China Team Journal

Monday, April 15, 2013

An Unexpected Day

Today we were surprised to find that only two students showed up for class. Monday is the second day of their weekend and this class was optional. Our initial disappointment dissolved as we made the decision that Marcia would work with the 7 year old visitor we had and Alyssa and Patricia would work together with the two girls who were quite advanced and willing to put forth a good effort. We started with reading the information on the animal cards and clarifying unfamiliar vocabulary as well as pronunciation. We then wrote out questions and the girls took turns answering. After a fun group hokey pokey break, we resumed with listing types of clothing and then describing the clothes that people were wearing in fashion magazines.  As we proceeded we found more and more interesting vocabulary was needed to describe the clothes. We concluded the morning by introducing, explaining and singing “It’s a Small World.”  We then were whisked away to a village outside of Xi’an for a lunch in the home of Mr. and Mrs. Liu.  Mr. Liu is the head of a grass roots performing group in the village and they were very gracious and appreciative of us for coming to China as volunteers. They gave many speeches and we each talked about ourselves. We then had a lunch with abundant traditional dishes.  Then the members of the performing arts group entertained us. There was a variety of acts including many singers and one outrageously costumed male masked dancer. They insisted that we perform as well, so Alyssa did her dance, much to their delight and the three of us sang, “It’s a Small World”.  After many photographs we moved on to a calligraphy artist’s studio where he made each of us a large calligraphy. Each was different but all were about peace and harmony and universal love. After many more photos we moved on to visit a smaller village which was subsidized by the government as a tourist attraction for its production of apricots. The trees were not in bloom but had small green fruit just forming. Next we went to another government subsidized village which was still constructing its old world attraction. As you walk the street you can see many exhibits of cooking and crafts just as they were done many years ago. It was a long well planned day that truly enhanced our understanding of Chinese culture and of the