Tuesday, May 19, 2009

Day 2

ICS students prepared lessons for the university students to help them engage in fun activities and practice speaking English.  Our 19 students split into four groups, IMG_6468and for one day they taught lessons in the morning and the afternoon. 

IMG_6402It took some time for the Chinese students to feel comfortable playing volleyball.  They got a chance to practice various hits and defences, then we split them into groups and started a tournament.  In the end, everyone had a great time.


IMG_6505Next is Ultimate Frisbee.  This game took some time to explain.  I think the Chinese were less familiar with it.  But, once the teams were selected and everyone faced off, there was no stopping it!  Ultimate was a huge hit!  The ICSIMG_6662 students were panting by the end due to the high altitude.  We just weren’t used to 3,000 feet above sea level.

IMG_6608The Music group had a challenge.  They needed to define a series of very specific types of music as well as instruments.  They were fortunate to have someone to translate everything for them.  They also used PowerPoint slides incorporated IMG_6612with instrumental sounds.  Yes, even hand motions sufficed to demonstrate the woodwinds. They topped off the class with a generous round of musical chairs.


IMG_6619Finally, the Card Playing group.  They also faced an audience with little understanding of English terms like “spades” or “queen”.  This team did not have the benefit of a translator, but they did have Mr. Whittaker.  Since Danny taught IMG_6615this class last year, he stepped up and taught it again.  You will notice that everyone is scattered around the floor.  Apparently there was a miscommunication and the class was held in a computer lab with no movable tables.  Ah, that wonderful creativity called improvising.


And what was Aaron doing during all this?  Why making friends of course.  He had a great time running around and playing with the menagerie.  The menagerie, in turn, had a great time trying to get him to sit still for a picture.  “So lovely!”

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Tuesday, May 12, 2009

Rural Life

On our first full day in China, we got a taste of something that can never be found in Singapore:  A Farm!  A Singaporean family started an olive farm in rural China to educate the local people in farming techniques and to bring hope.  They wait for the first harvest of olives which will occur in October.  As they anticipate the bounty, they have branched out to other crops as well.  ICS students roamed the arid hills with a mixture of awe and disbelief.  A special treat awaited the end of the tour, fresh strawberries right off the vines.  We joined in the excitement as one after another, students stepped from the green house munching strawberries and licking sticky fingers.

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After a home-grown, home-cooked meal, our group migrated to a nearby village to teach English with crafts, songs, and games.  Primary (Elementary) children practiced saying the names of animals as they drew pictures, sang “If I Were a Butterfly” and played an animal version of tag.  The tigers got to tag everybody.  The mice and pigs had to run the whole time.  Dogs and cats could tag those who were not tigers.

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IMG_6331Time melted away as the children began to come out of their shells and make some friends.  Even Aaron found some common ground with those he didn’t share a language with.




The school gathered everyone up to say “Thank You” and “Goodbye”.  What an excellent time for a picture.  Tired ICS students piled back on the bus, happy to have been a part of the school for a day.IMG_6366