China Team Journal

Sunday, June 23, 2013

China Volunteer Team Gets Organized

Thought for the day:  "If you have knowledge, let others light their candles in it." Margaret Fuller.

Esther started us off with words of inspiration and a thorough recap of Sunday's orientation.

Our team of 12 has been paired up into 6 teaching teams, each containing a Kunming program veteran and a newby.  We all arrived at breakfast Monday morning, eager and maybe a little anxious about meeting our students.

After being whisked to the campus in the luxury of a roomy bus, we climbed the 4 flights of stairs to the large classroom where we were greeted by the Vice Dean of the Continuing Education program, introduced ourselves to the assembled students, grabbed our gear and headed out to our classrooms.  Two hours later...tired but heartened, we climbed back on to the bus.

During discussion over another delicious lunch, we all expressed pleasure at the skill level and enthusiasm of our students.  Baoli updated us on Tuesday's plans, particularly relating to the problem of choosing and scheduling the afternoon presentations.  We all headed off to prep for tomorrow's classes and to meet up later with Dixie to practice for Wednesday's singing and games.

In our afternoon practice session, Esther briefed us on several games we can have our students learn, and Dixie assured we lost all dignity and inhibitions by running us through a series of "active" games and folk dances. Who knew it was so hard to count and clap your hands at the same time?  At least we provided entertainment for the young waitress who watched us with bemused incredulity.

Dinner was again delicious, and included such delicious mysteries as Chinese toon (aka Chinese mahogany leaf), and it was followed by the resolution of the presentation scheduling issue:  Leon and Lester will discuss the pincer movement of immigration to the US across the Atlantic and the Pacific on 6/25; Michael will discuss US education on China twice on 6/26, alternating with the singing and dancing activity; Esther and Jim will cover US education topics on 6/27; and Mary and Wendy will give a combined presentation on Native Americans, followed by Nancy's discussing her family  history on 7/3.