China Team Journal

Thursday, April 3, 2008

Team 157 Hainan Team 2

Team Goals:

To help teachers with conversational English
To encourage personal success
To exchange cultural ideas
To develop friendship
To have fun!!!

Characteristics of an Effective Team:

A good leader
Mutual respect
Organized program
Good communication
Have fun
Be responsible
Be a good listener
Be considerate
no whining
Support each other

Journal Managers: Judy & Bob
Health and Safety Coordinators: Phyllis & John K.
Free Time Coordinators Betty & Kay
Final Celebration Coordinators: Marilyn & Elaine

Team Journal

Sunday, 2008-02-24
Marilyn Williams

We met on the 31st floor at 7:30 am for breakfast & were greeted by a sumptuous array of food – a combination of Asian & Western. After fellowshipping over breakfast, we met on the 2nd floor and HuDi gave us a comprehensive history of Global Volunteers in China. HuDi also briefed us on Global Volunteer policies and why they were established; and the importance of following these policies……Then, HuDi .had us write on two cards – 1. what were our expectations/goals; 2. why we were there. From our brainstorming, the group established six goals, with HuDi’s guidance. She told us these goals would be reviewed next week to make sure we were following them. After lunch, we adjourned to our rooms for free time.

We gathered in the lobby of our hotel, ‘Golden Sea View Hotel’, at 6 pm to meet with the host group, Haikou Educational Research & Training Academy, of the Haikou Municipal Bureau of Education. From there, we walked to the ‘Baohua Harbor View Hotel’, where we met with various people from the Academy, including Gong Xiongfei, Deputy President, over a delicious dinner. The host group were most friendly and a good time was enjoyed by all. A list of people from the host group was requested from HuDi.


Monday - 2008-02-25
Betty Stagg

Our prompt group met for breakfast and our Team Leader, Hu Di presented a cultural lesson by explaining the meaning of the five cute cartoon characters designed especially for the 2008 Summer Olympics in Beijing. They reference the five elements of life and contain much symbolism:

Bei Bei - Water – blue; hat with a fish, served at Chinese New Year - Prosperity
Jing Jing – Wood – a black Panda who lives in woods – Happiness
Huan Huan - Fire - red with flames on head - Passion
Ying Ying – Earth – a brown antelope who live on the ground – Health
Ni Ni - Gold - a golden swallow - Good Luck
The first letters of the names spell Beijing Welcomes You.

A web site that has pictures of the five doll-like figures is

We then boarded the van for the trip to our first day of teaching at the Haikou Educational Research and Training Academy. After a warm welcome at the opening ceremony, we met with the teachers of English who will be our students for the next three weeks.

At dinner, Hu Di introduced us to another Chinese experience – a toast with baijiu, famous Chinese rice liquor – which apparently leads immediately to rousing song! With songs, games and teaching materials in hand, we are ready for the adventure to begin.

A Chinese proverb: “If there is light in the soul …there will be peace in the world.”

Tuesday - 2008-02-26
Bill Kaina

Good morning everyone! Another day of anticipation began with ono-licious* Chinese style nutriments in solid forms and very tasty. At 7:35 a.m., and following a superb, mind-boggling and highly spiritual presentation, these were his enticingly thought filled words---“Every now and then God’s wondrously beautiful answer to our needs is You and Me.”

Thank you Betty Stagg, for your report on our first day’s activities; how we prepared ourselves in anticipation of our first day’s adventure of learning and sharing of life with our fellow instructor-students.

Betty and I are “partners” in Class 2 which registered 7 teacher-students. They and we, though nervous, and shaky, nevertheless, were eager and excited to begin, uncertain how we would behave. Even though our students appeared in a state of adolescence to us, as we must have appeared as dialectics as we spoke. It did not take too long for the atmosphere to grow milder and friendlier. It was a time of laughter, eager sharing of responses to questions. We soon learned much of what, who, when, and where of these students. Two hours zoomed by in a matter of minutes.

