What a Meaningful Way to Spend our Christmas!

Message of the Day:John & Errett Schmid

I heard the bells on Christmas Day

Their old familiar carols play,

And wild and sweet the words repeat

Of peace on earth, goodwill to men.

 –  Henry Wadsworth Longfellow

Team Journal Entry:

Beautiful warm weather has returned to Kunming for our final days here in China. Following our usual buffet breakfast, the team met with the Hotel’s “housekeeping” team where we worked on English response to inquiries and questions from guests. Among the topics covered, in addition to various English greetings, were:

  • May I clean your room?
  • May I check your room?
  • I need some: soap, fresh towels, a wash cloth, toilet paper, etc.
  • Problems with temperature, TV, toilet, shower, or other guest room malfunctions

Some role-playing seemed to be well received. Nice group, as always attentive and taking good notes.

School was a short day – only two classes. They wanted to get us back to the hotel early because of the traffic. It’s going to be another hot time in the old town tonight. Even though we left two hours early, it took twice as long to return to the hotel as usual. Errett, among other things, taught her classes to sing ‘Jingle Bells.’ The kids all know it, but just have no idea how to pronounce the words or what they mean. She had to draw pictures on the board of a horse, a sleigh, and bells. It was pretty funny. She also has an activity where they have to guess how old she is. She puts the numbers on the board, in order, and they range from 15 to 60. Then the kids vote and usually come up with something in the mid 60s. They cannot believe 76 (neither can she)!!!!  Jack worked on sentence structure with numbers and colors and each student describing his/her family. Linda worked on combining concepts: putting together colors with nouns in complete sentences such as “the tree is green and black,” “the car is red,” etc. She would ask what color the car is and they would respond “the car is green.”

Linda NealLily, the head teacher, told us of a great success: the student whose home we visited told her that she has decided that she likes English studies now and is going to work very hard to master the subject!  We had taken a picture of us and her family and BaoLi had it made into 5×7 print. We all wrote our “thank you” on the back.

Upon arrival at the hotel we “tested the lobby bar.” The reception staff would be pleased at how well this went. We got two beers for three people – the beers are huge here, 600 ml.  We also got a snack: peanuts in the shell. They had a slightly sweet taste, but were very satisfying.

Now for the main event: Christmas Dinner!!!!!

First course: barbequed ribs. Little tiny guys, maybe one inch long with a very small round bone. Delicious.

Second course: rice noodles in a terrific sauce with braised baby bok choy

Third course: A fabulous curry soup with beef meat balls, potatoes, and onions. Quite spicy.

Sides: A vegetable dish of mushrooms, bok choy, carrots, and a couple of other veggies in a sauce; rice (of course)

Beverage: green tea (naturally)

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