As Shirley said, ‘Team Building, it’s all about the team!’

Once again, we have team building! This time, however, it was a company-wide team building that meant we got to work alongside our friends and colleagues from other schools, many of whom we might never meet, and with whom we might not socialize outside of the classroom (Commune, la Cave and Beer Nest, I’m looking at you).

Inevitably, company-wide team building means a nice early morning start, everyone’s favourite, and the weather certainly didn’t look promising from the outside, with some of the teachers optimistically wearing shorts, and then 20 minutes later wondering whether it was the right choice. Nonetheless, unlike the last team-building out at Dujiangyan, the weather managed to hold out for most of the day, meaning that the staff could profit from the Great Outdoors. A bunch of us met up in Tongzilin, and a few metro stops later arrived at the Southwest Financial University metro stop and grabbed some Ofos to the meeting point at the Metro down the road. It's always a bit risky, but cycling in convoy, as a team, is always fun. Have a conversation with someone, drop back to chat with another friend, and then swerve to avoid a rogue car that has skipped a traffic light etc.


We milled around for about half an hour whilst we were assigned the buses on which we would be travelling to Dujiangyan, with some staff running to Metro for a hearty breakfast of miscellaneous pastries and Haribo is just what the doctor ordered for a long day of team building. After about an hour long coach journey, during which many of us grabbed the shut eye that we so dearly wanted and would normally have had on any other day.

After crossing a rickety bridge, where many of the staff feared falling into the… stream, we set up camp and pounced on the feast that had been set out for us.

It was almost handbags at dawn as various staff from each school all ran around trying to grab the best of the bounty for our 烧烤 (BBQ), and the female staff soon discovered that their loo was inhabited by a monstrous spider, but undeterred, many ventured in.

Shortly after filling their boots, and for some perhaps a bit too much, the activities commenced! A tightrope act, catching fish with your bare hands, paddling along the stream (and desperately trying not to sink), archery (which had a huge queue), and the one that everyone was fighting over, a sort of paintball with soft pellets which certainly left me with many a bruise. But the main thing was that it was fun (even if my whole team did leave me on my tod in the middle of the battlefield…).

The last act of the day, for some, was tea leaf picking up in the hills. A great chance to grab some fresh air, learn something new about tea, pick your own leaves which makes drinking it all the more satisfying, and also just relaxing on the veranda with cups of fresh, green tea chatting away and admiring the rolling tea leaf plantations.

Whilst some finished their day picking leaves, others headed to Beer Nest in Tongzilin where Daniel held a quiz for us with some cleverly titled categories, and some very rogue questions (I certainly shan’t be forgetting the capital of Cyprus any time soon).  All in all, a good and memorable day, and certainly something that’ll stop the parents carrying out the Spanish Inquisition on those of us that have only been in China for half a year or so, as you could just dump a mass of photos on them to keep them sated.