I apologize for those of you who were confused by my previous entry... we studied Boston, the city, not Boston, the 1980s band. Day 3 of Hometown China had the students studying Washington DC and had an Easter theme as well. Thankfully, we had a bit of a reprieve from the heat here, as there was a constant breeze. However, the heat index was still well over 100 degrees.
In our language lessons (ages 6-8) we taught our students how to play games such as "Memory" and "Go Fish". It seemed amazing to me that these kids had never played these games before, but they caught on quickly and really seemed to enjoy them! Trying to keep my group of five very energetic 8-year olds from speaking in Chinese is quite the challenge, but as they become more confident in their speaking abilities, hopefully their use of Chinese while at camp will diminish. Other highlights from today included showing a portion of Lilo and Stitch to the students which they really seemed to enjoy. (We had to put the subtitles on the screen so that they could read along because many of these students are very proficient in their reading, but not as good at listening and speaking.) We also had an Easter egg scavenger hunt where we planted eggs with clues around the school for the kids to find. My group was so excited for this adventure! At the end, we gave them Starburst, which I don't think many of them had eaten before as the students just stared at them for a bit, wondering what it was, until one brave soul at his and then the all followed. Of course, they all wanted "more" at that point, but I didn't make any available to them. (Isn't it funny how "more" is one of the first words they learn? They're also really good at using the word "no" as well!)
Today was also Matt's birthday, so we celebrated with birthday cake (okay, so it was a type of coffee cake from the breakfast buffet) singing, and dinner at our favorite restaraunt in the hotel. Afterwards, several members headed up to the rooftop for an extended celebration for those "25 years old and younger", per Bryce's request. Since I'm offically part of the "old" crowd now, Brian and I headed off for an intense game of cribbage before bed.
China as a nation continues to facinate me in so many ways. The cities have a reputation for being extremely dirty, which I have not found to be true at all. Furthermore, I am always seeing workers out on the streets picking up trash, sweeping, etc. Granted, every now and then we see some rather odd sights, such as a guy transporting an entire dead pig (which had been gutted earlier) on the back of his bike, or someone with trash bags filled with who knows what on bike, but the pile of bags is roughly 3-4 times the height of himself when seated on the bike! I still haven't gotten use to the way people drive. Jamie and I were comparing notes and it seems like the only place where there is some resemblence of order when driving is in the US. Despite people constantly ignoring traffic signals, right of way, lane markers, etc., we have yet to see an accident here, which is pretty remarkable.
Tomorrow, we'll be celebrating the 4th of July with the students and studying Chicago (the city, not the band). It should be another exciting day. If you want another perspective on the specific happenings at camp, check out our "official" blog at: http://blogs.cord.edu/CLV/HT/Shanghai/.