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"YingHua in Beijing" Summer Program Announcement

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by Liao,Bonnie on 2011-07-03

Dear Parents,

Today we \"skipped\" the morning exercises because we needed to depart at 7:30 a.m. thanks to our busy schedule today.

We first went to a jade factory. We were introduced to different types of jade and how to tell real jade from fake jade. Real jade is more cloudy, is heaver, and when you bang two pieces of real jade together they make a distinctly higher and purer pitch than two fake pieces. We shopped at the factory store.

We went to the Mutianyu Great Wall. Fortunately at this point in the day, it stopped raining. Before climbing, we walked through a underground water cave. Then we climbed many steps to reach the top for about 20 minutes and everyone\'s face was dripping with sweat by the time we got there. Tristan was the proud flag bearer as he\'s been the fastest runner during the morning runs.

Tristan and Robert waved the YiB flag once they reached the #7 high tower at the top. As we were going back down, some students took the chair lift and some students walked down. Bonnie was proud of everyone who chose to walk down instead of taking the ride \"wasting a good 40 yuan\": Jessica, Sophia, Annie, Detorea, Melissa, Sonia, Amy, Lin-lin, Tia, Lisa, Mickee, Shannon, Robert, and Brandon. Other than Robert, the 9-year-old (youngest) boy Brandon was the ONLY \"representative\" of the boys among the 14 determined \"walkers.\"

After, we went to a Cloisonne or Jingtailan workshop. There are six definitive steps in the process of making one, but essentially, 1) a piece of copper must be worked into the desired shape, 2) copper wires have to be glued onto the large copper piece to make out the designs, 3) colored copper solutions are brushed on to fill between the wires, 4) the entire thing is fired, - repeat #3 and #4 3-10 times, 5) polish, 6) gold gilding to prevent copper from turning green. We were told this art form has been on its way of being lost. Then we shopped at the factory store. 

Finally we went to the Ya Xiu market in san-li-tun where the kids got to practice their bargaining skills. Many people brought different things for their families. 

As a treat, for dinner we went to McDonald\'s, the first Western food we had in two weeks. Some students enjoyed this and others did not. Shannon helped order food for ten people and many people anticipate stomach-aches tomorrow.

Mickee - Great Wall was very tiring but she pushed herself to reach the top. She bought many things for her sister on the trip and hopes she can be nicer to her in the future.

Joanne - Got up early but fell back asleep because she got up so early. Thanks Mickee for helping her be wise with her money.

Jessica - Amazing to think about the work and pain that the builders of the wall had to endure. Enjoyed haggling at the market. Very sad that Mickee will be leaving at tomorrow.

Melissa - Felt very accomplished climbing the Great Wall and thanks Shannon for helping everyone buy McDonalds.

Sonia - Being with asthma, it felt very frightening to climb the Great Wall but thanks James and Shannon to help her feel better as she was climbing up.

Mingming - Felt good that more people waved back at her during a game. Feels that the world is more united than she thought.

Shannon - Awed at the workers\' perseverance in their handmade crafts.

Annie - Felt brave at walking down the great wall instead of riding the Gondola. Glad that she had McDonald\'s and the teachers trusted her with money.

Detorea - Had a great time at the Great Wall. Enjoyed lunch and bought a few things at the market.

Sophia - Michelle, the tour guide at the factory showed us how jade could be fake or real. Was about to buy a rabbit but didn\'t. Completed all her homework on the ride to the Great Wall. Thought that the wilderness at the GW was amazing and beautiful. Reminds her of when she went with her parents and grandparents.

Tristan - Happy that he was chosen to be the flag bearer. Thought the long hike was worth it and felt exhilarated screaming at the top. Needs to practice bargaining more. Wants to apologize to Ryan for dropping his camera and thanks to Shannon for buying McDonald\'s

Chauncey - Thanks everyone who helped him when he got bit by a bug at the Great Wall.

Matthew - Impressed by the workers at the factory and is sad that the younger generation does not want to learn the family trades anymore. The trek up the Great Wall was very painful and shopping at the mall was a new and good experience.

James - Thanks MingMing to help her buy the McDonald\'s, and Sonia for helping him bargain at the Market. Awed by the people who built the Great Wall.

Ben - Impressed by the hard work he saw at the Cloisonne and Jade factories, wants to use that inspiration to help him play music.

Dave - Would like to thank Shannon for helping order everyone\'s food at dinner. At both factories he thought about how patient the workers were and is inspired by that to work harder at his school work.

Darren - The water cave at the great wall was cool at the Great Wall. Wants to thank the people who donated money for everyone\'s dinner today.

Ryan - Had to push himself to get to the top of the Great Wall. Wants to thank everyone who helped him bargain to get good prices. Nice to have American Food at McDonald\'s after two weeks.

Brandon - Had a great time at the Great Wall.

Lisa - Saw an old lady cleaning the tables at McDonald\'s and felt lucky to be spoiled and not have a job.

Amy - Went to Great Wall with her family before thinks she could have tried harder to climb more.

Tia -  Not good at Chinese so LinLin helped her bargain at the Beijing market.

LinLin - Climbing the great wall was a huge challenge for many of us, thought about the vendors who climbed up the wall, and thought about the builders who originally built the wall. These kept her motivated.

Bonnie - The meaning of life is not necessarily based on happiness and fun. I think we should all learn to find the meaning of life through challenges and hardship sometimes through boredom pain and sadness. And actually the essence of finding meaning is to find purpose in doing these things. With a purpose, a lot of these would become worth it and life would become meaningful.


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