With an ono-licious birthday cake as ordered by Hu Di, our fearless leader, and candies from Hawaii, last night was most enjoyable as we celebrated John N’s birthday. Betty and I cam back into the Amber Room together with others to develop and/or complete lesson plans to the next day’s class. Whew! I’m humbly rejoicing that “God’s beautifully and wondrous answer to our Global Volunteers’ needs are Betty and Me…and Oh, I didn’t mean to leave you folks out!

* ono-licious An Hawaiian expression meaning extraordinarily delicious

“Every now and then, God’s beautiful and wondrous answer to our NEEDS are You and Me.”

Wednesday - 2008-02-27
David Colby

Same routine for the morning, but we had an afternoon schedule of teaching at various new locations. We went to the Haikou Vocational School # 1. Elaine, Jack, Kay and I worked with the students on English. We were in one room with small groups. It was confusing and difficult to discuss anything. The students can read English, but are unable to converse.

One team member is very ill and went to the hospital for an examination and medication. He had a fever of 103. Hopefully his condition will improve by tomorrow.

The project is enjoyable but a challenge.

Nothing but blue skies from now on.

Thursday - 2008-02-28
Elaine Naughton

Hooray! We saw the sun today. True it was filtered through clouds, and even disappeared later. Still, its brightness was a mood lifter.

As usual, Hu Di, began the day with necessary business, followed by some cultural instruction. Today she talked about Chinese government. She described the symbolism of the flag---red background for revolution; A large 5-pointed star for the central government and the Communist Party; and 4 smaller stars for farmers, workers, students and educated people/merchants. She offered to go into further discussion with the GV team at a time when we were not trying to catch a bus.

As usual, the morning teaching went very well. Happily the afternoon classes with the Hotel Training Group also went well. The students hugged us, gave us Hai Nan post cards and asked us to give them autographs.

After a medicinal cocktail for all --- prepared by Hu Di, we retired to our hotel rooms , with a genuine sense of fulfillment on a day well spent.,

"A word is dead when it is said, some say. I say, it just begins to live that day."
By Emily Dickenson

Friday - 2008-02-29
Jack Naughton

Our day was usual in that it was like the four that preceded it – interesting, achieving and fun. We had our students evaluate the four days. Their responses were similar to what several other Global Volunteers have heard from their students. In brief: more talking, more songs that they can take back to their schools and more activities and materials that they can use with their students.

Perhaps more interesting is what we discovered in our wanderings. In the park across the street in the early morning, we watched the following five types of exercise: several groups doing tai chi (many of the participants wore silk outfits that looked like Chinese pajamas), a group doing unison dancing to jazz music, 10 dancers snapping fans, a dozen people doing stylized, twirling movements while keeping soft tennis balls on the faces of their ½ size tennis like racquets and a large group doing a type of tai chi while flourishing elaborate fly whisks.

We wandered around the city on buses getting off when the neighborhood looked interesting. We found people of all ages to be very friendly. Because HuDi doesn’t want to take more people to the hospital, we politely declined offerings of food and drink. We discovered that Chinese don’t want people to die unnecessarily. When we were sitting on a bench in a small park, an old woman came out of her nearby house to warn us that we were sitting under a coconut tree!

Don’t be a sage on the stage. Be a guide on the side.

Saturday - 2008-03-01
John Keller

The sun was out!!

If you need more, the group split up for the day. Some went on an ecological tour of the area. Some fought the demons that have attacked many of us and stayed in. Personally, I trusted my fate to pin yin, a local map, and street signs. First our local map has very few streets in pin yin---although considerably more are labeled as street corners. Second, the locals are very helpful whey you area bit perplexed as to your location---the Chinese on the map is actually very useful.

Taking advantage of the opportunity, I went to the Hai Rui Temple complex---turned out to be quite a long walk. Made it back to the hotel for a “small” group lunch. My afternoon was spent dealing with the internet---I never did get access to a .gov site. (I think that the controls here are better than the parental controls in the US.) Fortunately the information I needed was found in some commercial sites.

I heard this morning that several members of the team had been out on the town with the local youth---way after curfew---apparently the dancing was great.

