China Team Journal

Thursday, May 14, 2009

Thursday May 14, 2009

Thought for the day: “May every creature abound in well-being and peace.” Buddhist tradition

I woke about 5 a.m. to heavy rain again. We’ve had only brief sun, but hope for more at the weekend. So we prepared to take umbrellas, rain jackets, and some warm cover as it promises to be cold as well.

Today we teach for just three hours. Unfortunately, the rain wreaked havoc with the traffic and we were about half an hour late – so I raced off to class. I had a junior dental technology class and I believe that their English was less advanced than any previous class I’ve had. They were energetic and willing (with two exceptions) but it was quickly obvious that they understood very little, at least initially. I let my English teacher help only when absolutely necessary as I feel that they need to try and listen to my talking, my speech. They followed words I wrote on the board about myself, my interests and my family, particularly since I told them that I wanted them to share similar information with me later. We looked at photographs and pictures and they repeated words after me. But it took an extra bit of energy to try to make them understand.

After lunch, thanks to Joann’s suggestion about spending the rainy afternoon in the Shaanxi History Museum, five of us took taxis there – just over $2.00 each taxi. The museum is fairly small (almost more gift shops than art) but very well laid out with decent signage. Since I know something about Chinese dynasties, I found the Han, Sue, Tang and Ming dynasties exhibits fascinating – We learned about the early Han explorers who walked to the west (taking silk and iron) He is regarded by the Chinese much the way Marco Polo is regarded by the West – only over l,000 years earlier. When we left the museum at l: 50 the rain had stopped (Hallelujah) and we got a taxi immediately for about $2.00 (13.5 Yuan) I gave him 15 yuan. Oh yes, I bought a cinnabar covered bowl (got it for “half price”) from the Friendship House at the museum.

We returned for a fascinating lecture about Chinese names as well as the Chinese Family Policy given by Baoli (very well done) just before dinner – Another rewarding day!