Saturday, July 16, 2011

The Fun Never Stops

Last week was incredible. I’d say one of my favorite weeks in HK so far!! Of course, I’m paying for it now. I think my 6 weeks of sleepless nights have finally and unfortunately caught up with me, seeing as I woke up Monday with a fever and a head as heavy as a brick. With only 2 weeks left, I’m sick and there’s no denying it. Will I let it slow me down? Not for a minute!

This roll of toilet paper I’m using for tissues is getting exceedingly low (much to the disapproval of Margaux). So I better write fast.

After our glorious holiday weekend of adventure and Chinese culture, it was a little difficult to return to work. Or maybe I should say it was VERY difficult. The office was a little hectic seeing as it was the week of the Rotary International Ball, yay! I now realize that I’ve neglected to give you the details of my internship (you know, the whole reason I’ve been here?), but basically my time here has been spent in preparation for the Ball. My boss, David, is one of the most generous and incredibly giving men I have EVER met (Go Trojans!), and he just became District Governor for Rotary International District 3450 (Hong Kong, Macau, and Mongolia). His inauguration ceremony (and party of course!) took place this past Friday. Over the course of the past 6 weeks I have helped write letters, emails, and messages, proof read the program, took notes during meetings, helped with graphic design work, prepared David’s Rotary presentations and speeches…the list goes on and on! It has been the most amazing experience, and I can’t thank David enough for all the things that I have learned.

Anway, I just got really distracted…where was I again? Oh ya, busy week!! So I returned to work on Tuesday and threw myself full force into being the best helper I could possibly be. Luckily, we had lots of fun activities planned for the evenings as distraction from my long (but worthwhile) days at work.

On Tuesday, we finally went the see the Peak! It was soooo beautiful. And even though we had to wait in line for almost an hour and a half just to get on the cable car, it was worth it. Seeing all of HK spread out below glowing and shining in the dark against the smooth black ocean was a sight I will never forget. It looked like a photo that belongs on a postcard (in fact, I think it’s on one?), and we arrived just in time to watch the light show. I know I’ve said this a million times, but sitting up there looking down at all the colorful skyscrapers really made me appreciate my time here in HK. I really do love it here! And I’m already getting sad to have to leave it behind.

The line to The Peak.

The incredible view! Does this even look real?!

Watching the light show. I'm going to miss you Hong Kong!

Wednesday after work we went to Happy Valley Race Course to see the last horse races of the season. You’re probably wondering why in the world we would want to go to a see a horse race. I know it sounds strange, but EVERYONE told us we couldn’t leave HK without visiting Happy Valley. So, we went. I soon learned that the horse races are like one huge swarm of expads. It was PACKED with white people. They were all young. And they were alllll smoking cigarettes. Regardless of the smoke, it was really fun. I actually love horses and would have been happy just to watch them race, but it was the atmosphere that was the greatest. Everyone was drinking beer and laughing and screaming as they lost their bets. There was a live band and food tents and lots of places to buy drinks. It was like one big party! No wonder people go every week!

At the race course!

Our favorite spot...

Look at all the people! One biggg party!

My camera wasn't quick enough...but I loved watching the horses!

The day of the Ball finally arrived at the end of the week on Friday. I went over to the venue around 1 pm to help Davina and Grace set up, where I was put in charge of table set-up. Doesn’t sound too bad right? Well, there were 66 tables, each with around 15 chairs. Each table needed exactly 9 of DG David’s newsletters meticulously fanned around the centerpieces. Each table needed to be checked for 2 regular menus and 1 vegetarian menu. Each plate needed a programme book. Each chair needed a President’s message booklet and sponsor bag. And all the platinum table chairs needed an addition Tatler magazine. FOR 66 TABLES! I had a small staff to help me, but only one person could speak English. Let’s just say I was glad when the ballroom set-up was complete and everything looked beautiful!

The programme I helped put together!

My table! "RotaryBrings Hope" + David's favorite wine!

The evening was so rewarding!

Then I got my chance to retreat to the dressing room with the girls to get ready for the ball. It was a night of good food, entertaining music, great friends, and lots of wine. All our hard work paid off, and I had a wonderful time. I’m so lucky to have interned during David’s inauguration ceremony; what a special experience!

David's speech - he was so inspirational!

The appetizer. Yum!

The main course.

My favorite part....DESSERT!!

The special hip hop performance.

Sheeva, Davina, and Cat - I'm SO lucky to have them! <3
The fun continued on Saturday when the HK Global Fellows organized a junk boat. We rented out an entire boat for 6 hours and invited all our HK friends and coworkers for a day of relaxation and a little sun. It was soooo amazing. I wish I could do it again. We swam, we sat in the sun, we ate, we talked, we laughed, we listened to music, all in the middle of the beautiful waters and mountains of HK. Anddd, my friend LC came!! She just returned home to HK from summer school at SC a week ago. I loved getting the chance to see her, and we’ve already made plans to go squid fishing (tradition in Hong Kong??) this week! I couldn’t have asked for a better afternoon.

Beautiful day!

Relaxing on the boat.
Getting ready to swim! 
Floatie time!

In the water!

We returned to our rooms exhausted and immediately went to sleep. Margaux and I set our alarm for 9:30 pm, and when it went off, neither of us were very happy. We forced ourselves out of bed to get ready to go out. It was worse than getting out of bed for work in the morning. Only 2 weeks left right? We can’t waste any time. We managed to rally and ended up having a blast in LKF! One of my favorite nights so far! We returned home around 5 am. Pure exhaustion.

The week of fun concluded on Sunday when we went to Ocean Park! Ocean Park is like a combination of Disneyland, Sea World, and zoo. I mean, could my week get any better? Probably not. We spent the day looking at pandas (sooo cute!!!), watching the dolphin show, and going on amusement park rides. Low point of the day was when I actually ate McDonald’s for lunch. Disgusting right?! I swear it was the best option out of all the food they offered there. And yes I felt a little sick for a while afterwards. I guess nobody’s perfect, thank you Hannah Montana.

Ocean Park.

The largest crab spiders in the world!


Look how cute he is!

DG panda!

I fell in love with these little guys!

Turtle Turtle
This one's for you Dev!

The otters were adorable too!

Dolphin Show

At this point I started going a little picture crazy...

There was even a jelly fish exhibit!

Overall, I couldn’t have asked for a better week. I may be sick, but I’m still smiling!! I can’t wait for the adventures of my last 2 weeks in HK, and I’m soooo excited for Thailand! But most of all…less than 3 weeks until I get to see everyone at home! Missing you always! xo

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