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2 October 2021

2 October 2021
I was watching a recent bonding travelogue between a father and a son called Jack Whitehall: travels with my father. The old father was portrayed as a person who hates leaving home. Across 4 years, they spent a month every year in Asia, Europe, California, Australia, and the UK. During the trips, the son kept making the father do things beyond his imagination and ability, for example, eating exotic street food, practicing nude yoga, driving fast cars. The father on the other hand, educated the son on proper etiquette, attire, even in a seemingly impossible situation. The son is in his early 30’s, the father just celebrated his 81st birthday.  You can imagine each episode was funnier than the next one.  But you can also see the love between them, comfortably monitored by mother in Putney, England, who, once in a while, joined the pair for a weekend or two, and always asked the father to take care of the son because he was the adult in the trip.  And most impressive of all, the pair kept calling their travels: grand tour.
Our version of grand tour was to take each Form 5 class to a city they agreed upon, with the itinerary mostly designed by the students themselves.  During the trip, not only would they take care of each other, but they would also visit a local educational establishment, do some social service work, and make friends with the locals. The grand tour serves as an integral part of King Ling education when students are in Form 5, as well as a celebration for these students are ready to become young adults and enter university. It is indeed an all-in-one coming of age function which we are proud of.  Unfortunately, during the COVID years, we had to suspend and/or allow voluntary enrollment.  Make no mistakes, the grand tour is mandatory when health issue is taken care of.
We won’t put students in danger, but we will put them in situations they have never fathomed before. Once students took a crammed train in Sri Lanka, standing in the compartment for hours, seats were offered to those in need. Students had been psychologically prepared for this train journey, so nothing went wrong, nothing/no one was lost, except they nearly missed the train. It was not a comfortable ride, but it is life for many. The reason we need education is to acquire knowledge, and to use the knowledge learned to make the world a better place. With experiences like the train journey, our students learn to be more humble, compassionate, and alert with what happens around them, and do their best to improve a community known or unknown to them.  Why would any qualified medical professionals leave Hong Kong and join Médecins Sans Frontieres?
I hope it is safe to go on our next grand tour, for students to share knowledge, love, hardship, and time with each other, just like the father-son duo.
Anson Yang