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"YingHua in Beijing" Summer Program Announcement

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by Luo,Lifeng on 2008-07-13

Dear Parents,
We had an exciting field-trip day!
We left at 8 a.m. heading to the Mu-tian-yu Great Wall. In the bus, the tourguide Jackie Yuan gave the kids an introduction of the Great Wall. He used two legendary stories to string some basic facts of the Great Wall together. One of the stories is Meng Jiang Nv and the other is "you1 wang2 feng1 huo3 xi4 zhu1 hou2" (http://www.skycity.cn/16/9900191209895.html). Many kids took very good notes in their field trip books.
It took us about 20-30 minutes to climb the stairs to get to the Great Wall. I don't want the kids to be driven to the Great Wall or to reach it via gondolas. I like this route and arrangement because the kids can experience some challenges just to get to the Great Wall by foot - without carrying heavy weapons or huge rocks on their back, as people did hundreds or thousands of years ago. We got to the No. 8 tower and walked to the No. 6 tower.
After taking group pictures (see attached), some kids came down through Toboggans and a few walked down. It cost 41 yuan to take the Toboggans. Arnold, Jack, Max, and Samuel walked down with Gong Laoshi, Jackie, Kevin, and me. These four kids got one free ice-cream or ice-tea from me. :-)
We then headed for the "Shen2 Di2 Tao2 Yi4 Cun1" - when we could learn about the famous "jing3 de2 zhen4" china (porcelain). We learned why the country "China" is called "China" in English not something like "Central Nation" as is indicated by the country's name in Chinese (www.chinahistoryforum.com/lofiversion/index.php/t21641.html ).
The kids practiced to paint on white porcelain plates and will bring their art work home to show you (at no additional cost). After watching a 20-minute video, the kids impressed the teachers at the workshop when I asked them how long and at what temperature the plates need to be baked after they are painted, "four hours at 800 Celsius degree!" 
We then went to the sculpture workshop to create artwork using a couple of newly learned techniques. Four students chose to have their sculptures baked into final products (30 yuan per piece) (Jack, Jay, Max, and Andre). Many kids know that it's going to take 11.5 hours at 1350 Celsius degree to bake the products from their original material. This is a much higher temperature than the temperature for a regular pottery process.
We then head for McDonald for dinner. Each kid was given 25 yuan to buy a meal. Most spent a little extra to add a desert (only one was allowed) or that extra chicken nuggets they'd been craving for.
After dinner, the students went to the Altar of the Earth (opposite to the Temple of Heaven) to watch the opening performance at this park for the official celebration cultural festival for the Olympics. Similar celebration sites should be all over the Beijing city. Today was the first day of the month-long celebration. Supposedly there will be various kinds of activities and performances every day.
We got back around 8 p.m.
Some kids have started to feel more comfortable around each other - so much so that they were less mindful about the consequences. A few kids have been tripping others or each other while walking these past a few days. It's seemed impossible to stop them until today one of the boys paid a price: he's tripped by another teenager and landed on his left knee and left wrist. Fortunately the wrist was not broken but it was not movable. I had to take him to ER of the JiShuiTan hospital nearby, which happened to be the best hospital in town in treating bone problems. Most of the expenses will be covered by the Traveler's Accident Insurance (about 300 yuan), but the two trips (one tonight) and one on Friday just takes so much time out of my schedule. I don't think any kids will be tripping another kid!
So much for now.
Take care,


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