Now, it’s on to Sunday.

Education must provide the opportunities for self-fulfillment; it can at least provide a rich and challenging environment for the individual to explore in his own way. ---Noam Chomsky

Sunday - 2008-03-02
John Nordling

Sunday brought once again remarkably delightful weather. Even the Hawaiian Islanders seemed pleased.

13 of us formed the culture cohort as once again Haikou One Day Tours took the lead to show us some of the highlights, culturally speaking, of the Haikou area.

Our first destination was rural village culture, and it made up the mornings efforts. Seemingly isolated self-sustaining villages appeared in the lush highlands with century old buildings built from volcanic rock, porous light in weight and easy to form into shapes suitable for building. Fruits were abundant, lichee nut trees, bananas, pineapple (growing in the shade to the surprise of our Hawaiians), Jack fruit all accompanied by a rich soil that provides great nourishment for a variety of planted greens.

After our driver demonstrated great skill in getting us through a village market day featuring large crowds, countless vendors, and a variety of vehicles moving in all directions, if moving at all, we drove back to Haikou for lunch.

After a lunch featuring more dishes than the lazy susan could hold, we moved to the temple of the five exiles. Architecturally and scenically interesting, it proved to be enough for five of our troop who were then returned to the hotel for well deserved rest. The remaining eight went on to the Hai Rui Temple which proved to be a rewarding stop. Finally a five minute stop at the west shore beaches to provide a contrast for the upcoming trip to Sanya.

THOUGHT FOR THE DAY: “If I were to wish for anything, I should not wish for wealth and power, but for the passionate sense of the potential, for the eye which ever young and ardent, sees the possible.”
Soren Kirkegaard

Monday - 2008-03-03
Judy Wunderlich

Back to work today after a weekend of having fun – unfortunately the group is still not healthy – the hospital sounded like such fun, that two more made the trip with HuDi following our breakfast and cultural talk. HuDi said the three elected bodies in China, the CPPCC (Chinese People’s Political Consultative Conference, NPC (National People’s Congress) & CPC (Communist Party of China) were having their meetings starting this week. They will make a new 5 year plan.

In the afternoon, our hosts treated us to an unforgettable afternoon at the Shishan Volcanic Park. The weather was glorious – the greenery lush – and the various volcanic formations fascinating. Even climbing the 191 steps to the crater rim was fun – maybe the coconut milk gave us extra energy.

Dinner was outside with a wonderful show to entertain us featuring a leaf whistler, a woman who sang soprano and bass simultaneously, many colorful dancers and bamboo stick dancing. Jack and Mr. Han joined in and did our group proud!

A perfect end to the day!

If you give a man a fish, he will eat for a day;
If you teach a man to fish, he will always eat.
If you give a man a fire, he will be warm for a day.
If you set a man on fire, he will be hot for the rest of his life.

Tuesday - 2008-03-04
Kay Colby

We gathered for breakfast and a cultural lesson regarding Lei Feng Day, March 5th. It is a day of volunteering.

After the morning classes, we had classes at a primary school for two, 40 minute periods. The school starts at 7:45 pm and breaks at 11:00. The students go home for lunch and a rest until 2:30 pm. We had a good time working with young students.

The school took us to a wonderful dinner at Haikou Shenghauant restaurant.

Everyone was very tired after such a busy day.

Wednesday - 2008-03-05
Phyllis Tokita

This Wednesday we are blessed again with a beautiful, sunny but hazy day. The temperature should be in the 70’s! We are sad to hear that we continue to have sick members, including our leader, HuDi. Judy did a great job pitching in and giving us the schedule of the day especially since Bob is one of the ill. Jack was looking for a tie to match his shirt for his morning presentation to the entire school.

Many of us braved the day without a partner or with hoarse or weakened voices. We were happy for the short day. At 10:15 am the entire school went to room 701 to hear Jack’s presentation on the Educational System of the USA. Someone said, “Jack you are lucky to have Elaine there to help you.” Another, “you were a great success because of that snazzy maroonish brown polka-dot tie!” After all that teasing, the team seriously congratulated Jack for his wonderful presentation. Why even us older ones learned of the present, newer, school system.

