Friday, August 10, 2007

Meeting the High-schoolers

We set out on the street once again for breakfast; the boys were off at the soccer field so it was just Sue, Sophie, and myself.  The bummer about our current living situation is that we pretty much have to go out for every meal, otherwise we are eating on our laps in the room.  It drives Sue crazy to do that!  We're looking forward to going to Hangzhou where we will have a little more space and a table to eat at!

Luckily we have this great little bakery across the street that serves great, although expensive coffee - about $2 US which is a fortune for food here!  It's so yummy though we decided that we were worth it!  We had coffee and a pastry, and sweltered in the heat although the shopkeeper did make her best effort to turn on the AC for us!

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Today in class we learned more Chinese characters and we got a chance to go up and practice!  Here we are practicing our script!

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There's a certain, very uncomfortable looking way to hold the brush.  Peter's doing a great job keeping his brush vertical here so the water/ink can flow to the tip.

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The major focus today was to meet the high school students that we will be practice teaching next week.  We went to their very modern high school, and met this group of 15 year old kids.  Peter and Jack got loads of attention, and they all bonded over video games.  Who said technology stops people from communicating!  It's the international language, baby!

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Here I am talking with two of the high school girls and they are asking me all kinds of questions; from where do I live in the U.S. to what do I think of what we did to Saddam and the war in Iraq.  Ouch! 

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Here's Jack getting his share of attention.  If you can't pick out Jack, he's the one in the blond hair and red shirt! :) 

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Peter loved to interview (and be interviewed by) the older Chinese boys.

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Tonight we went to a wonderful restaurant with the other 28 teachers who are at this program learning Chinese and teaching.  It was very delicious, but we went back a bit earlier than the rest due to the lateness of the hour and the sleepiness of the kids!

Shanghai 007  Jack and Peter hamming it up with Eric, one of the other teachers-to-be.

Shanghai 004There were origami swans EVERYWHERE, and here was a nice display that must have taken hours to put together! 

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Our instructors, Eleanor and Jane, who were the organizers of the evening.

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Another teacher, Alexis, who will also be in Hangzhou so we will see a lot more of her.  She is from Toronto, and the highschoolers today were asking her about a mountain in the U.S. with presidents on it.  She had no idea.  Amazingly the Chinese kids knew who the presidents were on Mount Rushmore.  Do you?

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Alexis and Sophie, bonding over a can of Sprite.

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Karen, Sophie, Bei and Alexis, all dressed up in their Shanghai going-out finery.

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One of the dishes we were served was lamb shank.  A rather large bone with meat on both ends.  It was served with much needed plastic gloves, so you could pick it up and gnaw off the meat.

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When they brought the fish out, the waiters and waitresses accompanied it with a song.  I have no idea what they were singing but it was pretty!  They also twirled colorful pieces of cloth as they sang.

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... and finally, the drink of choice for the group tonight!

Shanghai 032   We had a tough time hailing a cab this evening.  We left the restaurant and had to compete with dozens of locals and deal with sleepy kids as we tried to make ourselves noticed.  Eventually we gave up and walked to a quieter piece of pavement and finally a cab stopped!  We got home at 10pm and realized we had no milk.  Luckily everything is open and just a block away to I walked down to get some.  There are all kinds of street vendors that come out at night.  I will have to explore these more and get some pics up on the blog!

Tomorrow is a touring day so we should get some good pics of Shanghai.  Stay tuned!

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

It's great to see these "real" pictures of the Chinese people, their environment and activities ... a mix of modern and traditional. I was looking for Sue's beads but found your blog, and will be checking on your adventures daily to travel vicariously with you. I'm an ESL teacher, and have had Chinese students. This will help me understand their background better. Sandy