United Nations Millennium Goals Addressed by our Team:
Three of the volunteers on the team provided 60 hours of conversational English language instruction to 358 college students.

Sunday March 8th, 2009

Message of the day: Whatever we do attitude makes all the difference.

Today after breakfast Baoli introduced us to global volunteers. This included a self introduction of each of us and a discussion with description of the Xi’an and La La Shou sites. As well as Anshang, Kumming and Haikou programs. We learned about the Global Volunteers’ philosophy, policies, and guidelines. Part of this meeting addressed health and safety issues, team building activities and a Chinese language lesson and discussing our teaching assignments. Baoli asked us to start thinking about what we could do to be part of a final celebration of the school on Friday. She also helped us to decide what site seeing adventures would be appropriate on a few of our free afternoons. Later in the afternoon Ashley and Emily Davis and I with Baoli and Hu Di and the representatives of the Xi’an Experimental Primary School and the Xi’an Number Two Middle School and the Xi’an Biomedical Technical College. We were warmly welcomed by them and some of the students from the number two middle school danced, sang, and played musical instruments to express their appreciation for our visit to Xi’an. After this visit Baoli ordered a delicious dinner for us and we returned early looking forward to tomorrow’s challenge at the college!

Monday March 9th, 2009

Message of the day: Peace-It’s in style!

Today was our first day of teaching. It was very exciting. I was nervous before school but my nerves quickly faded when Emily and I did an old cheer for the girls. Although things didn’t go as originally planned, I think we all had fun and learned a lot about each other. Julia and her husband are so hospitable and the students were so kind hearted. They even bought us treats for the car ride home. The teachers and students say they are privileged to have us in their schools and city, I think it’s the other way around, I am the one that’s privileged. After school we saw the terra cotta warriors which were amazing. I can’t believe people actually made all of those! Em, Nance, and I almost felt sorry for the men who made them. All of that hard work was destroyed! It must take some serious talent to put those soldiers back together. Then we had dinner with Baoli and she gave us some more information on the soldiers. I also learned more about the schooling in China. Such hard workers these kids are! I can’t wait to meet another group of students tomorrow!

Tuesday March 10th, 2009

Message of the day: Go with the flow.

Today after breakfast Sunshine picked us up for our second day of teaching. Each of us taught different classes today. I was nervous about having my first class by myself but it turned out to be fine. Today both of my classes were a lot shyer than our first class. They surprisingly didn’t have a lot of questions. Men with cameras wanted to tape me, Ash and Nance teaching the kids to dance and sing, so we did the bunny hop. Julia, Sunshine, and Viviane took us to lunch at a Muslim Chinese restaurant. The food was different but good. My second class went better, they asked more questions and I felt more comfortable teaching. On our way home Sunshine had tracked down a poster with a quote from the Bible on it. We went to a Christian book store to pick it up. I still can’t believe the hospitality of our teachers, students, and even our driver. Everyone makes us feel so welcome and comfortable. One thing that we’ve learned on this trip is everything doesn’t always go as planned, sometimes you just gotta go with the flow.

Wednesday March 11, 2009

Message of the day: Never underestimate the difference your support can make in a person’s life.

Wednesday we started with our buffet breakfast and then as usual Baoli saw us off to the Biomedical and Technical College with our friendly driver and a teacher as a interpreter and guide. We taught one class in the morning. Emily received gifts from the students. Ashley and Emily did cheers for the girls with our three classes during break time. And we also gave many students English names at their request. Julia and a few teachers took us to lunch in the school cafeteria and afterwards we were entertained by several students who sang and danced for us. We were amazed at their talent. After this we were guided to a room, and when the doors were thrown open. There were about eighty young adults who sang a beautiful song about believing in yourself. These singers were soon to be scattered around China to do recruiting for the college. Ashley and Emily decided on a massage as a treat for their volunteer efforts. All in all today was another exciting and fun filled day of meeting new friends and sharing our lives with them. Thanks Global Volunteers for this fabulous opportunity to build bridges.

Thursday March 12th, 2009

Message of the day: We are many parts, we are all one body. And the gifts we have we are given to share. May the spirit of love make us one.

School today was so much fun. I had a few students who were very talkative and active in class which makes things more exciting. The students and I talked a lot about how our lives were different and alike. I barely had time to get the lesson done. It was the first time that I felt I needed more time. After class we had the dumpling party at Julia’s. The food was delicious and the company even better. I don’t think I have met nicer people. Robinson came for a little while and talked with us about world peace. He was so honest and sincere that it moved me to tears. We now call him “Uncle Robinson”. For dinner Em, Nance, Baoli, and I met two other couples at a restaurant near the Big Wild Goose Pagoda. It was a nice dinner and it was fun getting to meet new people.

Friday March 13th, 2009

Message of the day: Live like you were dying.

Today as always we had breakfast with Baoli at seven. After breakfast Baoli escorted us to our last day of teaching at the Biomedical Technical College. Teaching today went well. The students had a lot of questions to ask. As always at break time, Nancye brought her class upstairs and Ashley and I put on a show followed by volunteers who wanted to perform. When class ended some teachers and students took us to the “wisdom forest” where we all had our own tree. We then had our closing ceremony there. We took lost of pictures and said our goodbye’s. It was hard to say goodbye, these people had become like family. With their welcoming arms and loving hearts we formed a relationship that will never be forgotten. Today after school we decided to go to the Muslim Market where we found all of our gifts. Nance, Ash, and I had fun bargaining on prices, it’s funny how in the end we always got our way. We had an excellent last dinner with Baoli, I even tried duck! This has honestly been the best experience of my life. I’ve learned so much, met new people, and formed new friendships. None of this would have been possible without Global Volunteers. Thanks so much!

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