As soon as we arrived, they had a huge celebration for us with tons of food and even more drinks/toasting!
More food from the banquet.
More food from the banquet. Yum!
When we first arrived at the school, they had a big ceremony for us. All 1800 students, plus all the teachers and administrators assembled in the courtyard to welcome us.
They are a very well-organized group!
My view from the table of the honored guests. That is the school's principal addressing the students in this picture.
Yes, the reason why I'm here in the first place is to work with the students. Each morning before the classes begin, the students come to the teachers' lounge to pick us up. They think of it as an honor to come and get the teacher, and they are so excited to see us!
They love to pose for pictures, especially while making peace signs. Kind of just like American students, I guess!
The students working in groups on creating their own stories in English. Working in groups, and doing a lot of creative thinking are not things that the typical Chinese student does in school.
These girls were doing an excellent job working together!
The students then presented their collaborative stories to the class in English.
The students get a 10 minute break in between classes where they like to play games. These kids are playing Chinese Chess.
One of my classes singing "Baby" by Justin Bieber. The "lead singers" dressed up in their best American street clothes!
They couldn't keep up with the Ludacris rap part in the song, so they had a girl come and do a sassy interpretive dance!
Almost every day, after we were done teaching, we had some of the Chinese teachers here teach us something about Chinese culture. This was a shot of the boardroom where we learned some interesting things about the Chinese language.
We also did a class on Chinese calligraphy. This was mine, and I'm pretty sure it doesn't make any sense, ha ha!
This is from our class on the traditional art of Chinese paper cutting.
More paper cutting.
And more cutting.
Here are the final products of my paper cutting project. Not bad...if I were an 8 year old, ha ha!
Here are the school's chefs who taught us how to cook.
Here is me making a pork dumpling.
And when I was finished making it.
Here are the finished, steamed dumplings that all of the teachers made. They actually were pretty good!
We also learned how to make Chinese coil pottery.
Here is my finished mug/pitcher/vase/whatever it is.
The most interesting thing we did so far was probably the Kung Fu class.
We learned some good self-defense moves.
And proper form when kicking someone.
We had to be careful not to hurt each other!
We learned how to throw our opponent.
Some of us were better at it than others.
Mrs. Mueller is basically a Kung Fu master!
We learned about the art of Chinese knot making.
It was the hardest one of our cultural classes.
It's supposed to be easier if you have a partner...
I was LOST!
We were all having a rough time.
Sometimes it's just easier to let the teacher go ahead and do it for you.
My final product. I had a lot of help.
Tour of Nanjing
On our one day off, we spent the whole day touring the city. This is me standing on one of the 292 steps up to Dr. Sun Yet-sen's mausoleum.
The view from the top.
The Pagoda by the Purple Mountain, near Dr. Sun Yet-sen's monument.
I'm getting to be a pro at climbing up tall things in China.
The outside of the museum for the Nanjing Massacre. The diagonal line in the bricks is supposed to represent a bloodied and broken sword used by the Japanese during the massacre. 300,000 is the number of people who were killed during the 6 week period when the massacre took place.
They did not allow photography on the inside of the museum, but here is a stone carving on the outside of the entrance to the building.
Another one of the stone carvings. The museum was by far the most impressive thing we did on our tour of Nanjing. Creepy and sad, but very impressive.
Ron, Vanetta, and I were guests at Mr. Li's house for dinner. They have twin 4-year-old sons.
Here is a shot of the dinner table. They keep bringing dishes out throughout the evening.
Every few minutes, new dishes come out! Here is some duck soup and some delicious dumplings.
The kids' table
They also invited their friends over for dinner.
The house was very beautiful, clean, and modern. This is the master bedroom
The living room, where their kids occasionally practiced martial arts (aka, hitting each other with long sticks!)
I couldn't resist taking a picture of this that was hanging on their walls. Chinglish is a very popular language here!
The American teachers and the Chinese teachers played each other in basketball. It was a lot of fun!
Both teams played hard!
Troy's height was our not-so-secret weapon.
We needed a little halftime strategy.
The game ended in a tie, so everyone was a winner. Except for Mrs. Justice, who got a sweaty, congratulatory hug from Steve!
All of the guys on the trip, posing for a picture at the final banquet.
The Marvin Ridge Middle crew. Ron throwing the M.
The banquet consisted of a little bit of eating, and then a lot of mingling, taking pictures, and doing silly dances!
Even their principal got in on the action (with a little bit of friendly persuasion...)
The Final Day of Class
Good bye, China. Peace.