Tuesday July 20, 2010

Thought for the day: Why is that when people reach a certain age we think they’re approaching death soon? We should instead celebrate the fact that they’re still alive and kicking. It is not so much dealing with death, it’s learning from people who have come this far (Personal philosophy derived from life experiences).

Today started off with a very busy morning going over several agenda items which will occur over the next three days: the Friendship Activity, the Speech Festival, and the Closing Ceremony. We spent so much time going over these items that we were rushed in doing our regular exercises of the journal reading, pronunciation drills, open-ended discussion questions, and role playing. We did manage to sing some songs and teach the students some games which they might use in their classes including Hangman.

After lunch at the hotel, we went to the Hump Memorial where we spent the afternoon with our classes teaching them about American assistance to the Chinese government during the Sino-Japanese War. Beginning with the American Volunteer Group lead by Claire Chennault in early 1941, the outfit turned into the Flying Tigers when America entered the war after Dec. 7, 1941.

The weather was quite bad with continual rain changing from light to heavy showers. My arthritis was acting up, aggravated by the wet weather, and I decided to stay in the van. Martin told me the students enjoyed taking pictures of their friends and with the Global Volunteers. J.K., our dancing master Volunteer, felt under the weather with flu-like symptoms and spent the afternoon resting. He was still not feeling up to par by dinner time and Baoli arranged for him to eat supper in his room and continue to rest.

We were all tired after the day’s outing with the rain and mud, but got our second wind when we had dinner at Che Che, a restaurant which serves American food in Kunming. The food was quite tasty and a welcome change to all the wonderful Chinese food which we have been eating. The food did not taste exactly what we are used to eating in California, New York, and New Jersey where the Volunteers are from, but it was appreciated by all. After our American food fix we all walked back to the hotel in the drenching rain for a much needed night’s sleep.

Tomorrow is the Friendship Activity session and I look forward to seeing what our students have planned.

– Kathy

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