While it is hot and humid here in Chengdu, there has been a fair share of thunder storms, lightning, and even a monsoon!! I have never heard thunder so loud in my life!! It has been such a cool experience seeing how different the weather can vary and how powerful nature can be. The team has been safe and sound from this kind of weather. We have just been enjoying the weather changes from the inside... mostly.
We decided to spend our last free Saturday with Dr. Rodriguez downtown at Chunxi Road. Ever since our first taste of inner Chengdu, we have been wanting to visit the Dali & Picasso exhibit. So we decided to make a day of it! We started off by grabbing boba at Gong Cha to help cool us off, as cool drinks are very scarce in Chengdu. Then, to heat us back up we made our way to some delicious vegan hot pot! As we chose our ingredients, the waitress looked at us in shock of how much food we were ordering. To her surprise, we ate most of it-- from tofu to lotus root to pumpkin. Yummy!
After lunch, we went to the exhibit. We wandered from piece to piece in awe of all of the stunning artwork these two talented men had created through so many different mediums-- paintings, sculptures, ceramics, and even films. After the exhibit, we treated ourselves to a luxury cup of Starbucks coffee and chatted. Once we finished, we visited the mall for a second and headed home! We were so happy to have such a fun day with Dr. Rodriguez!
- Diarra & Symphony
We spent Friday meeting some of the parents from Future Eagles! We had so much fun getting closer to the students and parents. They really enjoyed our songs and games we played with them! My favorite game to play with them was Golden Bridges (our SF version of London Bridge's) and freeze dance! We are all looking forward to teaching our new curriculums to them next week!
Please check out the parent newsletter about the work our Psychology Study Abroad team is doing.
Today is our last day in Xindu before we relocate to Chengdu!! It was such an honor to be here with these children and their families, who have shown nothing but acceptance and beyond great hospitality. This photo is at a barbeque they decided to have for us where we spent a whole day with them eating, playing games, and building relationships. I got to learn a little bit about each child's personality as I got to watch them interact with each other, as well as us. They have brought so much joy into my heart and I will miss them all greatly! This trip has been amazing so far and eventhough I will miss this set of kids, I cant wait to see what experiences Chengdu holds for the team and me in the following weeks!! --Jana Wong
Today my partner and me worked with 2-3 year olds. We did activities such as reading time, dancing and signing, scavenger hunt and bubbles. This particular photo was one of my favorite. This boy was so captivated by the bubbles that he wanted to blow them on his own. These kids are adorable and very fun to work with! I am thankful that we got to work with children at the Deyang preschool! ⁃ Laura A.
I signed up for the San Francisco half-marathon before I realized I was going to have this once in a lifetime opportunity to study abroad in Chengdu. When I told my classmates that I was running in the S.F half-marathon the day after I get back from Chengdu they were so supportive right from the beginning. I remember the first day I met Jana she said she would run with me in China and she did. This great support system has carried me through these four weeks in China and I feel I am ready to run when I get back. Thank you to those who have run with me especially my roomie Ben who is now a friend for life. He has run with me a few times a week and almost every week we have been here. It has been awesome to run with you Ben! Special appearances by Dr. Paik and Dr Cookston made for some great running in China! I look forward to at least finishing😊 --Joe
Today we went to go see the pandas! It was a hot day but we didn't let that stop us from having a great time. Unfortunately, we could not take a selfie with the pandas because it was crowded but we thought it would be great to have a photo of both of us since we are roommates. It's been a great first week so far! We look forward to learning and seeing more of Chinese culture! ⁃ Jana & Laura
We started off the day early going to Chengdu to see the pandas! It was probably one of the hottest and most humid days since we've been here, but definitely worth the sweat. The park itself was immense, and full of inclines, which we were not expecting. So we definitely got a small workout while we were there. One of the coolest things we saw was one of the panda delivery houses, where they have cubs and newborns! It was really cool seeing a baby panda in an incubator, the size of a tv remote. We later went to a vegetarian restaurant for dinner to celebrate my birthday along with Dr. Smith's, where we had the most amazing Chinese dishes. We were even served a free, traditional noodle soup that Chinese people eat for their birthday. We finished off our day by going to karaoke! We ended up getting a large, private room, which was perfect for our big group and sang the night away! It was a blast :)
