Monday, 22 May 2017

A Teacher's Life Lesson for All

Ada Tsang is the first Hong Kong woman to conquer Mount Everest
A Hong Kong school teacher is literally showing her students that they can achieve their dreams, no matter how big they are.

Ada Tsang Yin-hung, 40, has become the first Hong Kong woman to reach the summit at Mount Everest after three attempts.

She along with fellow Hongkonger Elton Ng, a physiotherapist and Zhang Jianguo, an amateur mountaineer from Jiangsu province made it up to the world's highest peak yesterday with the help of two sherpa guides.

The former teacher shows students they too can reach goals
Earlier on her blog Tsang wrote: "For students, every dream seems so far away and words of encouragement are not enough to conquer the frustration of failed attempts. Many would easily give up their dreams... a dream is not defined by the way you think of it, but by the actual efforts you put in.

"I could share my experiences with them only by recollecting events from my past... But what are my own future goals in life? How will I best teach these students how to pursue their goals?"

The secondary teacher quit her job to give her pupils a "life lesson" by scaling the top of the 8,848-metre tall mountain.

On her first attempt in 2014, Tsang was forced to abandon her trek after an avalanche killed 16 Nepali sherpa guides, which resulted in the suspension of all expeditions that season.

Then the following year, she was caught up in a deadly avalanche triggered by a 7.9-magnitude earthquake that killed 17 climbers and left Tsang with a fractured skull and multiple injuries.

The head injury Tsang sustained in 2015 after an earthquake
"She had lost two litres of blood from her injuries in that last attempt," says Catharine Leung, a former pupil. "A lot of people asked her if she wanted to give up, but the thought never once crossed her mind. She said: 'As long as my body can handle it, I will try to do it'."

Many of her former students were ecstatic over the news of Tsang reaching the summit, as her seven years of hard work had finally paid off.

"There were pupils who had dreams of becoming lawyers but they were failing in English," Leung says. "She was telling her students to chase after their dreams, but she didn't want to just talk the talk -- she wanted to walk the talk."

If that's not inspiring enough to prove to Hong Kong students that really, nothing is impossible, I don't know what is.

There is no excuse now for anyone not to at least try to reach their goals. Tsang is a huge inspiration to all of us -- dream big and with determination and hard work, you can do it.


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