25. School Excursion
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Is it this Tuesday or Wednesday?
Well it can’t be Tuesday, with the English tests taking place.
Ah, right. Not Tuesday, but Wednesday.
That’s right - all day Wednesday - taking a bus outside the city.
And where are we going?
Ah, last month we went to Arthur Island,
so this time we’re going to the... Animal Park
Arthur Island was okay, but it was too cold.
Let’s hope the weather for this week’s excursion is better.
I don’t suppose animals care about bad weather, but I certainly do.
Have you heard the forecast?
Yes, and it’s not too bad.
Basically, they’re saying Monday will be sunny.
But then the weather will change.
Not so good.
Yes, Tuesday we’ll have some showers,
but by Wednesday, the day of our excursion, it will be...
well, their words are "cold and cloudy".
Cold and cloudy. Well, as long as it isn’t ‘wet and rainy’, I’m happy enough.
We won’t need umbrellas, just warm clothing.
And what time will we get there?
Let’s see. The bus picks us up at 8:30 am,
and then it’s an hour and a half on the road, so we arrive at 10 a.m...
sorry, with the 15-minute break, that will actually be 10:15 a.m.
That’s early enough.
Then all our students can see the animals, have their fun, and do whatever they want to do.
Well, one fun event planned that day is 'Birds of Prey'.
That’s when they bring out several birds of prey:
eagles, falcons, kites, those sorts of birds,
and throw pieces of meat into the air,
and the birds swoop down and eat them.
It’s quite impressive.
Sounds great. 'Birds of Prey'.
Are there any other activities?
There’s a catered lunch, at the park restaurant.
We’ve already paid for that, and in the afternoon there’s...
well, I had a choice between the ‘Reptile Display’ and the ‘Koala Handling’.
In the reptile display, the students can handle live pythons and various other snakes.
Surely they’d rather hold koalas?
I’m sure, but the koalas can’t be handled unless the weather’s sunny, and given the forecast,
I thought it better to choose the reptile display.
Ummm, that’s a shame.
These Asian students would love the ‘Koala Handling’.
Yes, I know, but we can’t control the weather.
And, then we get back. What time will that be?
We leave the park at 4:30, but then we face traffic,
so we won’t get back until well after 6 pm.
It will most likely be 6:30.
But that’s better than the last trip: we didn’t get home until 8:30 that time.
Yes, that was a bit too late, wasn’t it?
Andrew, I understand you’ve been doing some research regarding the breakdown, by nationality of our student body.
That must've produced some interesting results.
You’re right. I got some statistics from head office.
I would imagine that most of our students are either Japanese or Chinese.
You imagine right.
But it’s the Chinese who constitute the majority, but only just.
I had thought Koreans might be second,
but it’s actually the Japanese, quite close behind.
It’s somewhat surprising, but obviously all those Study Tours that our university markets in Japan are bringing in students.
What’s the breakdown exactly?
Japanese are a quarter of the whole, which is considerable.
Last year they were only 16%, so that market has grown nicely.
Ah, the only other proportions of some weight are the Indonesians and Koreans - about the same.
Indonesians at 15%, and...
the Koreans are a little higher -
not like last year when they were less than 10%.
I thought we’d have more Indonesians than Koreans?
Well, as I said, they’re about the same
just like the Saudi and Thai student numbers, almost the same also -
both just under 10.
Which one is bigger?
Thai students number just a fraction more.
As for the other nationalities, collectively they’re only 3%,
so it wasn’t worth giving each of them a separate category.
I just grouped them under ‘other’
that’s Vietnamese, South American, a couple of Russians, and so on.