Feeling and perfomring better tdoay.

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

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Flag of China  , Yunnan,
Tuesday, July 30, 2013

I feel like we bonded with the teachers today. They participated much more in the afternoon and are looking at their lessons and thinking of way to better engage kids and think about strengths, collaborative learning and more student directed learning. They are "thinking" about it.  It is a far cry from what they do now and I know it will take a lot of effort.  We had a good day with them and they seemed to enjoy the thinking.

The Principal of the school that is hosting the multiple county training invited all the teachers from his school and the surrounding six counties to dinner tonight—a total of maybe 40-50 people.  It was lively to say the least.  Remember the toasting that I mentioned a few days ago?  Well, tonight it involved people moving from table to table and toasting people one by one and in small groups and the entire table and then more one on one.  There was much more drinking than eating.  They were drinking a kind of alcohol that is called “Twin's Wine,” made here in Mojiang and the alcohol content is 33%, and they were all drinking out of a 2 oz glass, filling it frequently.  There were several contests going on, and we were goaded heavily, as we continued to drink water and tea.  The “wine” is clear, so some people may not have known, but several of the officials, smelled our glasses and brought the bottle.  We all made it safely out.

As all the meals have been, the host just orders a zillion dishes and everyone eats family style, with a large “lazy susan” type device on top of the table.  Mushroom soup, pork rinds, shrimp (complete with heads and tails, a giant fish of some sort in a delicious sauce, tofu balls in broth, a mushroom and vegetable dish, bitter melon and onions, several greens, and fresh bamboo shoots with some sort of cabbage.  I’m sure I’m missing some.

Out two translators were great today, in class and at dinner.  The local trainer also helped us with etiquette. We had to go around and do the toasts too and make sure that we followed the right order according to a person’s status and their role in the dinner and the training. Our youngest translator, who is just cute and clever, suggested that perhaps the way to increase the teacher’s responding and sharing during class would involve wine.  After what I witnessed tonight, I’m sure that is true, but I’m not sure it is the type of sharing and dialogue we want.

The weather has stayed cool, which is a really good thing, as the classroom can become very hot.

Some of the male teachers are back from the dinner and are yelling and screaming down in the lobby. I hope they make it to class tomorrow.

Today was market day, and we strolled through street after street today observing people selling their wares—everything from Mangoes and all kinds of roots, herbs, greens, rice, poultry, fish, clothes, fabric, baskets, live crickets, frogs, just about everything you can imagine. The walkway is only about 6 feet wide, and of course, people ride their scooters and motorbikes right through the crowds, sounding their horns every few seconds. I cannot believe that I have not seen one accident or anyone express any anger.

So, a far better day today.  We will try to go to the famous well tomorrow after class. 
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Mike on

Hey, have you found time to practice your new comedy routine?

swashbur on

Well, there have been some funny moments. And Ive created some new jokes, but since they were made in China, I'm afraid they are cheap and won't hold up.

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