China Team Journal

Sunday, June 27, 2010

Sunday June 27, 2010

Thought for the day:
"No knowledge is ever wasted or to be despised"
- Joseph Needham, father of the Joseph Needham known in China as Li Yue-se

Sunday being a nominal day of rest, five members of our team (Michael, Janet, John, Betty and Esther) took a day trip to the Stone Village (Nuò Hēi) and the Stone Forest (Shí Lín) about two hours Southeast of Kunming. The excursion was led by our gracious Kunming host Li Baokun (known to us as Chris). The four who remained behind had visited these amazing sites during previous trips to Kunming and I could easily dedicate a page or two of this journal telling of their wonders. However, I will defer to a fresher view from one of our travelers in a further issue of this journal.

The four of us left behind (Jim, Nancy, Dixie and me) spent a quiet day and so I am tempted to end this journal entry here. However, there may be some interest in exactly how we spent our time.

First, Jim. Jim, in a weak moment last week volunteered (I think that's what our leader Baoli called it) to give an afternoon lecture on the changing demographics of his school system. So Jim spent the entire day, with the exception of lunch (about which you will hear more later), preparing his lecture. This, he says, involved many hours on the Internet gathering information and pouring it all into PowerPoint. I find it puzzling that Jim, a dedicated Apple user, uses Microsoft's clumsy and underpowered PowerPoint rather than Apple's sleek and feature rich presentation software Keynote. Here, again, I could dedicate several pages elaborating on the superiority of Keynote, but I digress.

Next, Nancy. Nancy spent the morning preparing a new lavishly illustrated edition of "There Was an Old Lady" (you remember, the one who swallowed the fly) using, of course, Apple's amazing word processing and page layout software called, simply, Pages.

Finally, Dixie. Dixie spent the morning preparing the notes (using Pages of course) for the afternoon music and movement workshop she is planning for all of our English teacher students. She is requesting that we go over some of the lyrics with our students, prior to the Wednesday workshop of songs and games. She will be handing out the lyrics on the bus this morning.

There was a triumph at lunch in the Porridge restaurant. Dixie successfully ordered a delicious meal of pork spare ribs, fried vegetable dumplings and an excellent eggplant dish for the four of us.

After lunch, Dixie and Nancy walked to what's left of Kunming's Old Town and the Bird and Flower Market (the indoor, four story one that sells everything except birds and flowers). I am sure, if pressed, they will display the trophies they collected during their outing.

Oh yes, me. If you insist. I was modestly trying to avoid revealing the brilliant repair I made to the corroded battery compartment of the team's boom box. It had been damaged by leaky batteries. I will spare you my treatise on "The Theory and Practice of Repair in the Field Without Tools or Parts". Briefly, the repair was accomplished using Dixie's nail file, my trusty Swiss Army Knife and a few brass paper fasteners commandeered from our resource room.

Finally (for real this time) at dinner, John read the journal for Friday, Nancy read the journal for Saturday and our reunited group had a lively discussion about all of the day's events.

Respectfully submitted,