Both University of Limerick and University College Cork were more impressive than the few we came by at many levels. Environmentally, both of them were run through by a river: River Shannon for the former and River Lee the latter. And they offered unquestionably mesmerizing scenery.
In terms of hospitality, both institutes achieved a high standard at different dimensions. The University of Limerick's tour brought us to the Prassey House, where the office and guestrooms of the Principal were located. It looked like the White House and the interior was classy. A cup of fine tea and assorted snacks brought in the best European air to each of us, let alone the striking view through the windows. Furthermore, the music centre of this university inspired us to firmly believe that Ying Wa Primary School deserves a world class music centre should a swimming pool complex be constructed in the near future.
The University College Cork might not have taken us to a luxurious room, yet their connections with China and their involvement of two students from Hong Kong during the discussion time showed a lot of friendliness and sincerity. We are glad to see that this institute came to the forefront in opening up opportunities for Asian students. They surely sets up an example for the other Irish universities which would like to reach the world. Another pleasant surprise from this university was a costumed young man narrating in first person as George Boole, the father of computer science. Very articulate and dramatic!
The last stop of the day was a simulation of the Titanic experience at a refurnished pier at Cobh where the real Titanic did dock. We got to see information of the 1912 incident and the rooms the passengers used to stay. The experience reminded us that a lot of travellers did not survive the disaster and that it is always a blessing that we can gather, share and build the future we can see.
On the way back to Limerick, Mrs Lam prepared over a hundred questions about the trip so far to challenge all the participants on the coach! She set rules and there was a compulsory round, a quick fire round and a presentation round. So serious but fun! Isn't it what learning should be? Well, all three YWPS teachers belonged to team B, guess which group won? ;)
Dr H C Lee