Almost done in Mojiang

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

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Flag of China  , Yunnan,
Friday, August 2, 2013

Today was probably our best day of teaching. We've bonded with the group,  and they seem to like the idea of having some fun while we learn.   Yes, they  are shy and uncomfortable to work with others that they do not know, but as I suggested to my colleague today, we haven’t really done much to help with that.  They are learning very unfamiliar content  and then asked to work with someone they don’t know, to share ideas or apply ideas (about which they aren’t always sure with someone they don’t  know, which is very unfamiliar in this culture.  I wish we would have taken the time to have people get together briefly with people from different schools and actually talk about something they know a lot about—something about the Twin Wells, or the Tropic of Cancer, or the History of the Hani’s.

At lunch break  today, we were surprised at being whisked away to a very fancy new hotel downtown. There, on the fourth floor, we were greeted by a "Chancleor" and some of his staff.  Two tables, in a very private and very formal dining room, were already filled with a zillion dishes.  Included were cloth covered chairs, chopstick rests, and private servers, and of course, wine.  The “Chancelor” was most charming and it was nice for me as he spoke English very well and was also a very efficient and interesting speaker.  And he was brilliant.  We ate, we toasted very little, we talked and then he suggested that we might want to return to our hotel to rest before the afternoon session.  Very efficient and very empathic.  He apologized many times for  being too busy to have not met us sooner, and I also gained the impression that he understood that we enjoyed our time away from official banquets, even though it is the Chinese custom.   Anyway, like the Bureau chief in Jinniu, I liked him immensely and am very glad to have had the opportunity to talk with him. 

Another beautiful day of weather here—lots more blue sky today, but a nice breeze remains, and enough occasional cloud cover to protect from the hot sun.  There is a record breaking heat wave in Sichuan, where our other team is teaching, so we are very lucky.

In the late afternoon, we went to Sun Square, where there are 9 different exhibits, all of which I enjoyed immensely.  The world’s largest sundial,   A human sundial, a horizontal sundial, a large sculpture representing the sun, and the rest of the planets (Pluto still remains.) And a very large earth sphere about 25 feet off the ground, with a cylinder cut out of the center.  During the summer solstice, one can stand directly underneath the sphere and the sun will appear perfectly in the removed section.  Lots of Hani stories represented through carvings.  Square includes beautiful gardens and lots of sculptures representing the work and history of the Hani. 

Not sure if I mentioned this before, but many people have song birds and the regularly enter into competitions with these birds.   I guess they can work best on their singing in the trees, with other birds nearby, so everyone brings their little bamboo cages with their songbirds and hangs them in the trees to sing. So the trees are full and the birds add to the cacophony of sounds.

Here’s another interesting fact—the Tropic of Cancer crosses this county.  Apparently, most places where the Tropic of Cancer crosses are either oceans or deserts, but here in Mojiang, the land is lush with bountiful crops, wild fruits and vegetables and gorgeous flowers, the latitude separating the temperate forests in the north from the tropics in the south.  I’m not sure if Have this right, but that’s what I remember from the plaque

Enough for today.    Tomorrow is our last day here. I pray for no banquets  and no officials.
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Michele on

These blogs just keep getting better and better. Thanks so much for getting this together. I love reading them. I'm learning a lot and wishing I was there with you. I would have had you do some 'getting to know you'-'let's start with what we know' activities!!! :) Just giving you a hard time. Can't wait to hear all these stories in person! Have a great last day!

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