China Team Journal

Friday, May 22, 2009

Friday May 22, 2009

Thought for the day: “A friend is one who knows us, but loves us anyway”

Friday morning – our last breakfast together as a team. We chat about our day before - Thursday. Julia invited the 7 of us who taught at the Bio/Med Tech College back to her home for a “Dumpling Party”. She had everything ready for us. We took our shot at “stuffing” the dumplings, and then they were cooked for us. We spent over 2 hours eating dumplings and vegetables, talking, and even sipped a bit of “Great Wall” wine. After we all had our fill, we stayed a bit longer so as to not “Eat and Run”. More photos and sharing, and for me – a bit more Great Wall wine. If it was up to Julia, we would have stayed all afternoon.

After breakfast we all left for our last day in class. A lot of sad goodbyes and a few tears and as always, many “thank yous” and “Please come back soons”.

In the afternoon we had our “Team Farewell Party”. Members from all 4 work sites came to the hotel. Students from the La La Shou School and the Bio/Med Tech College also joined us.

Bao Li began by thanking all of us – volunteers and worksite reps – for our hard work. The microphone was then passed around and we all took turns doing the same. I told my students and teachers that I had a wonderful time and would be back in the Fall.

Then it was “Showtime”
John and Ken sang songs and danced with their students from the La La Shou School. It was touching to see the students follow John and Ken. They concluded with a song I believe is called “Have a grateful heart & never give up” and as the song began, the students from the Bio/Med Tech College joined them “on stage” and stood behind them, lending support. Not a dry eye in the house.

The Bio/Med students then sang for us, followed by a beautiful solo by Jenny – only 16 but with the voice of an angel. Helen, a teacher at the Bio/Med School who nicknamed me “Naughty Boy” the first day she met me, performed a harmonica solo. Yes, harmonica.

Then it was our turn to “shine”. Our team danced a Hula, and then sang songs selected for their reference to some of the states we were from. All great fun, and fortunately NOT YET on YouTube.

The teachers and students from the Bio/Med College then sang for us and we concluded the performance by singing “Auld Lang Zine” together. We took more photos, and said our goodbyes, and the party ended.

That evening, Hu Di – the China country manager - arrived to join us for our last dinner together as a team. We took MORE photos, and said our goodbyes.

After dinner, Ken, John, Joanne, Lucy and I joined Leigh and two of her friends on a last visit to the “Big Wild Goose Pagoda” and park. Seemed simple enough – jump in a few taxis and meet there. Except each taxi dropped us off in a different location. Add a million Chinese, and of course we could not find each other. After over an hour of some of us finding each other, then losing each other, then finding each other again, we met for a final drink and chat and photo opportunity. Then back to the hotel to pack.