Summer challenge

PUBLISHED : Saturday, 10 July, 2004, 12:00am
UPDATED : Saturday, 10 July, 2004, 12:00am

Four Young Post readers have challenged themselves to make the most of their summers. We will monitor their progress every Saturday for 10 weeks. Jessie Hui follows them through the summer.


Francis Li, 17. Challenge: Rock climbing

'Tiring' and 'awesome' are the adjectives I would use to describe my progress in rock climbing this last week.

Last Friday and Saturday I attended the level-one training course organised by the Hong Kong Mountain Training Centre. On Friday evening we started off with a lecture covering the history of rock climbing, its development as a sport and a brief introduction to the equipment.

On Saturday we spent seven hours learning belaying skills, basic climbing skills and the principles of triangular balancing and energy saving.

Thanks to my coaches I have overcome the misconceptions I had about climbing. I predict this will not be a lonely adventure, as I have already met a group of people who are also very interested in the sport.

Gigi Lam, 15. Challenge: Write songs/learn the saxophone

I had my first saxophone lesson last Sunday and it was very interesting. I learned how to fit the reed into the mouthpiece and put them both into the saxophone. This procedure is a lot more complicated than it sounds.

I begged my tutor to teach me how to produce sound with the reed, but he told me most students were not able to do this in their first lesson. But I did it! My tutor was impressed.

I have also finished writing two songs for my musical, but I haven't arranged them yet. Does anyone know which computer software is good for musical arrangements? I only know of Cakewalk, but that is not good enough. I need to complete my arrangement in two days' time.

Carey Lee, 19. Challenge: Voluntary work

I took part in a training course for volunteers last weekend aimed at helping the elderly. There were 25 of us and we grew quite close, even though we only spent a short time together. We played team-building games, including one at night. I had to walk around the dark camp with my eyes covered led by my camp partner who carried a torch. The exercise required co-operation, communication and braveness.

During the course I also learned to understand the needs of the elderly. Many of them cannot do simple, everyday things because they do not have the strength any more. They need our help and are often afraid of being alone. I think we should spend more time to get to know the real world and the people around us.

Carmen Kong, 16. Challenge: Learn Spanish

Hola! Another week has passed and I am still struggling to get my tongue around the Spanish language.

However, I've not been wasting my time and have been studying the basics, such as the alphabet and the very strange pronunciation.

Wow! You have no idea how hard it is to learn Spanish.

One of the most difficult things is learning to roll and vibrate my tongue to get the correct 'r' sound. For instance, to say thank you - 'Gracias' - you really need to roll the 'r'. You don't need to do this when speaking Chinese, or even English.

Next week I hope to get the chance to meet a Spanish-speaking person. Hasta leugo, amigos!