After lunch, Judy, Jack, Elaine & Roy went to the #1 Middle School. Betty and John went to the #1 Haikou Vocational School. The singing session at the vocational school was cancelled because Judy’s husband, Bob, was ill.

Yes, Phyllis was nauseated and ‘had to skip lunch to rest’. In the late afternoon, she felt better and the 3 Kauaiians visited the silk fair. It was set up like a mini flea market. Our greatest challenge was to cross the street with no street lights. We felt like we needed 6 pairs of eyes to watch for cars and bicycles.

It was nice to see Bob back at dinner. He and Kay spent the morning together getting salt water plus IV’s. I guess they liked it because they are going to do the same thing again this morning. Jack tried to rent his wonderful magic speaker tie before he returned it to John. David was the first to leave. He was bringing dinner back to Kay. Tammy, our wonderful waitress, packed it for him. The rest of us, like the goodbye song from ‘SOUND OF MUSIC’, stood up one by one, paid the beer bill and said goodnight.

Thursday - 2008-03-06
Richard (Dick) Chun

We could have begun the day with the singing of the chorus, “Oh, what a beautiful day”, but instead we began with the Journal being reported by our erstwhile comrade, Phyllis Tokita, giving us the highlight of what transpired the day before.

The ‘Thought for the Day” could have centered on the necktie – how it may be tired, etc., but always remember what the “Good Book” says, “Thou shalt not covet thy neighbor’s…….. (does it mean neckties?). So we leave the necktie to concentrate on:

THOUGHT FOR THE DAY: “We are born with our eyes closed and our mouths open and spend a lifetime trying to reverse the order.” Dale Turner

HuDi clarified, for us, the Chinese Educational System by explaining the age and grade separations. The big shock came when she announced her recommendation to suspend all classes and activities for Friday because her loyal troops were all laid low with colds. After the mild protest that “we can do it!” the group accepted the fact that it might be for the best. The Academy made the announcement to the students after 10:00 am class today.

The Activity for the day was our usual day’s schedule… to classes; pick up laundry, with Bob and Kay off to the hospital for the “shot of the day”. The group had the rest of the day off while five of us left at 4:00 pm to talk to and to talk with students at Haikou No. 1 Middle School. Dick spoke of the Chinese immigration to Hawaii, while John Keller spoke about and showed pictures of United States National Parks. The five of us continue to marvel at the size and beauty of the Haikou No. 1 Middle School.

Home again; dinner (late because the No. 1 Middle School visitors couldn’t stop talking!) was excellent and now for a night of rest!

Friday - 2008-03-07
Bob Wunderlich

The day began with a later breakfast in – happy celebration of the fact that classes that day had been cancelled – the volunteers needed recovery time.

After lunch at the hotel, those going on the tour to Sanya met the bus at 1:00 pm and shortly after, the great adventure had begun.

After tooling down the highway for over 1 ½ hrs, we visited the BOAO Asian Conference Center, where the leaders of over 20 Asian nations gather each year for a conference. Impressive gardens, including rare local stones carved into the shapes of the participating Asian nations; impressive array of flags, some of which no one could identify; impressive building, approached by an impressive flight of steps.

We then took a small boat ride across the bay to a sand bar, from the crest of which we enjoyed the view of the South China Sea lapping at the shore.

Back aboard the bus, and after surviving the adventure of miles long road repairs, we finally arrived in Sanya, and went to our hotel.

After dinner, we engaged in a spirited and sometimes dysfunctional discussion with George, our tour guide, about the next day’s activities. The result was people used the day for whatever they wanted or needed: Some went for the full day bus touring, some stayed back for local walking and for rest.

So finally, to bed and sleep, against the background of enthusiastic celebration by the street traffic below.


