Students and staff from Mackie Academy have just returned from a jam-packed 9-day tour of China. Led by Iain Macdonald, Faculty Head of Mathematics, the 50 pupils were also accompanied by staff members Mary Dey, Aileen Walker, Joanne Smith, Lynn McLaren and Neil Westland from Mearns Academy.
The busy itinerary included visits to two of the wonders of the world - the Great Wall of China and Xi’an’s Terracotta Army. Time spent at the “Bird’s Nest” Olympic stadium certainly did not disappoint before having some fun in the Olympic Swimming Pool water park in “The Cube”.
Other highlights of the tour were an overnight train journey from Beijing to Xi’an, absorbing the atmosphere in Tienanmen Square, and cycling ancient city walls on tandem bicycles!
There were moments on the tour where many locals stood in awe of the large party of Mackie Academy students and staff. Indeed, there were plenty “photoshoots” carried out where locals thrust themselves or even their children in order to obtain the perfect pic, much to the amusement of pupils.
Iain Macdonald arranged a visit to a local school where Mackie pupils had an opportunity to engage with the pupils. This was the first time that the school pupils had seen and met westerners. As part of the school visit, a football match and basketball match had been arranged and Mackie Academy pupils certainly did not disappoint with convincing wins in both games.
The tour ended on a high with an adrenaline filled visit to Beijing’s Happy Valley theme park before the croaky voiced party made their marathon return journey home.
A DVD of the trip has been made and within the next two weeks there will be a showing in Mackie Academy Assembly Hall. Family and friends of all participants are invited to bring their own refreshments to the evening and re-live some of the fantastic and amusing experiences had by all. Copies of the DVD will be sold to raise funds for a cancer charity.