China Team Journal

Wednesday, November 11, 2009

Wednesday, November 11

Thought for the day: “The more a child feels valued, the better his/her values will be.”

At breakfast, Ted reminded us of the historical significance of this day. He shared some tragic statistics of the final 6 hours before the official armistice was signed, a history that is detailed in Joseph Persico’s book “11-11-1918.” The air was crisp as we boarded our van for our second full day of teaching. The tone of our voices indicated greater confidence, now that we were acquainted with our teachers.

We had much to share over another bountiful lunch. I related that I had never had so many students escort me for a trip to the toilet! Brenda and Bill told how that had such meaningful stories with their prior assignments for written and oral stories. The trust level was evident in the painful experience that one student told about—losing his mother too early—and changing his life in tribute to her.

Eleanor and Ted had exercises for teaching homonyms and synonyms. The students were flabbergasted when Eleanor gave some examples in Mandarin!

Sally and Louisa continued their restaurant game—some interesting questions came up regarding paying the bill in different situations. They also had students take turns in introducing a partner to the group.

Danielle had presented the 5 stages of life (infancy, childhood, adolescence, adulthood, and senior citizens) and how they could be used with a grid of terms—what make you who you are, i.e. heredity, environment, culture, education, experience—and then illustrated this with persons in the news from movie/rock stars to Michelle and Barack Obama. She also had the students do a “quick write” about their favorite teachers.

The afternoon was free for everyone to plan on their own. We met in the lobby for a brisk walk to the Yunnan Flavor Restaurant, with a stop at the top of the bridge for a photo session. Costumed greeters welcomed us and an old mill wheel was to the left as we crossed over the water to the restaurant.

We had tasted many dishes and were feeling rather full before a humongous bowl of clear broth was set in front of each of us. We were warned that it was very hot. Then the famous noodles of the province and several other items were skillfully dumped into the broth. Our eyes got bigger as we wondered how we could ever consume even a small portion of the contents.

And then the show began. An encased piece of jewelry was presented for auction by the mistress of ceremonies, but no one responded to the minimal bid, so it was taken away. There were dancers, musicians, drummers, all in colorful costumes, presenting once at after another. The old children’s saying of “Liar, liar, pants on fire” had new meaning as performer inserted flaming torches below their navels as they manipulated their “circular tablecloth” costumes with the other hand. Not something that either of our males intend to demonstrate when they get home! Then one man scaled the narrow ladder to the left of the stage and we became aware that it was made of knives! Another feat that won’t be attempted by any of us! He was amazing.

Back at the hotel after another memorable day.

By Aleatha