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"YingHua in Beijing" Summer Program Announcement

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by Luo,Lifeng on 2008-07-18

Dear Parents,
Today was another fruitful field-trip day!
We left at 8 a.m. heading for the Ox Street Ethnic Nursing Home. In China, "nursing home" is actually between "senior center/independent living" and "nursing home in the U.S."
When we arrived, the seniors were already waiting for us in the Multifunctional Hall. They've just moved into this new facility. Currently about 80 seniors are living there. We sang the song "Real Hero" and then did guang bo ti cao(!).
The youngest four students sang "Where is my friends" and said a rhyme about weekdays they've learned in class.
Then we performed Chinese Yo-Yo. Limited by the size of the room, only five students performed: Jack, Max, Samuel, Darren, and Andrew. They all did a good job, but Samuel was the superstar! He has learned so many "tricks" including a couple from watching the acrobatic show the other night.
Then leading by Darren and Max, we sang the song "Friends." This song brought the event to a high note!
Then students briefly visited the facilities of a standard room. The seniors pay 2000 yuan per month double occupancy (or 4000 yuan per room) while the same room would cost 500 yuan per night! So the government's subsidy is very important.
We visited Ox Street Mosque and Beijing Fayuan Temple. The Mosque is the oldest mosque started in Liao2 dynasty. Because we prepared worksheets, the students had something to focus on. They were busy taking notes learning about the Mosque and the Buddhist Temple.
We had hot-pot for lunch! This is one of the students' favorites.  We went back to the Mosque at 1:30 to observe the Friday prayer. There were hundreds of people praying there. We left after 5 minutes. to visit the Tian-Qiao local residential organization.
We were welcomed by local director, who introduced the functions of various windows in the first-floor hall. The Chinese government has started investing in these functions. Retired or unemployed residents can come here to pick up their pension or get reimbursement for medical expenses. There are a couple of insurance plans that governments pays for part of premium.
The students were probably tired from having a huge lunch so they were not very active in learning. However, they were interested in the last two windows, which are where couples come to obtain a quota for having a child. Anyone who got pregnant without first seeking the permission would get fine.
Then we visited the community library, dance studio, weight room, ping-pong room, etc. The government provides free performance at the Entertainment Room. Anybody who would like to watch these performance may come for FREE. It's very impressive.
We also saw a room invested by the government to answer a phone service helping people with their problems. It's a very effective way to take advantage of various volunteer organization!
We met Ms. Huang, a Tai-chi master, who is going to be the private Tai-chi teacher for Mr. Samaranch, the former IOC President. Ms. Huang gave us a performance of the Tai-chi (Chen style).
Then we split into two groups (7 students each) to visit two local residents in their homes.  At one family, the students played piano for the host but only to be "blown away" bu the 10-year-old daughter of the house. At the other kids, Andrew and Alan performed a dance "Rumba" taught by Guo Laoshi.
Everyone was very pleased with these visit. In fact, we needed to do a lot of work to even get the permission to visit local residents!
We had some time to "kill," so we relaxed at a square. There were stories and legends about the 8 unusual performers who were very popular in the old days.
We had Beijing Zha2 Jiang4 Mian4 for dinner!
Then we went to watch a Kong-fu show. It's more like a story telling. Very very well done!!
So much for today.



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