China Team Journal

Sunday, May 10, 2009

Sunday May 10, 2009

Thought of the day: “All that is necessary for the triumph of evil is that good men (& women) do nothing.”

The formation of Team 173 began Saturday evening with our welcoming dinner hosted by Mrs. Wang Bao Li. We all met in our private dining room and introduced ourselves.

The 12 of us sat down around a huge round table with the largest glass lazy Susan we had ever seen. We broke the ice with the “name game” helped in part by our brand new Global Volunteers name tags which included our American name and a Chinese name selected by Bao Li. She has not told me what my Chinese name means. I have worked with Bao Li before and I am not sure I want to know what she calls me in Chinese.

We all spoke and gave the who, what, when, where and whys we were in Xi’an. Then the food began to arrive and just kept on coming until finally the watermelon and cherry tomato platter arrived and ended the food fest.

Then I remembered why Bao Li feds us so much on Saturday evening. She was getting us ready for our marathon 12 hour Sunday workday. That’s right, Mr. IRS Taxman – if you are reading this we worked 12 hours on Sunday.

Sunday began promptly at 7:20 am with our breakfast meeting. Then we were whisked to the 4th floor conference room where Bao Li told us about Xi’an, the history of G.V. in China, and our training to become a team began, interrupted occasionally by fireworks outside our window – a wedding! We discussed our goals, the characteristics of a good team, how to stay alive and not get robbed in Xi’an, and the policies and guidelines of G.V. 4 ½ grueling hours later, surviving only on tea and hard candy, we broke for lunch and an afternoon break.

At 3pm, representatives from the 4 schools where we would be teaching arrived, told us about their schools, and they proceeded to thank us for 2 hours. We met teachers and students from the Biomed/Tech College, and their excitement and enthusiasm at the opportunity to work with us was overwhelming. We are needed here, and we are appreciated here 24/7. This is always the case on all 5 of my Global Volunteers trips.

Our day ended with a dinner meeting and at 7:20pm I returned to my room, Tsing Tao in hand, to begin to prepare for my 3, yes 3 weeks ahead.