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It was the start of January when my fellow scholars and I decided to go to a strawberry farm. The first class of my first semester was over, and my fellow Hinrich Foundation scholars had just come back for their second semester. As this was my first activity with the them and I hadn’t gotten in touch with anyone before the picnic, I thought it would be a great opportunity for me to get to know everyone. A trip to the farm We made plans to visit the Long Ping Strawberry Farm at the end of January. On the day of the trip, we met at Long Ping station early in the morning, and from there, we took a train and then a bus to get to the farm. After about two hours, we finally reached the farm at about past ten in the morning. Once we had finalized arrangements, we immediately left our things under a nice, shaded spot, each got a basket and a pair of scissors and headed out for the field.
Scholars’ relaxing day out at the strawberry farm 1
                    Hinrich Foundation scholars having fun at the strawberry farm
We were all excited to pick as many strawberries as we could, and even as we got busy collecting them in our baskets, we still found time to talk and take a lot of photos in between. An hour or two later, we had gathered under the shaded area to enjoy the lunch that Cecilia and Roxanne, who had graciously arranged the tour, had prepared. There was chicken, corn, sweet potatoes, drinks and strawberries we had picked from the field. Everything was fresh and delicious.
Scholars’ relaxing day out at the strawberry farm 2
Hinrich Foundation scholars enjoying lunch and the actual fruits of their labor
In between bites of our meal, we got to talking about our experiences, interests, careers and the journey that lay ahead of us. Our conversations were fun and never short of laughter! Everybody had their own funny and interesting anecdotes, and listening to all of those stories had given me the chance to know my fellow scholars a little bit better.

Just a little before three in the afternoon, we decided to call it a day. It might have just been for just a few hours, but I’m glad I had this chance to spend a relaxing and fun day with my fellow scholars. I am thankful to the foundation as well as Cecilia and Roxanne for arranging this fun activity for us. I can’t wait for the next one.

About the author – Saiful Alam Saiket

Scholars’ relaxing day out at the strawberry farm 3 A scholar under the Hinrich Foundation’s Global Trade Leadership Development program, Saiful Alam Saiket hails from Bangladesh and is pursuing a master’s degree in manufacturing at the Hong Kong Polytechnic University. His goal is to improve Bangladesh’s apparel industry’s productivity and quality by reducing manufacturing costs and upholding sustainable growth.