Thursday July 8, 2010

Thought for the day: This is the true joy of life; the being used up for a purpose, recognized by yourself as a mighty one. – George Bernard Shaw

It was the final day of a memorable three weeks for Team # 184 in Kunming. As one volunteer said, “On the second Monday, it looked like a long two weeks ahead, and then suddenly, it’s over.” Indeed the last week has gone quickly and so on our last day of class, we strive to do just a little bit more to send the teachers home with improved speaking skills, new English words and renewed spirits.

After class, our last “friendship activity” was a convivial lunch with all the classes at a local restaurant, including multiple, delicious dishes, some toasts and the ever-continuing photo opportunities.

The Closing Ceremony (aka Final Celebration) was both – ceremonial and celebratory. There were the speeches by the dignitaries, certificates for each teacher and showers of appreciation for us volunteers. The celebration continued with an exuberant performance by each class, ranging from a spoken comedy skit to songs and dances.

Then the hard part comes – truly having to say “ZAIJIAN” to these warm and wonderful people who live halfway around the world from us but have become a part of our hearts. How much did they learn in this past three weeks? Did we help them? Will they speak English at all back home in Pu’er city and the surrounding counties? We don’t know. But as China Country Manager Wang Baoli expressed in a quote in her closing remarks, “I may not remember what you said. I may not remember what you did. But I will always remember how you made me feel.” Hopefully, both and we will depart with that feeling of friendship and good will and what better gift to exchange as we head home.

– Betty

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