Day 6 in Jinniu Town

Trip Start Jul 18, 2013
Trip End Aug 05, 2013

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Flag of China  , Yunnan,
Thursday, July 25, 2013

Jinniu Town means Golden Cow town. I haven;t seen any cows, but apparently there are many in the mountain es nearby. Every restaurant seems to serve beef. Today at lunch, our translators ate more chicken feet and pigs feet. I did not. Last night we passed a Mosque and I learned that many of the tribes here are Muslim. We ate in a restaurant last night that was very good--some dishes sort of resembling Chinese dishes at home, though much more flavorful and distinct in spice. IN this restaurant, we ate in the open air courtyard, while others ate in private dining areas with a bamboo screen over the doorway and also with windows facing the courtyard. Within 10 feet of our table were roosters in cages and the smell was a bit overwhelming.  I watched men in one of the dining rooms engaging in the drinking challenge that is apparently very common in China. At least two came out and rinsed their faces and mouth at a sink in the floor of the courtyard, very intoxicated.
The teaching has been a little rough that last few days. We have so many in the classroom and I think we are not providing enough support and guided practice to them. It is very difficult for me to circulate and check on work because it is such an ordeal. I cannot casually glance and the work for some indication of their understanding or listen in on conversations. I have the translators follow me around, but then the participants all know that I am checking their work and they become very shy and anxious. It is very difficult for them to ask questions when they are unclear about something, but sometimes I know and am able to offer additional examples or alternative explanations, but in my typical highly excitable mode, then I forget to pause at the end of the sentence for the translators. Anyway, bad teaching or not, the teachers show no dissatisfaction and offer no complaints. Today is our last teaching day here. The two staff from Save the Children (and also our translators), my co-trainer Ling-Ling, a Taiwanese national who teaches at the University of Idaho, and the local trainer--a professor at Chengdu will travel to Mojaing (I've probably spelled it wrong) where we will work with another group of 62 teachers.  Apparently, the place where we will go next has very different people, different tribes and what they refer to as ethic minorities. 
In tomorrow's entry, I will try to write more about the people and some of the history that I am learning.
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vicki on

love these updates. I am sure you are doing a great job. fascinating trip.

Melody on

I love reading about your experiences teaching in China, Sandy. I sounds like you have been faced with cultural differences at every step. Thanks for including me in your blog.

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