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Saturday in Dongguan

Dongguan, China

Hi there,

Well, it's Saturday at last. We've had an interesting week, with the training and then starting our own classes. The students are definitely not the sterotypical quiet, disciplined type (at least not for the foreign teachers anyway - they see a foreign teacher walk into the room and they rub their hands together - hmmm, what fun can we get up to!!) They are lovely on the whole though - I had a great Grade 2 singing lesson yesterday - they were so cute. We practised weather terms and then we sang a couple of songs abot the weather, and 'You are my sunshine'. The best thing is to keep them busy !After the class one of the kids always comes up to help me pack up. Andrew had a good PE class with Year 6 - after wondering what to do with them he decided to teach them how to play hand tennis - the kids loved it. They are exteremly competitive and don't like to lose. Andrew has had to spend quite a bit of time getting his computer room set up - it turns out it isn't the fabulous computer room, but a different one and all the computers had been taken apart, so he had to help put them back together.

Every day in the afternoon the kids do 'eye exercises' to music - they massage their eyes for about 5 minutes. I love it because I get to sit down for 5 minutes!!

Yesterday was teacher's day - a big day to celebrate in China apparently. All the teachers are given some lucky money in red envelopes. After school we went out to dinner with all the teachers from the school. They love their alcohol - especially that really strong 'firewater' - they call it wine but it's 47% alcohol. It's a compliment if you get really drunk with them!! They were joking with us and saying 'bottoms up', meaning we had to finish what was in our glass - they wouldn't let us get away with just a sip. The food was interesting - I was a bit worried when the first dish came out and they politely put it in front of me so that I could take the first one - a chicken foot on a skewer. I just couldn't do it, so I went for the only other dish that was on the table - little seafood things (pipi's?), which were fine. One of the Chinese teachers saw me looking at the chicken feet and said "Are you afraid" - I said "yes" - he thought that was funny!! It was a very raucous occasion - lots of toasts and laughing, and we had fun even though half the time we didn't know what was going on. We had a lovely Chinese guy on our table who is a prac teacher and his major at uni is English, so he told us what the dishes were - so that helped a lot, it meant we could steer clear of the intestines!!

On Friday afternoons I will be looking after 4 girls in Grade 5 - it's just a chance for them to practise their English and is sort of like babysitting. Yesterday we played scattergories and then walked down to the corner store outside the school and got an icecream. I showed them photos from home and they were interested in my nieces and nephews!

This morning we went down to the school (it's about 5 minutes walk away) and Andrew did a track session - they have a very nice running track. People were waving to him as he went around and some even took photos!!! There were quite a few people around as I think the students have classes on Saturday mornings too. They have a very long school day during the week. On Friday afternoon at around 4.30-5pm there were still little primary kids having lessons.

Anyway, we're off to do some shopping soon so I'd better get ready. Hope everyone is well. Eloise, I hope you're feeling better again soon!

permalink written by  arterra on September 7, 2007 from Dongguan, China
from the travel blog: China Adventure
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