Our first day at the new kindergarten, we were pretty anxious because we knew the kids were smaller and didn't have as much English as the kids we were used to working with and had gotten so attached to. So our first day at DeYang, we had kids between the ages 2-3 who barely spoke English and were extremely shy. During our lesson, we kept really high energy and did lots of singing and dancing and improvised on the spot, making adjustments as we went. It worked well because they opened up in no time!! It was such a rewarding feeling seeing the kids light up and open up and participate as we were teaching! They ended up being one of my favorite group of kids we worked with too :) --Diarra
This week our team had the opportunity to teach at a brand new school that opened recently. We are so excited to teach children that are so enthusiastic and excited to learn from us. The class that we taught were from ages 3-4yrs old and they were so sharp. We had such a great time engaging with the children and can't wait to meet more of the students at Deyang preschool! Working with children in a foreign country has been the most incredible experience we have had so far! These children are enthusiastic and determined to learn something new every day. We are humbled by how much of an impact we make in their lives, yet the most amazing thing is that they are the ones impacting our lives the most! - Joe & Laura
Just as we are hitting the two week mark, a few people in our group have fallen ill. Some more so than others. First it was Andrew with a cold, then Celeste with food poisoning, and the newest edition was me with an allergic reaction to a bug bite. At first, I didn't think anything was wrong as most of my bug bites swell up larger than normal. However this time was different, all day the professors and other students in the cohort stared at the welt on my leg in shock, asking me "Wow are you okay?" I kept answering, "Yep perfectly fine!" Not worried, I hopped on the bus with everyone to Deyang for the day. As we arrived to the preschool I started to feel like maybe I wasn't okay. That's when a feverish, dizzy, and disoriented feeling took over me.
As someone who is used to extremely long and painful visits to urgent care/the ER in the United States (most times struggling to find coverage to pay for care and medication), I wasn't too excited to say "I think I need to go to the hospital." But after a phone call with my mother, I decided it was the best option for my health. To my surprise, the whole process was unbelievably easy (and cheap) thanks to all the help from Dr. Duh and local Chinese school official Johnson. Surprisingly, the whole process only took 3 hours and I costed 153.6¥ (equivalent to about $22) for the visit and perscriptions-- which included about 5 different pills and 1 topical solution. Although visiting the hospital is such a painless process, I hope no one else has to pay another visit to the hospital during our trip! - Symphony Wren :)
It was so exciting to have the opportunity to perform as a pirate for the children. Putting the costume together was a collective effort from many in our group. Andrew donated a white button down shirt and boots. Symphony donated a bandanna. Ben donated pants and socks. Dr Paik donated a scarf. Rachel was amazing at doing the makeup and donated an earring and scarf. Dave from the school donated the pirate hat. John was brilliant as the dueling pirate.
Just like that the pirate costume came together, ready to entertain. The children were seated with great anticipation and out came pirate Joe! Seeing the smiles and look of surprise on the children's faces was everything. Then out popped pirate John to protect his treasure! The two pirates dueled and pirate Joe was victorious. Then pirate Joe asked the children to help him find the treasure. The children were so excited to play treasure hunt and ran around the playground looking for treasure. This experience was so awesome and I couldn't have asked for anything more! -Joe
Initially I thought that a pillow fight with 24 kindergarteners would surely end in about half of them crying and/or going crazy with power. However, it turned out much better than I expected. There was little to no crying and surprisingly only the parents went crazy with power! At first I stood back and simply watched them as they giggled and chased each other across the field, but once I grabbed a pillow and finally got involved I too could not stop. It was truly a fun and creative way to get all the parents and children to loosen up and engage in an activity that all could enjoy. Though I don't know if I would try it with my class at home, it will forever be one of my favorite moments of this trip thus far. - Celeste