Wednesday August 4, 2010

Thought for the day: A life is like a piece of paper on which every person leaves a mark.

Wow, it was another busy incredibly busy day for us in Kunming. The morning started with the usual breakfast fixings and our morning review of the past day’s Journal. At 8am we headed over to KU-Teachers Training Center through what seemed like the heaviest traffic we’ve encountered. An extraordinary sight along the way was the young lady dressed in a fine pink dress holding a frilly pink umbrella. She riding on the back of a motor scooter driven by a young man in a white shirt and black tie – it was an unusual contrast to the other morning commuters going to work!

The morning session seemed to pass by very quickly starting with a short review of volunteerism and the concept of “pay it forward”, then some exercises involving students describing, in some detail, their weekend routine. We ended the morning with a rather animated round of tongue twisters…peter piper picked a peck of pickled…oh well, you get the idea. We headed back to the hotel for lunch – geez, didn’t we just eat – and some last minute preparation (for me) for this afternoon’s volunteer presentations. Around 2pm we headed back to KU-TTC and each of us made short presentations to the combined classes.

Lee discussed general education, examination and professional careers for people that pursue a legal profession as well as a brief history of the origin of the American legal system with some contrasts between the American, British and Chinese systems.

Helene explained the fundamentals of nursing / healthcare in America. (I did not know the difference between primary, secondary and tertiary hospitals.) And gave an example of how the US healthcare system requires medical treatment for those needing medical attention, whether or not those individuals can pay for the care they receive.

Marissa discussed life as an American teenager and explained each of the seven habits of a highly effective teenager (from the book with the same title) and how those habits have helped her in better organizing and prioritizing her days.

Grace reviewed the many challenges and differences between American and Asian cultures – for example, the differences in the meanings of different expressions and colors.

Bill presented a short power point and talked about the history and events at the Hotel Del Coronado.

After a hot afternoon and a busy teaching day we were ready for a special night on the town. We shared a wonderful meal and dinner show at the Yunnan Flavor Restaurant. We enjoyed watching (and Marissa and Grace participating) in the show highlighting songs and dances of different ethnic groups from around the Yunnan province.

As the show ended and we were finishing our dinner, a huge thunder storm erupted and it poured rain – even through areas of the restaurant’s roof! Only Baoli and Helene planned ahead and had umbrellas. After a short, but futile, attempt to hail a cab, we bought a couple umbrellas and had a pleasant walk back to the hotel. Yes, the weather in Kunming changes rapidly. Gotta remember to take the umbrella with me tomorrow morning.

– Bill

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