China Team Journal

Monday, November 15, 2010

Team Journal, November 15

November 15, 2010

Thought for the day: "If you don't know where you're going, you'll wind up somewhere else." Yogi Berra

Starting our second week with the usual breakfast at 8:00am, each of us have developed a pattern as to our likes and dislikes from the large and varied buffet. At our post breakfast briefing Phyllis put up the chart of “Characteristics of an Effective Team”. These were keywords we had brainstormed at our very first meeting. The ten items we listed were:

1. Considerate
2. Respectful
3. Sense of humor
4. Flexible
5. Think before speaking
6. Acceptance of goals
7. Timeliness
8. Listen to others
9. Patience
10. Sharing
On review of this list a week later, we all generally felt the team did have these characteristics.

Then we reviewed the five goals that we posted at that first meeting which were:

1. To help children improve their English.
2. To exchange ideas with others.
3. To learn about modern Chinese culture and people.
4. To experience Kunming
5. To represent American volunteer spirit in China.

On review of these goals after one week, we do feel we “know where we are going”.

After lunch we departed for our classes with the junior level students and at the end of the day we went to dinner with teachers Annie and Katrina. Our driver, Mr. Dai selected the restaurant and menu. The dinner had a large variety of dishes including tofu soup and a braised pork dish. The restaurant was located not far from the school in northern Kunming. It was adjacent to the huge apartment complex project which we have seen from distance which looks like a dark fortress complex because of construction curtains which are still in place.

At our after dinner at our wrap up meeting in the hotel we all agreed that the local teacher plays an important role in helping us interact with the students such that they are comfortable in expressing themselves in English. Phyllis advised us that on Friday we would be having lunch with the school principal and his staff.

Submitted by Curtis Joe