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"YingHua in Beijing" Summer Program Announcement

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by Liao,Bonnie on 2011-07-16

Dear Parents,

Today we brought 15 students from Guang Ai to hike up the 九谷口 (jiu-gu-kou) section of the \"wild\" Great Wall.

We sang about a dozen or so songs together a few times in the bus. One of the songs is a new song for us from the movie \"Invisible Wings\" and the Guang Ai students are very familiar with.

yǐn xíng de chì bǎng

   的 翅 


měi yī cì dōu zài pái huái gū dān zhōng jiān qiáng

 一 次      孤 单       

měi yī cì jiù suàn hěn shòu shāng yě bù shǎn lèi guāng

 一 次          也 不 闪    

wǒ zhī dào wǒ yī zhí yǒu shuāng yǐn xíng de chì bǎng

我 知   我 一 直          的 翅 

dài wǒ fēi fēi guò jué wàng

 我 飞     


bù qù xiǎng tā men yōng yǒu měi lì de tài yáng

不 去 想    他 们      丽 的 太  

wǒ kàn jiàn měi tiān de xī yáng yě huì yǒu biàn huà

我 看        的 夕 阳   也 会     

wǒ zhī dào wǒ yī zhí yǒu shuāng yǐn xíng de chì bǎng

我 知    我 一 直          的 翅 

dài wǒ fēi gěi wǒ xī wàng

 我 飞   我 希 望


wǒ zhōng yú kàn dào suǒ yǒu mèng xiǎng dōu kāi huā

我 终                 

zhuī zhú de nián qīng gē shēng duō liáo liàng

   的 年      歌 声        

wǒ zhōng yú áo xiáng yòng xīn níng wàng bù hài pà

我 终     翱 翔           不 害  

nǎ lǐ huì yǒu fēng jiù fēi duō yuǎn ba

哪 里 会           


yǐn xíng de chì bǎng ràng mèng héng jiǔ bǐ tiān cháng

   的 翅            比 天  

liú yī gè yuàn wàng ràng zì jǐ xiǎng xiàng

 一 个 愿        自 己 想    

---- zhāng sháo hán



Each time, in hesitation and loneliness

I become stronger

Each time, even if I feel hurt

I never shed tears

I know I always have a pair of invisible wings

They take me to fly over

And across desperation


I don\'t think about 

that they have the beautiful Sun

I have seen that the setting Sun of each day can also colorful changes

I know I always have a pair of invisible wings

They take me to fly

And bring me hope


I finally can see

all dreams come into blossom

in pursuing it, the youthful

songs sound so loud and clear

I finally can soar

and gaze by using heart without fear

wherever there is wind

however far I will fly


The invisible wings

make the dreams go on forever

keep one wish

let myself imagine


The climb was moderately strenuous, but the view at the top was well worth the trip. We could see the entirety of the mountain range we were nestled in at the top. We hiked for 40 minutes intensely and took a break for 15 minutes. Everyone has brought a banana, two bottles of water, and one pack of Oreo cookies. We all ate the banana here. Then we climbed for another 35 minutes to get to a very unique tower called  jia1 bian3 lou2 (flattened tower). We took a lot of pictures there and ate our snack cookies before coming down for 20 minutes.

Later we all went out to a well-known Kaoya restaurant in Beijing. For many of the Guang Ai students, this is their first time in such a fancy restaurant and for many of them, the first time having kaoya altogether. All the YiB kids tried to be as accommodating and welcoming as possible - scooping food into their plates, and rolling kaoya rolls for the GuangAi students.

The most exciting things that happened today, I am not be able to write in this e-mail because they are interactions between the Guang Ai students and our students and personal realizations Therefore I hope the students mention about these things in their reflections.


Joanne – It was really nice for Melissa to help her walk up the Great Wall.

Chauncey – Today he got stung by bees twice. He was calmer this time around the bees.

Tia – During the hike today she felt that many of their actions demonstrated the attributes of a leader such as risk-taking, communicative, caring, and knowledgeable.

Brandon – Got sweaty and tired. The encouraging part was that his Guang Ai partner kept climbing and never stopped to rest.

Lisa – It was a really long hike. She thought the Guang Ai students really liked the duck today.

Jessica – Today we learned about a new dimension of Guang Ai in general. She thought that the students\' individual stories were touching and sad, despite that all of them seemed happy to be on the trip with us. During the trip, she used one line of lyrics from the song \"Beijing Welcome You\" to encourage the kids around her - \"If you have the courage, there will be miracle.\" And then she heard one Guang Ai student said the field trip today WAS a miracle. So it got her thinking thait was not just a regular field trip like it was to us.

