Tuesday, July 24, 2012

English camp, line dancing and a concert on the grass. Day four.

Today was our first day of English camp! We have worked so hard to prepare for this camp, and I think we were all a bit nervous as to how it would go.

We started with a super fast 30 minute sweaty walk through the city, through the slums, through the market and then through the campus to get to our building. We bought bananas in the market and some type of bread, egg, slaw, spicy situation (doesn’t sound good but it is) and ate on the way.

(all pics below from along our walk to campus each day)

When we arrived we found the large classroom where we would start and end our days together as a group. Some of the students were already there so we had a short amount of time to get our bearings and get ready to start. I was responsible for kicking us off with introductions, which I was very happy about! I was able to use my loud mouth and silly attitude so much in Africa, and I have been terrified that I would …..terrify the soft spoken Chinese! BUT GOD has orchestrated it so that what I am good at can be useful here as well. So, we each told the 60 or so students who we all were. When I told them I was a mommy, they all said “Awwwwwwwe!. Such sweet spirited people.

Then we began our classroom rotations. We are teaching a grammar class, a writing class and a literature class. So, we basically teach the same thing, 3 times to 3 different groups each day. In literature (where I am working) we are studying Jane Eyre, which is amazing because it has given us great opportunities to talk with the students about forgiveness, God, death and eternity. They have no concept of eternity and they don’t think about dying. It just isn’t something that is of any concern to them, which makes it difficult to have gospel conversations if you have no sense of death or eternity! So this book was a GREAT way to start off our week with some deep thoughts, which thankfully come from Bronte (the author) rather than any of us, making it easier to have deeper conversations.
our classroom

Once all of our classes were finished for the morning, it was time to go to lunch. A group of girls asked me to go with them and we had an awesome time. One of the main goals of the camp is to teach English, but also give the kids a chance to practice their conversational English as well. Tomato and egg on rice is my new favoritest thing ever. Then we had a short time to sit and rest before going back for the afternoon session.

I was put on the spot and asked to fill up as much time in the first afternoon as possible, although I had only prepared for about an hour! But, loud mouth and silly is what I do and so I did. We played a couple of games, and then we taught them line dances!! Luckily, a few of the girls on the team are actual dancers and were able to help me out since I am just the loud mouth……oh yeah and I have a fractured knee! But it went over great and everyone had a lot of laughs, fun and exercise! Did I mention it is as hot here as at home, but they have no air conditioning…….wow.

Once day one was over, we had a little down time to eat dinner and chat with each other and some of the students about how the day went, and some things about them and their lives.A little girl came and sat next to me at a picnic table after we had eaten dinner. She was so shy, but she just came up, smiled, sat down next to me and read her book. I think God knew I just needed some interaction today with a 6 year old little girl. 

 Then it was off to the library lawn where Mandi and Ashley did a concert for the students, and about 100 other random people who gathered around to see what was going on! They did some of Mandi’s songs as well as some popular songs that the students knew. It was really awesome because they had a blast, but there is also some super good stuff in Mandi’s songs, and we gave them all a copy of the lyrics…..planting those seeds!

We are now back at the hotel and about to sleep. The weather, and our schedule each day really drains us. But, I think this is such good work…..even better than I had imagined. These students are from all over China, so hopefully believers will come out of this camp, who will then go back to their own home towns…..and multiply. Such an amazing concept…….who came up with it? Oh yeah, that was Jesus.


-Men wear things like black t shirts with a rhinestone zebra on the front…..and they own it.
-Giant piles of trash everywhere. The people leave trash wherever they want, because they know the government with pay someone to come behind them and clean it up.
-When you take their picture, they hold up a V for victory, but I don’t know what their victory is in.
Look at those cheeks!
-Babies don’t wear diapers. At all. Until they are (squatty) potty trained, they wear pants with a split in them, so that when they need to go, they just squat down and have at it! Craziness. So when you see a grandma carrying a baby around, their little brownish butt cheeks are peeking out for the world to see!

1 comment:

  1. Egg and Tomato was my favorite too! I'm so sad none of the Chinese places in America make it.