China Team Journal

Friday, April 18, 2008

Thursday, April 17

By Mary Rae

Thought for the Day: I came to learn. I came to experience. I am grateful to the team, to our team leader and Global Volunteers for the opportunity.

Photographs for the Day: 1)Team 159 made dumplings with the local teachers, most of which were eatable. 2) Mary led about 30 students in Hokey Pokey at school.

I asked team members to give me a summary of their impressions of their time with the Global Volunteer assignment.

David in writing his opinion and Peggy’s said, “Many of our friends and relatives have been to China as tourists and on business. For our first trip to China, we wanted something else. Our weeks in Xian have allowed us to interact with Chinese teachers and students, to experience some daily life, and to learn more and different things than we could otherwise.”

Hugh commented that he did not feel that he had a serious impact on the facilitation of the students’ English, but they had a greater impact on him. He feels he gained more than the Chinese gained by this process. The program did have a positive impact on our image from the Chinese point of view. Hugh said that it is obvious China is engaged in a comprehensive approach to education. Global Volunteers has concerns about peace and justice. Their definition of this need and its goals are expressed in an abstract manner but this will not impede in their attempts to meet their goals. He feels overall that Global Volunteers is a good organization.

Gael indicated that Global Volunteers is a positive element in creating justice in the world. One cannot depend on world leaders to do it so organizations such as Global Volunteers fill the niche. People have to meet one another where they live. Everyday people meeting everyday people is a great cultural learning experience. The world will never have peace and justice if people do not know one another. One has to be a part of something to enjoy it.

Mary – As to me, I feel as if I am stage struck. It will take weeks, if not months to process all that I have seen, heard or been a part of these last two weeks. The smell, sounds, smiles, traffic, sights, similarities and differences will trigger thoughts and reactions in me the rest of my life.

Other events that occurred during the day included a discussion that Hugh had with the administration at the school. He was invited to meet with the principal and another history teacher. They discussed the English program and its effectiveness, history of China with recent interpretations and Tibet.

Because it was Team 159’s 2-week team members’ last day at the school, there was a celebration. Students from the school danced, sang, and played instruments. The principal gave a speech. Team 159 produced and performed a version of SO LONG, IT’S BEEN GOOD TO KNOW YOU, rewritten by David. Then gifts were presented. Following was a dumpling making exercise followed by a dinner at the school with more gifts from our wonderful hosts. I wonder, will any of us return?


So Long, It’s been Good to Know You
-Rewritten by David Hale

By Global Volunteers Team 159
At Gao Xin No. 2 Middle School

(Chorus) So long, it’s been good to know you.
So long, it’s been good to know you.
So long, it’s been good to know you.
But we’ve got to be moving along.

We’ve sung this song and we’ll sing it again.
Of the people we’ve met and the places we’ve been
Lots of good people, and lots of good friends
But we’ve got to be moving along.

We come every morning to Gao Xin School.
The teachers are friendly, the students so cool.
And speaking in English is the very first rule.
But we’ve got to be moving along.

We’ve stories to read and some pictures to show.
The students all tell us the English they know.
Here we’re not playing our lutes to a cow.
But we’ve got to be moving along.

We’ll fly to America, a very long way.
Though our weeks here in Xi’an cause us to say,
We’d like to come back and see you some day.
But we’ve got to be moving along.