CAS basically stands for creative, action, service, if there was any service involved in our recent CAS week. It was more like a CA week than a CAS week (no not California). Also, we were only in Yangshuo which our CAS week was held for 5 days and 4 nights, so it was more like a school week than a actual week, but I digress.
First I’ll just list the activities out in a boring old fashioned list formation, we did hiking (twice), caving, went to a cooking school, cycling, tea planting, hiking and rock climbing.
Caving depended on whether you liked getting dirty (a lot), didn’t mind getting soaked from head to toe, had good stamina, liked hiking and climbing, didn’t mind the bats and had no fear of getting hurt in order to cross a platform or waterfall. I passed most of them except the fact that I liked keeping myself clean so I do not dare go in the mud bath while everyone else did. Although I did get a little muddy, although the last part where we had cross a underground river was kind of like a shower where I took the opportunity to clean up very quickly then proceeded. I was very good at the caving part even-though it was first time, however, there was a hiking proportion where we had to walk back to the bus. Even though I already went on 7 hikes much harder than this and never slipped. I slipped about 17 times, I think it was because I was really tired and couldn’t exactly process my footing that well.
Next was cycling, it sounds fun right? I already knew how to ride a bike so I thought this would be fun and easier, only problem was I haven’t ridden in 2 years so it was going to take a while to get used. Fortunately, I am a rather quick learner so I at least was comfortable ridding, not at my normal speed, but enough to not fall behind (well I kind of did as it took a while to relearn ridding a bike and everyone already left). Also guess what, the bike trail was also very muddy so not only tires, but my shoes, legs and hands got muddy, luckily we stopped at a lake and I washed off. On the way there, something happened, I was pushing my bike on a rock terrain and soon after I heard a loud cracking sound and the bike suddenly got a lot heavier. Turns out my front tire completely flew off and we had to reattach it in order to proceed
After that was our first hike, I’ll give a brief layout of our environment first. Humidity was at 100%, it was 28˚-32˚ degrees with unstable rain, full of mud and animal poo and we were hiking for 3 and a half hours. So, when it rained we put of coats on then we got hot, the sun came out, we took it off, the rain came back the next minute and the cycle repeated. There was also a downhill which was just full of a mixture of mud and animal poo that very slippery and a very big ditch full of animal poo and mud. The instructor helped people down then just gave up afterwards and guess what happened to me. I’m like step, step, okay I’m fine, take a another step and slip, fall into the ditch. So now I was dirty, smelled bad, sweating, couldn’t use my hands for obvious reasons, tired and very humiliated. Luckily we came into a mini pond and I washed my hands so I could at least use them. The rest of the hike was pretty straight forward so I won’t go into any detail.
The next day we went on yet another hike, but that’s when weather started to get better, couldn’t have come sooner then the last two days, also this hike wasn’t complete torture like the other one. First, it had no mud, Second, the weather was cool and Third, it was really short. The only real obstacle in this hike was the stairs, oh boy the stairs. When we finished the hike, we were a little happy yet mildly disappointed as this one failed to compare to our first hike.
After the hike came the cooking school, lets just say, I AM NOT BORN TO BE IN THE KITCHEN. With the knife that cuts the veggies and other foods, I cut my thumb was attempting to cut the eggplant, not entirely, but enough to make it bleed. Also, I was slow with stir frying and I couldn’t flip over the egg dumplings and around 50% of the time, one of the instructors were helping me. Although the food I produced at tasted good, I didn’t exactly eat it due to not being hungry.
We were supposed to go kayaking after the cooking school, however due to high tide warning, it got moved to tomorrow and we had to go rock climbing in it’s place. I’m just going say this right now to clear up any misunderstandings from the next segment; I HATE ROCK CLIMBING. The problem is, I know I can rock-climb well, but the problem is that the only thing that’s holding me back on rock-climbing is acrophobia. I don’t have a serious case of acrophobia but it’s enough to prevent me from rock climbing as I freeze in place and refuse to move when I get scared. After a straight hour of just positive encouragement and motivation, I got over the per-stage of my phobia and started to tackle the wall. That’s when the main fear started to act, I was shaking, scared and couldn’t process anything in my head. I couldn’t figure where to grab, where to start. After around 40 minutes of relaxing my mind, I made it…halfway the level 1 wall. I gave up right there as I couldn’t go any further, but I felt accomplished. However, that was short-lived as I was dizzy and slipped on the slipper trail and landed on the edge of a rock…on my butt. That was funny and painful at the same time.
The last day, we NOT going kayaking due to another high tide warning although you would’ve figured that out if you paid attention to the first few sentences. We were going tea planting in it’s place. That was interesting although since it’s just a tea plantation,there isn’t a lot of content to cover. Although one really funny thing happened, we were supposed to go pick tea leaves and one group came back wih 90% leaves and 10% tea leaves.