Day 3 – Report from 2014 Trip Team Leaders Jackie and Peter

Day 3 – Wednesday, 4/23
We all woke up early again today.  All the boys went for a run and basket ball game.  We worked out a schedule for showering so that we won’t be late for breakfast at 7:00am to arrive at the first class at 8:05am.  Today’s breakfast was porridge with “xue li hong” (雪里红)and stir fried rice noodle (炒米粉) for a change.  By now all of the kids are pros in delivering their presentations and handling the classes.  One of the teachers requested assistance on their current English unit on Toronto, Canada.  The “Sam and Brian” team was assigned the task.  They took the assignment seriously and prepared the lesson last night.  It went really well and the teacher was very happy with the help they provided to the students.  Since there are more than 20 classrooms for each grade (Gao Yi and Gao Er), it is still the first time for most of the classes to see our pairings, so more new friends are made.
There was a reason an umbrella was a required item on the checklist for each student to pack and bring.  The early morning was gray and cool but it started pouring in mid morning and the rain continued on.  At lunch, we enjoyed the rice flower coated pork (mi fen rou), whole fish and black chicken, and custurd eggs.  Mi fen rou was the favorite for all and the dish was emptied quickly.  Although we can’t go outside to play after lunch, it was great fun to chat with a lot more Yizhong students who are eating lunch at the dining hall today because of the rain who normally would have walked home to have lunch.  It was so nice to see the kids laughing and talking to each other in both Chinese and English.  They seem to have many common topics and interests.  They are all teenagers after all.
The originally scheduled afternoon sports events were cancelled due to the rain.  But we were led to the science and technology building computer lab.  The kids were able to get on the internet and their e-mail and hopefully all parents have received a greeting from the kids themselves.   After the computer lab time, we were invited to watch a Tai Chi performance by the Yizhong teachers.  We were impressed with the agility of the performers and fluidity of the routine.  All of us got a Tai Chi lesson from the teachers.  We know Tai Chi is an art form that can’ be learned in one session, but we still put out our best effort in keeping up with the teacher.  Many pictures are taken although the kids would rather that they get deleted.
The team got treated again for dinner, courtesy of Jackie’s friends.  After dinner, the kids prepared for the evening activity of meet & greet with the 22 scholarship recipients at Yizhong.  They worked really hard in learning how to prenouce the recipients names in Chinese.  We got some help from 2 local students.
The meet & greet went very well.  Each one of our kids took under their wings 1 – 2 Yizhong students and formed partnership.  They talked to each other about their families, who they are and what they like.   One of the scholarship recipients has severe disability but we were fortunate to have him attend the meet & greet tonight.  His mother is a dedicated and most loving mom I have ever met.  In China, it is very rare to see accomodations and access ramps that are required in the US for people with disability.  So the mom had to carried the student for all activities.  The student gave a short intro that was very moving.  We all wished him the best in life and admired his courage.
Both our kids and Yizhong students were able to tell the entire audience in both Chinese and English ther partners’ stories.  Emily encouraged her partner to write down notes so he can looked at them when answering questions about her, and Sam wrote cues on his palm.  Obviously talents are uncovered through the conversations and a few went on the stage to perform and showcase their talent.  Justin, Sam and Sophia entertained us with their panio performance.  Yizhong and our kids sang a pop song together.  Michael showed us his dance tricks again!
It rained throughout the night..
Jackie & Peter

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