China Team Journal

Thursday, September 9, 2010

Thursday September 9, 2010

Thought for the day: “In life, it is not the things that knock you down that count, it is the people who help you up."

While we were riding to school this morning, one of the teachers, Diana, told us a fascinating story about an American nurse who married a Chinese farmer and went to live in his village which was very poor. While she was raising their two children, she bought a cow and sold the milk in order to buy some chickens, she then sold the eggs to raise more money. Over the years, her businesses improved the whole village. I really enjoy talking to the teachers about their school and teaching. Today, Diana and I discussed the differences between American and Chinese farmers and one day Vivian and I talked about whether or not a mother-in-law ought to say anything negative about her daughter's boyfriend.

Our classes went well today. I had l6 medical instrument students. We worked on pronunciation especially "th" which is very difficult. All week, I had been using a dialog about going home for Autumn Festival. But many of these students live too far away to go home. To my surprise, the majority of the students I had all week had brothers and sisters. Not surprising was the fact that most of them had grandparents living with them.

This afternoon Marcella and Tony went to check out the history museum for us. Wally got a haircut and was quite pleased with the results. Claudia and I spent the afternoon at the office looking over the teaching materials. I was looking for more ways to get the students to talk to each other and to me, specifically topics for dialogues and role playing skits.

Baoli took us to a neighborhood restaurant for dinner and later we spent time in the park. Marcella and I joined the regular evening line dancing. The park is full of families and young people and many of them smiled at us and let us talk to their babies. In the daytime, people are flying kites, cracking whips, doing Tai Chi, dancing in traditional dress, playing both traditional and western musical instruments and best of all singing local opera. This is my third Global Volunteer trip. Each time, I come away with a warm feeling about a country and its people that I could never get from a tour of that same country.

- Maggie