Home' Focus : 2014 College Yearbook Contents 88
The 2014 Japanese trip was a truly amazing cultural
experience. We were a bit overwhelmed by the intense heat of
Japan’s summer but survived with the help of much fanning
and ice-cream. ‘An ice-cream a day keeps the heat at bay . . .
or two, or three!’ My highlights were Shinjuku National Garden
in Tokyo, catching the chikatetsu (subway) and finding Tokyo
Skytree with Amy on our free day, going to a sushi train at
Kyoto Station, seeing all the beautiful temples and shrines,
squeezing through the Buddha’s nostril and last, but certainly
not least, getting to know my host Yuri during home stay.
These memories will last a lifetime.
Sophie Lawrence, Year 9
I would highly recommend this trip to anyone from Year 9
up as it is a great way to improve your travel awareness and
independence. Through this experience I have gained a much
greater understanding of Japanese culture and I am now very
confident with the Japanese language. Visiting Miyajima Island,
staying in a traditional hotel and eating traditional Japanese
food for breakfast and dinner was a main highlight.
Laura Warren, Year 10
Our Japan trip was beyond all my expectations! We packed
so much into this trip that I felt we have experienced all aspects
of traditional and modern day Japanese life. My favourite
part was the three day home stay including Japanese school
because I was able to apply what we learnt in the classroom
and communicate with the wonderful host family with whom I
In the September holidays nine Scotch Oakburn students
embarked on the fourth Timor-Leste service trip.
The group, consisting of Zoe Lewis and Meredith Hodson
(Year 12), Emily Cain, Gracie Cowell, Ella Dargan, Emma Holder,
Georgia Roberts, Tom Von Stieglitz and Abbey Watson (Year
11) were accompanied by teachers Mr Sam Watkins and Mr
Andrew French. We had the privilege of having past teacher,
Tania Deguara, joining us as the Destination Dreaming guide.
The trip was a 10 day immersion into Timorese culture. We were
mainly based in the community of Maliana, but also had a few
days in the capital city Dili.
Our first few days focused on gaining an understanding
of the history of the country and slowly transitioning into
a completely unfamiliar land, looking in particular at the
Portuguese influence and Indonesian occupation. We visited
the Resistance and Chega! Museums, as well as the Santa Cruz
Cemetery. We found these places and their stories confronting,
but they gave us a better understanding of the recent history
and the struggles the local people have endured. This
understanding was enhanced after meeting Deo and Rosie.
Both have lived through the Indonesian invasion. We were
humbled by their compassion, forgiveness and love of life.
The five hour troopie ride through the mountainous
landscape was a great bonding experience for our group. A
highlight was getting very enthusiastic waves and shouts of
hello from the local kids we drove past. Forty minutes before
arriving in Maliana, we stopped at the Australia House in Balibo.
In 1975, five Australian journalists were killed by Indonesian
militia while reporting in East Timor. It was a surreal feeling
standing in their footprints knowing what had taken place.
Upon our arrival at the Encouragement House we were
greeted by a wave of colour and smiles as we were ushered in
by a group of girls performing a traditional Timorese dance. We
were each presented with Tais as the crowd of 140 students
living at the Encouragement House gathered around to
welcome us. We stayed at the Encouragement for the duration
THE JAPAN TRIP
THE TIMOR TRIP
have become close friends.
The Japan trip is an opportunity not to be missed and
I would certainly recommend it for all students who enjoy
travelling and are interested in learning more about Japan.
Yasmin De Jersey, Year 10
As I have been learning Japanese throughout my years
at Scotch Oakburn College, having the opportunity to
communicate using that language can only be described as
magical. To see those years of learning equate to the ability to
communicate with others made me feel like it was worthwhile.
The homestay was definitely a highlight for me. Being able
to communicate with someone in a different language, along
with the fun of meeting new people from another country, was
extremely rewarding. This utilisation of skills along with the
beautiful sights, the amazing culture and fun you’ll have, makes
the trip brilliant.
George Coe, Year 9
This trip opened my eyes to a different way of life I
previously thought so similar, with many menial tasks becoming
an adventure in their own right. An absolute highlight of the
trip was playing soccer in 30̊C heat after dark with my host
and his friends; just experiencing something so familiar but so
different was a real thrill and one of my fondest memories.
Henry Yunk, Year 10
of our stay. Every night we would all hang out with the kids
there, singing songs, reading books, playing Uno and just
Another formal induction occurred the following day
at our sister school Maliana One, with a similar dance and
presentation ceremony. Something new was a practical science
demonstration put on by students who were passionate about
extending their learning beyond the textbook. We immersed
ourselves in the Timorese way of life, including shopping at the
local market for groceries, using squat toilets and eating the
local cuisine, with daily trips to the river to cool off in the vastly
different climate. A memorable moment for us all was playing
an energetic game of basketball one afternoon at the school.
The score ended in a draw, but we had all ‘won’ incredible
Leaving Maliana was an emotional process for us all, as we
had just had an amazing experience and were touched by the
wonderful sense of community we experienced in Timor Leste.
Thanks must go to all those who made donations, in
particular Abbey Watson for her generous donation to Sister
Elsa’s orphanage and Claire McCleneghan for donating English
books to SOLS school. We would also like to extend thanks
to all those who gave money towards rebuilding the Junior
Girls Boarding House known as ‘Kangaroo House’ at the
Encouragement House, which had been burnt down a month
before we left. A particular thank you to the Junior School for
the fundraising BBQ they held which raised $1000 towards the
We would like to acknowledge the work that went into
this trip, so thank you to all those involved. We know the
relationship with Maliana and the Encouragement House will
continue – it has been going for four years and we want to see
it continue for 40!
Emma Holder, Meredith Hudson, Gracie Cowell and
Famous Hachiko dog statue in Shibuya
Jenny Banbury and students
Millicent Young, Isabella Green, Georgia Smith and Zara De Jersey at Kinkakuji
Max Stevens and Ryan Stevenson
Max’s new deer friend at Nara
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