confucian cup that drains if filled over 80%, teaching you to avoid greed. This trip has taught so many things, and I appreciate all of them.--
 
Ella '19, Vietnam, 4/24/2016
I went biking today. Instead of staying back, I decided to challenge myself. The experience required patience and a lot of effort. I felt stronger in a way--like I had regained some of my independence. Ever since I hurt my hand a little, I have felt as though I couldn't  do as many things for myself. However, this experience has simultaneously taught me how to ask for help and how to be more reliant on myself when needed.
 
In Vietnam, there is an air of healing. There are still reminders of the war; however, the Vietnamese have found ways to use them for good. Casings from old, defused bombs are used as school bells and fish traps. Multiple veterans of "The American War" have shaken my hand and said variations of "We will never forget, but we have the power to forgive." This way of being, in my opinion, is a major reason why we can travel here safely and be able to take in everything this beautiful country has to offer.
 
 
Vi '17, Vietnam, 4/21/2016
Traveling in many different ways brings many different experiences. Experiences here do not just mean staying in nice places and eating good food; experiences also mean getting out of our comfort zones. Our GIS trip makes my home country seem different to me. Today in Chay Lap, I experienced a part of the country which I had previously only seen on TV. I painted an elementary school with my group. After all, travel and education are not just about truly being part of a community; they are also about collaboration -- seeing my friends and teachers working together, and their happiness. Travel is also about learning more skills in life; I have been learning to ask more questions and be even more curious. The thing that makes GIS such a great learning opportunity is that everything we have done is a part of growing up. Traveling makes your perspective bigger: "Sometimes, it is all about the sounds of cicadas, the smell of grass, and the ancient, simple, but elegant taste of traditional foods."
 
Gabe '19, Vietnam, 4/21/2016
April 18, 2016:  One of the high points of today was hanging out in a local park in Hanoi. Here, we got to experience the park both as children and from a more grown-up perspective. When we first walked into the park, we played in the bouncy house and went on all the rides that were offered. Later, we got to calm down and take in the views of the park. Here I noticed the beauty of the plant life and the variety of people walking, playing games and exercising on outdoor ellipticals, stationary bikes and gym equipment. Altogether, the day was fun, calming, and a day that allowed us to grow as observers.
 
April 19, 2016: After sleeping on the night train, we made it to our homestay in Chay Lap. We settled in, then headed to Paradise Cave, which was only discovered b a local farmer in 2010. After a hike up to the entrance, we descended into the cool, slightly misty cave, which is one of the largest in the world. We got to see huge formations of stalactites and stalagmites which formed over thousands of years with no human interaction. Now, thousands come every year to see the beautiful sights, just as we did.
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Topics: Student travelers, vietnam, boarding school with international travel program

Steamboat Mountain School GIS Vietnam 4/23

Posted by Marta Miskolczy on Apr 25, 2016 1:07:40 PM
Ella '19, Vietnam, 4/24/2016
I went biking today. Instead of staying back, I decided to challenge myself. The experience required patience and a lot of effort. I felt stronger in a way--like I had regained some of my independence. Ever since I hurt my hand a little, I have felt as though I couldn't  do as many things for myself. However, this experience has simultaneously taught me how to ask for help and how to be more reliant on myself when needed.
 
In Vietnam, there is an air of healing. There are still reminders of the war; however, the Vietnamese have found ways to use them for good. Casings from old, defused bombs are used as school bells and fish traps. Multiple veterans of "The American War" have shaken my hand and said variations of "We will never forget, but we have the power to forgive." This way of being, in my opinion, is a major reason why we can travel here safely and be able to take in everything this beautiful country has to offer.
 
 
Vi '17, Vietnam, 4/21/2016
Traveling in many different ways brings many different experiences. Experiences here do not just mean staying in nice places and eating good food; experiences also mean getting out of our comfort zones. Our GIS trip makes my home country seem different to me. Today in Chay Lap, I experienced a part of the country which I had previously only seen on TV. I painted an elementary school with my group. After all, travel and education are not just about truly being part of a community; they are also about collaboration -- seeing my friends and teachers working together, and their happiness. Travel is also about learning more skills in life; I have been learning to ask more questions and be even more curious. The thing that makes GIS such a great learning opportunity is that everything we have done is a part of growing up. Traveling makes your perspective bigger: "Sometimes, it is all about the sounds of cicadas, the smell of grass, and the ancient, simple, but elegant taste of traditional foods."
 
Gabe '19, Vietnam, 4/21/2016
April 18, 2016:  One of the high points of today was hanging out in a local park in Hanoi. Here, we got to experience the park both as children and from a more grown-up perspective. When we first walked into the park, we played in the bouncy house and went on all the rides that were offered. Later, we got to calm down and take in the views of the park. Here I noticed the beauty of the plant life and the variety of people walking, playing games and exercising on outdoor ellipticals, stationary bikes and gym equipment. Altogether, the day was fun, calming, and a day that allowed us to grow as observers.
 
April 19, 2016: After sleeping on the night train, we made it to our homestay in Chay Lap. We settled in, then headed to Paradise Cave, which was only discovered b a local farmer in 2010. After a hike up to the entrance, we descended into the cool, slightly misty cave, which is one of the largest in the world. We got to see huge formations of stalactites and stalagmites which formed over thousands of years with no human interaction. Now, thousands come every year to see the beautiful sights, just as we did.
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Topics: Student travelers, vietnam, boarding school with international travel program

Steamboat Mountain School GIS travelers report from Vietnam and Friendship Village

Posted by Marta Miskolczy on Apr 19, 2016 6:13:01 PM
Eric '18, Vietnam, 4/15/2016
Today we went to Friendship Village, which provides care for veterans and people affected by Agent Orange. It brought tears to my eyes thinking about the conflict we had with the country we're visiting. At their school for disabled people, a young kid grabbed my hand and led me around to different classes. I tried to communicate with students and make them laugh. Later, we joined a group of students to dance with them.  Before dinner, we went to a traditional Lotus water puppet show with puppets of dragons, fish, birds, and rice farmers. It was a good day!
 
Halong Bay photos: The photos are from the group's time on Halong Bay. 
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Topics: Student travelers, vietnam, boarding school with international travel program

Steamboat Mountain School GIS travelers report from Vietnam

Posted by Marta Miskolczy on Apr 14, 2016 11:52:36 AM
Ashley Simon '19, Vietnam 4/14/16
Today, we started off our first day in Hanoi by biking. As we biked through the city and down by the Red River, it felt great to stretch our legs after a long flight. In the afternoon, we toured the old quarter and got to observe and experience the lasting French colonial influence through food, architecture, and language. The diversity of colors in this vibrant city really showed in the markets in the old quarter. There were green turtles, bright orange and red tofu, yellow fruits, and other unique items for sale. As we walked through the markets, it was so cool to see Vietnamese culture from a perspective other than through a TV screen! To be right in the middle of it all was an awesome experience.
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Topics: Student travelers, vietnam, boarding school with international travel program