China Team Journal

Friday, October 22, 2010

Team Journal, October 22

Friday, October 22 - Greg

Thought for the day: "Now the fat lady is going to sing." - Wang Bao Li

Friday was about people. I spent time with Rebecca while Elizabeth went to the school to teach with Gwendolyn. We missed breakfast but were able to catch my parents on Skype. Once we got video working, I moved my laptop around to show them what Xi'an looks like from our hotel window.

In the morning Rebecca and I ran some errands. She led me to a notebook shop she had been to with Gwendolyn last week. We spent the rest of the morning in the lobby with the laptop, catching up on homework.

In the afternoon we had the farewell celebration with the teachers and students from the two schools. I'm glad we had it now to include the two-week teachers. We got to meet teachers and students from each others' schools. We had a great time. The three-weekers will miss Elli, K.C. and Tommy a lot.

The girls and I hit the Big Goose Pagoda at the end of the day. When we got in the taxi I said Da Yan Ta to the driver and he didn't repeat it back or ask for clarification. Usually when I try to speak Chinese I get some feedback that tells me what (low) percentage I pronounced correctly, so this was a little unnerving. I asked a follow-up question about whether the Big Goose Pagoda was close to the Small Goose Pagoda. He just said Bu (no) which told me that either he was understanding me, or he plain didn't feel like talking. He did take us right to the big goose, so I'm counting that encounter as a language victory.

There wasn't the expected light & sound water show that we expected at the Big Goose Pagoda, but we did meet a guy who spoke English and got to hang out a little with him, talking in Chinese and English. Mostly English.