Tuesday, February 22, 2011

Tuesday in China

The morning started with being locked out of our safe ... and trying to communicate with the guy what we needed. I was also playing with an echo mic and we all cracked up. Laughter is a universal language!!!  

We did training with the teachers in the morning and that went really well. They are not used to actively participating in the training and some had to be coaxed a bit more than others to open up, but they did. I taught them how to play 'go fish' to help with reinforcement of concepts and skills to make learning more fun and how to adapt an activity for different levels.  One little boy hung around our rooms in the morning and helped all of us with our lessons. He has such personality!!

Lunch was another interesting affair. The easily identifiable animal this time was pigs feet - not pickled - just cooked. No. Wasn't brave enough to try that. The beef was yummy though! After lunch we went for a walk outside because it was such a beautiful day. There are cows in the field next to the orphanage. They 'moo' in the same language. We watched a farmer tilling her garden and marveled at the startling contrasts between the fields and the high rises. It was here that we decided to change our afternoon plans. 

We relaxed in the sunshine a bit more (my cheeks are pink) and talked with the director to get approval for our idea. She loved it! 

We took all the kids and teachers out to the field to see the cows up close, feel the grass, taste the grass for some and just get a new experience. There was so much laughter. Some let us take off their shoes so they could feel the grass on their toes - a first for many! Some timidly reached out to touch it and then were pulling it with wild abandon a few minutes later. One guy initially refused to walk on it, but then he was in the knee high stuff like he owned the place.  The cows were cooperative and ate the grass that was thrown to them and moo'd for the kids. We talked about incorporating new experiences into lessons and creating opportunities. We ended the outside time with circle time and songs like 'Old MacDonald,' 'If You're Happy and You Know It,' and others. 

After we walked back, we took the kids to their amazing playground where they jumped on the trampoline, played on the swings, ran around and had a blast doing what they do best - being kids. A couple carried tufts of grass around for the next 2 hours. We were able to show the teachers that you can incorporate learning into play time as well.  

Just before dinner, we went to the baby room. One baby had a cleft lip repair done in October and it look GREAT!! Most of the babies were about 3 months old and so healthy and clean. 

After dinner, we went for foot massages. For less than $10US we had a 60 minute massage that included a back massage, arm massage, leg massage and foot massage. They put the tv on an English speaking channel and we all relaxed. It was heavenly. (and at times a bit painful - those girls are tiny, but strong!)  

Please pray for emotional and physical strength. I am tired and drained. I hope to get some great sleep and a bit of time alone to recharge. There is constant chatter and people, but the lessons are going well and I hope the teachers are learning new techniques to use. They are a great bunch of gals!


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Speak gently. carefully. thoughtfully. graciously. humbly.

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