Saturday - 2008-03-08
Roy Williams


We arose with the sun! Today the team was spread out. Six members relaxed, exploring Haikou. Five of the Sanya team experienced a tour of an interesting variety of scenic sights. The remaining five hiked to the beach, the walking road and the back streets of the city of Sanya. The team re-united for a sumptuous dinner at the magnificent Rendezvous Restaurant/Hotel located near the beautiful Yalong. It was a most pleasant and restful Saturday.


Sunday – 2008-3-09
Sandie Kaupina

Our group is scattered today; most of them went to Sanya to bask in the sun.
However, the trip to the southern part of the island was not what they hoped it would be. They visited the Hot Springs on the way home. Little fish could nibble at their feet if they stayed in one pool too long. The group was impressed by the clean, well-tended gardens.

Back in Haikou there was little rest for our valiant leader Hu Di, as she played nurse to Thelma, who needed a hot water bottle for a sprained back, and to Sandy, who continues to have a bad cough, Their spouses Dick & Bill took a taxi to a Christian church. There they found men and women crowded into a large auditorium. The hymns were familiar, though sung in Chinese. They stayed an hour, but sneaked out when the speaker started on what appeared to be a many-paged sermon, Evening found us back together at dinner, where we munched macadamia nuts furnished by the Hawaii gang.

Hu Di reviewed the goals we had set for ourselves 2 weeks ago. We gave ourselves an A-. Whose idea was it to make “No Whining” one of the goals??

People are a lot like coconuts, some are rough and irregular on the outside, but sweet and tender on the inside.

Monday – 2008-3-10
Thelma Chun

It’s the first day of our final Hainan week.
It’s a real challenge for the mighty and the meek.
Have we accomplished our team goals?
Or are we still at opposite poles/
Fear not!
Let’s see what we got!

We did a lot of sharing:
Sore throats, coughing, sneezing,
Runny noses, fever, and wheezing.
Yet, everyone was so very caring.

Oh, yes, we did show flexibility.
Special thanks to those who filled in at a moment’s notice,
So transition became a possibility.

We were wined and dined by students and teachers.
Some were privileged to savor delicacies of known and unknown creatures.
“Give me your cell phone number.”
“What is your e-mail address?”
Quotes from two strangers who met on Day One
Now their friendship for ever jelled by modern contraption.

Yes, it is the last week
For both the well and the weak.
But Global Volunteers Team 157, Team No. Two
Has yet lots more to do!

Excitement is in the air!
Time is limited,
Things get wild and spirited,
But do not despair!
Emerging emotions
May cause undue commotions,
But it is Okay,
That is the Aloha way!

Two our doubtless and fearless leader, Hu Di,
We are ever so grateful for this wonderful wonderful opportunity!

Quote-Life’s most persistent and urgent question is “What are you doing for others?”
---Martin Luther King Junior

Tuesday – 2008-3-11
Betty Stagg

As our last week rolls along, the volunteers of Team 157 are becoming nostalgic about leaving Haikou. We realize that we have only a few more hours to accomplish our goals with the English teachers who have become our friends, as well as our students. The second group of classes enjoyed “Walking and Talking” along the streets near the Academy, with the opportunity to identify and bring back exotic fruits from the sidewalk vendors.
We enjoyed new tastes, both spicy and mild, at a nearby Muslim restaurant, and then a sunny afternoon free for strolling, shopping, beauty treatments and rest. After dinner at the hotel, Hu Di gave an informative lecture on the 20th century history and emergence of modern China. Rehearsals are going well for our choral debut at the Final Celebration.

“Strange is our situation here on Earth. Each one of us comes for a short visit, not knowing why, yet sometimes seeming to divine a purpose. From the standpoint of daily life, however, there is one thing we do know: that man is here for the sake of other men – above all for those upon whose smiles and well-being our own happiness depends.”
Albert Einstein

Wednesday - 2008-03-12
Bill Kaina

From the rising of early morning sun, to setting of the same, with its rays touching the sands of Haikou through Sanya, Hainan—to each of you, a gloriously beautiful morning—“KA MELINA O KE ALOHA.”