Ben – His buddy used to be a cow-herder in Tibet. Watching Shannon, his YiB buddy today, who translated these to him, inspires him to learn Chinese even more so he can be his own translator to find out more about other people\'s life..

Ryan – Can\'t imagine the kids were just on the streets not long ago because they were so filled with enthusiasm and well-mannered.

James – When we got to the restaurant the Guang Ai kids were studying everything. They still insisted on us eating even though they rarely get this opportunity.

Tristan – This time at the Great Wall required more risk. The orphans seemed shock to be at the restaurant.

MingMing – Began to tear up when Liao Laoshi played “Invisible Wings” when she thought about the Guang Ai students. Thinks they are amazing.

Annie – Proud of herself when she stayed strong when she slipped and fell down and got scratched. Thanks everyone who helped her get well.

LinLin – Saw many acts of leadership during the hike like people helping each other, yelling out cautionary warnings, and others. It helped us become greater leaders.

Dave – We got through the hike without too much casualties. Smacked a bee off of someone with his hat. The restaurant for the orphans seemed very new to them so it must have been exciting for them.

Amy – Helped LinLin and Tia when they got stung by bees. Realized how lucky we were because the orphans live in Beijing and they never saw the Great Wall or ate Beijing Kaoya.

Detora – Today we went to the Great Wall. Annie slipped and got scratched and she felt sad for her. Hopes she feels better. Thought the kaoya was very good. Playing slide and slaps with a 13 year old Guang Ai student after lunch on the bus home.

Sophia – Today was a very adventurous day. Picking up the kids really made us squeeze on the bus so they had to sit 3 per two chairs in five rows. She sat with a Guang Ai student who was very good at English. We are very lucky to get the chance to hike up to the great wall. Also loved the wilderness and thought the kids were great.

Darren – Hurt his ankle today and got stung by a bee. The best part of today was when Liao Laoshi threw a banana peel and it broke apart and almost hit him. Proud of himself for being one of the first to reach the top.

Shannon – Her 13-year-old partner was extremely caring and kind. Even though many kids are taught to be caring and respectful they do not show it often including herself. He told her when he started cow-heading, he was seven years old catching foxes and selling the hides. These experiences that these kids have been through really balanced out the education we had in the US. Her buddy told her something very touching which was he asked her for her phone number in America so he could visit her once he makes 10,000 yuan some day. Amazed and touched that he believed that he would be able to do it and have a future.

Matt – This time hiking was tougher than last time. Noticed that the Guang Ai kids were really brave for dashing around the rocks and mountains.

Sonia – Even though she wasn\'t able to make the whole climb. Filled with thankfulness and gratefulness. When she got uncomfortable Yang Laoshi stayed with her. Thanks all the people who helped her. Didn\'t feel very accomplished today but in the end feels glad that the Guang Ai students got to climb the Great Wall and eat at a restaurant.

Melissa – Climbing the Great Wall was a great experience. Found that her buddy stayed in the school for four years already and they are the same age but they have such different lives.

Robert - Today I learned that one of the kids who came with us, 13 years old, had attempted to kill himself about a year ago. He tried to stab his wrist with a piece of glass because older kids were trying to force him to steal things and he felt that life was worthless. This bit of information opened up a whole new world of empathy for me for the kids because I did not know any specifics about any of these kids\' sufferings. Only after talking with that guy, my heart was pierced with just a little bit more understanding of these kids\' situations and now whenever I see one of them, I will assume that they have gone through a deep pain that I never had to experience and therefore can never truly understand but at least accept on a superficial level.

Liao Laoshi – There were many touching moments today. Like when the Guang Ai students were singing the song Love Let Me Go Home, their school song, written by some of the professional volunteers. Shows what difference volunteers can make in these kids\' lives. Another thing was when she was planning for lunch she wasn\'t sure what these kids\' table manners would be but today she was very much impressed by their manners which makes her respect Principal Shi (of Guang Ai school) so much more, because it was one of his objectives which are not only to clothe, house, teach, the kids, but to educate them to help them tell right from wrong. The third moment was when she learned that some of the student were really eager to communicate with our kids. Just wish she had done a better job today to make more communication happen. Just glad that we will have more opportunities to do so tomorrow afternoon and Friday morning. 

Robert & Bonnie

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