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"YingHua in Beijing" Summer Program Announcement

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by Liao,Bonnie on 2012-07-06

Dear Parents,

Today was another full-day field trip.

We got up at 6:30 a.m. and skipped morning exercise so that we could leave by 7:30 a.m.

We first stopped at a Jade factory. The students watched experienced workers carving raw jade and turning them into beautiful hand-crafted pieces. They also learned the different types of jade by their hardness and colors as well as how to distinguish real and fake jade pieces.

Then many students bought some jade products mostly for their parents and other family members. Rachel and I thought that, even though these students were actually spending their parents' money, but their thought of their families is still very sweet.

We then drove an hour to a Cloisonne (jing3 tai4 lan2) Workshop. We first learned about the six steps of making Cloisonne products, which are all extremely labor-intensive. Then we went through each workshop with workers specializing in one of these steps. Just for laying the copper wire on the copper body to make a small/median-sized vase, it could take 6 days!

Then we had lunch at the "Glass House Restaurant." The food was all organic and fresh - not as greasy as some of the dishes we usually have.

Along the way, the students were busy practicing the songs we are going to perform on Monday night - gan3 en1 de xin1 (Thankful Heart), peng2 you3 (Friends), and yin3 xing2 de chi4 bang3 (Invisible Wings). We will watch the movie "Invisible Wings" on Saturday (tomorrow).

They also love to sing another song "tong2 hua4" (Fairytale), I helped them to find the lyrics but did not require everyone to learn it. However, many students loved it and practiced it again and again. It's video version tells a sad story between a boy and a girl ... Ask your child about it.

We arrived at Mu4 Tian2 Yu4 Great Wall site at 1:30 p.m. and got to the "wall" at 2:15. It was a physically demanding climb for some students. Fortunately the cloudy weather helped a LOT. The highest temperature was only 80+ F.

I encouraged all students to walk down instead of taking the Toboggan. For some reasons, amazingly ALL students ended up walking down and no one took the easy way down. We figures that the reasons could be the following:
1) the price is now 60 yuan a ride. Some students are "price-sensitive."
2) some students were too lazy to find out the specifics for taking the ride ...
3) peer pressure
4) just wanted to have the extra workout
5) I said that today, since we were going to McDonald directly where they would be allowed to buy anything there, only those who would walk down would get to buy ice-cream at the foot of the Great Wall.

Nevertheless, this is the first time in YiB history!

Many students practiced their bargaining skills at the market at the foot of the Great Wall. We skipped Ya Xiu market as we had a better plan for the evening.

We first went to McDonald. Again, the students sang nonstop on the bus. Some fell asleep.

I took Natalie and Narendra as the anti-McDonald group to have noodles next door while the rest of the kids indulged themselves with their (unfortunately) favorite American "cuisine" - Big Mac, Fries, Soda, and Ice-cream. Each person was given 30 yuan as their allowance.

Then we went back to the Water Cube to watch a very special show "The Dream of the Red Mansion." We just learned about this yesterday and I decided to take the kids to see it even though it's quite expensive (199 yuan).

It was the right decision. First of all, the Water Cube looked fantastic at night with its changing colors. Secondly, the show was filled with amazing dances and sceneries that are impossible to describe. The director fully utilized all the space inside the main stadium to stimulate all of our audial and visual senses. They boldly simplified the storyline of the original novel to limit the show to one hour. Most of the students enjoyed it but felt sad with the ending (of course). Tatum said, “the saddest part is that she (dai-yu) died thinking he (bao-yu) did not love her ….”

We got home by 10:15 p.m. and pushed the bedtime to 10:45 p.m. So tomorrow’s wakeup call will be at 7:15 a.m. Please do not disturb the kids and let them sleep in after the long day …



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