Friday August 6, 2010

Thought for the day: Kind words can be short an easy to speak, but their echoes are endless.

Today began with breakfast and an uneventful ride to Kunming College, excluding the new route we took, in order to see the group of people practicing tai-chi at the park.

In our class today, we discussed American holidays; namely Halloween, Thanksgiving, and Christmas. Christmas was a source of minor confusion in our class. Some people had questions as to whether there really was a jolly old man who slid down our chimneys in the middle of the night to steal our cookies and give us toys. Luckily, that was sorted out without much difficulty. Since it was Friday, I toted a hula-hoop to school, and before class ended, we let everyone have a go at hula-hooping. We all got a kick out of it, as did Bao Li, who dropped in to photograph the novelty.

After lunch at the hotel, the whole gang hopped in the van to attend the afternoon lectures. Lee discussed the history of the United States, Grace presented the Evolution of Beauty, my dad (Bill) shared the history of Chinese immigration to the United States, and Helene talked about teaching in California.

We ate dinner out, at Jorden’s Café. With some time to spare, we sat and chatted before setting off to the Yunnan Dynamic show. The show was, for lack of an adequate description, amazing. The lighting, costumes, and set were shockingly elaborate, really beautiful. The entire cast was energetic and extremely talented. A few of the crowd favorites – the moonlight dance, and the peacock dance. The moonlight dance was a solo, and unique in the fact that the audience didn’t see the dancer. For the entire dance, we watched her silhouette, as she danced behind a lighted screen.

The peacock dance began as a solo, with the dancer performing a series of complicated hand motions at center stage, in a shimmery white dress with the peacock feather – pattern on the train. She was joined by twenty other female dancers, and a young (six year s old, we guessed) girl another crowd favorite. All the dancers wore the same dress as the original soloist. The finale of the dance, as well as the entire show, was a woman who dressed in a black, similarly patterned dress, whose train literally covered the entire stage, silently made her way upstage and down a flight of stairs at center stage. What a show. We the made our way back to the hotel, thoroughly satisfied with the memorable performance.

Craving a snack after witnessing all that hard work on stage, my dad and I decided to try a late – night run to DQ. Disappointingly, DQ had just closed for the night, so we settled for a shake from Mickey – D’s. Note to all future sugar fiends visiting Kunming – DQ closes at 10:30, not 11:00.

– Marissa

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