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"YingHua in Beijing" Summer Program Announcement

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by Liao,Bonnie on 2011-07-12

Dear Parents,

At our second day at Beijing Guang Ai school, we were much better prepared because we knew what to expect from the students from our experience yesterday. In the morning at Guang Ai school, we turned our camp into a cleaning brigade. The students split themselves to diligently work on many chores with a modest amount of equipment. One group cleaned the windows and floors of the school kitchen, which was layered with a dense blanket of many years of grease and dirt, others cleaned the floor and windows of the school cafeteria, while others helped to pull out the weeds of the basketball court. The YiB kids really got their hands dirty and worked very hard to clean up and Liao Laoshi was very impressed.

We ate lunch and went back in the afternoon for arts and crafts. We used materials like stickers, markers, and paper to help the kids create things to decorate their classrooms. We decorated three classrooms in total and the work of all the students now hanging happily on the walls of the classes really helped to improve the atmosphere of the classrooms.

Reflection notes:

Robert - Everyone did a good job today cleaning. People were not afraid to get down and dirty and do some real cleaning. Even Annie, who I think is a Princess, put in hard work in the cafeteria and in the kitchen - washing dirty rags without complaint and even joyfulness. I thought it was a beautiful sight.

Dave – Moved cabinets and books at the broadcasting room at Guang Ai. Later he found a bamboo stick at school and started practicing with it. It reminded him of home.

Chauncey – Cleaning the windows and tutoring the Chinese man made him think about the things he takes for granted. Inspired by the growth-mindset from the Chinese Man he was tutoring English to at the school.

Joanne – She played piano and it reminded her of home.

Lisa – Really liked cleaning the kitchen even though it was the hardest job assigned. When we could finally see through the windows that were covered in dirt and grease, she felt accomplished.

Ryan – We had a lot of hard work and he felt pretty good about it afterwords. Enjoyed coloring and putting up stickers in the classrooms.

Ben – Reminded today of how hard it is to work. Always wanted to take a break and never wanted to go back. But realized a lot of people have much harder jobs that they do for a longer period of time and makes him appreciate others.

Brandon – Thinks that the hardest part was to clean the kitchen because there was grease all over the windows. When we were waiting for the van Liao Laoshi told everyone she was proud of them.

Tia – We watched a boy at Guang Ai practice piano and he\'s only been playing for 7 months, very inspiring. Wanted to practice piano more voluntarily once gets home.

James – Cool to see the floor get flatter and flatter without the weeds due to the hard work. Felt accomplished at the end of the day. Hopes the kids appreciate the basketball court.

Tristan – Don\'t know how they got the kitchen windows so greasy and felt proud for what we accomplished by cleaning the windows. Realizes that the work was for a great cause.

Annie – Cleaned windows and rags with Detorea and enjoyed helping the orphans. Liked to play the with the puppies and hoped she helped the English teacher with his lesson. Thanks Wang Lao Shi for giving us watermelon before reflection.

Jessica – Other Guang Ai students used their break time to help her clean up the broadcasting room. Thinks that this is very awesome and is a great work ethic. She said she asked several Guang Ai kids if they had been to the Great Wall and only one of them said yes \"... when I went there to pick up trash once.\" When asked if he\'s going to go with us tomorrow to the Great Wall, he said, \"no. I\'ll save the seat for another kid to go since they have not been there before.\" Very touched.

Amy – Didn\'t realize how much she had to do when she was assigned the kitchen. Realized how good her hotel actually is.

Detorea – Went to go clean the windows in the cafeteria. Played card games with Joanne and Annie in her room. Saw a 14 year old boy play the piano at the school and thought he was really good.

MingMing – Making the decorations was a lot more work than she expected. Really proud and satisfied with the way things turned out with the decorations.

Melissa – Felt leadership really kick in today. Started to tell people where to go and what to do today. Today was tired but really fun and realized how much she was enjoying it when Liao Laoshi told her there were only 10 minutes left and didn\'t want to leave.

Sonia – Someone said “this place sucks” and it made her very angry. Felt a lot of joy working to help improve the school today.

Shannon – Her cough is getting better but unfortunately MingMing is starting to get sick. The morning reminded her of when she went to school in China. Mopped the floors and washed the windows of the kitchen. Toughened up today to squeeze out the dirty water from the mop with her bare hands for many times until the water was reasonably clearn. Liked the kids at GuangAi because they are very pure and natural.

Darren – Today was better than yesterday because all the mosquitoes are gone in the hotel.

Matt – Cleaned most of the basketball court today and helped his buddy learn some more guitar. Felt good to play the violin too again.

LinLin – Very thankful to eat at the restaurant near the hotel. Love the Chef\'s attitude about special requests.

Sophia – Felt like she helped many people today. Swept and mopped the floors and windows. The whole room lightened up after everyone\'s work. The puppies she played with were adorable. Enjoyed drawing pictures later to decorate the classrooms with. Proud of helping out with the effort.

Liao Laoshi – Found out there was a teacher with a Master\'s degree from the best teacher university in China and teaches at GuangAi for only 700 rmb a month about 100 US. Had a great experience dragging Annie and Darren into the teacher\'s room to initiate a discussion about how English is taught in the US. Moved to tears a couple of times today. One is when the 14 years old boy who was playing piano after only 7 months of learning. Couldn\'t help thinking what if that boy had never got this chance to study here? What if the teacher never spent their weekends volunteering at the school. to teach him?  I was very touched about how musical and sensitive his playing was. Another moment of today was when I was talking to the students before the van arrived. The spirit of today\'s hard-work should go beyond this camp. “Helping others is a way of helping yourself.”

Robert & Bonnie

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