Following “sister” Betty’s descriptive report of our class’s “Walk and Talk” journey about town, entering stores, examining and questioning students, if not sales persons, about items and their costs “Hu Di, our ebullient and fearless leader, shared Chinese history and culture practices on some of China’s 24 active festivals, which firmly practiced and observed today. I especially enjoyed her telling of their family’s observing this Spring/New Year Festival by remembering their deceased. They prepared delicious hot food and took it and put it on their graves.

In my flamboyant useful days, I used to dare my Hawaiian “youth gang” to fulfill their obligations as members of my gang, to sneak and take the food to a comfortable gathering place where we all enjoyed delicious hot Chinese food. However, others are still enjoying this practice on Chinese New Year in Hawaii. Sincere Mahalo (Thanks) to Hu Di and Marilyn and Roy for your wonderful presentations of Global Volunteers story and personal video presentations. Having enjoyed our work together thus far, I am thanking Dick and Thelma Chun for their faithful encouragement with Global Volunteers leaping all the way to China and Hainan.

Sincere Aloha and Mahalo nui loa (Thank you very much) to Haikou Municipal Educational Research and Training Academy and all their staff for the Ono-licious Chinese seafood dinner on board of the tour boat, and a one-half hour boat ride on the river.

Aloha is the glue which unites us into family-Thus we are a family united by Aloha which is like a coconut tree. It gives you food and shelter, and you can take comfort in knowing the family is always there to lean on.

Thursday - 2008-03-13
David Colby

The day started as usual: breakfast, bus trip to the school and class for three hours. We practiced our program for Friday.

In the afternoon, we went to Haikou Middle School No. 1. First, we had a tour of the school. The Principal showed us beautiful art work and history of the school. We visited a calligraphy class and tried our hands with the brush.

Afterward, some volunteers lectured to a group, and the rest held English corners. Following the school event, we traveled to the China Education Reform and Research Center for a wonderful dinner hosted by the school. The dinner was outstanding, with about 15 separate dishes.

We sang “So long, It’s been good to know you” and boarded the bus to our hotel.

I want to live in a house by the side of the road to be a friend to men. The men that are good, the men that are bad, as good as and as bad as me.

Friday - 2008-03-14
Elaine Naughton

We did it--- three weeks of wonderful, intense teaching and bonding with Chinese students of many ages! We feel we made an impact. They centainly made an impact on us!

The closing ceremony was a fine and fun commemoration of our time here.

Dawn, one of the Chinese students, was the M.C. She used clean and understandable English to introduce the program.

Lin Jue, President of the Academy gave a speech of gratitude in China with translating. Of course, Hu Di also gave her own pertinent comments in both English and Chinese.

Class 1, Sandie and Roy’s Class, opened the students’ presentation by singing a solo and chorus rendition of Do-Re-Mi and a lovely Chinese song.

Class 2, Bill and Betty’s class sang “This land is my land” (using Beijing and Haikou as boundaries), and “The more we get together”. They also did a travel promotion with each student touring his favorite Chinese site.

Class 3, Judy and John K’s class did a number of jokes, such as “Did you hear about the baby who gained 20 pounds on elephant milk? “No. Whose baby was it?” “An elephant’s” They also succeeded in doing 2 rounds of “row-row-row-your boat”.

Class 4, David and Kay had everyone roaring with laughter as the class sang “Hello, Dolly”. While David dressed in a women comic’s gang converted to Dolly.

At the halfway point, the Global Volunteers sang “Getting to know you” and “So long it’s been good to know you”. The Hawaiians performed a Don, Ho, Hulk number.

Class 5, John N and Marilyn’s class were very colorful and they were dressed in Zhuang Minority clothing. They sang “Blowing the Wind” and a Chinese riddle song.

Class 6, to emphasize that Americans are usually on the move, Bob and Phyllis’s class sang “Clementine” and “O Susannah”!

Class 7, after signing “I am what I am”, Thelma and Dick’s class used Hawaiian hula motions which singing “Hawaiian Bambaw and “I love you-You love me”.

Class 8, the final number was Jack and Elaine’s class. They sang “My heart will go on” and did a student choreographed dance to “Ceclia-You’re breaking my heart”.

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