WEEK FIVE PLUS
Trip Start Aug 30, 2009
9Trip End Ongoing
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SUNDAY, October 4TH: Lots of tourists around town. A friend of mine named Djarmila, she is from France took a couple of her Chinese friends for a little raft ride. She bought an inflatable raft that fits just about 3 people but really made for one or two. She came by the juice bar to wait for her friends to arrive and in true Chinese fashion they were a bit late. She was hoping to get off early so as to avoid all the big ships going north to Guilin to pick up tourists. The ships can only take tourist from Guilin to Yangshuo, when they go north they go empty. So they all leave Yangshuo between 10am and 11:30
Talk to Djamila and she said they had a great time. It took about 3 hours to get there and they stopped along the way for lunch. The worse part was getting through Yangshuo.
This evening we had a good turn out at Open talk. Mike, from Australia was there so I did not have to address all the questions. Several students from Hianan and of course the regulars.
Monday, October 5th: One of the students from Hanian met a bunch of foreign tourists and talked them into coming to the Juice Bar. They were all teachers from Guangzhou. They taught at the primary and middle school there. Two were from North Carolina in the USA and the other 4 were from England. They had just been there a week when the "golden week" started so they got 9 days off and decided to come to Yangshuo
Open talk was good but a little crowded. We held it outside and we had an overflow into the street. One of the regulars later told me that there were more then 30 people there. I was the only foreigner but we had people from 8 different Chinese Provinces. We even had one person from Guangxi, which is the province we are in. Rarely do we get local, locals, people who were born here. We talked from 7pm to almost 10pm. Everyone got a chance to ask a question. Wish there were more foreigners to answer them. Even the shy girls from Hainan came prepared with a question written down in their little book.
Tuesday, October 6th: We started a new tutoring class today. We had been doing two sessions a day with a couple of students whose parents wanted them to catch up but this was a new group. There was to be 5 students age 7 but somehow 3 did not make it. A mix up on the days and they will not start till Thursday. The two that did show up were students here during the summer. I was amazed how well they learn and responded. They sang songs they remembered from the summer. They played a couple of learning games and they did some reading and lessons
Open talk was small tonight and short. Just the regulars. I am not sure why. But it was good sometimes with so many I can hardly hear them. It also felt like I had been talking all day. We wrapped it up before 9.
Wednesday, October 7th: Took a long walk around town this morning. I got up about 6am and decided to take a walk. The sun was not even up yet. Walked over to Green Lotus Hill park, which during normal hours you have to pay to get into. Lots of people walking up and down the hill, people were doing Tai Chi and other exercises also. There was even a bunch of people out swimming. From there I walked along the river then around to the back gate of Yangshuo park. Lots of people there, lots of organize activities. Croquet, badminton, dancing, sword Tai chi, people sitting around playing cards. It was about 8 by the time I got there. Then went over to West Street all the shops were still closed and then back to the river and the Juice Bar
Open talk was good. We had about 20 people and Mike my friend from Australia was able to take some of the questions. My friend Shelly also came with her son. Most the students are girls and when Shelly introduced herself as a local who was born in a small village in the nearby mountains to become a school teacher, the principle and now owner of one of the nicest tourist retreats in the area, “Shelly's Riverside Retreat” they were all hanging on every word and had lots of questions for her.
Thursday, October 8th: Spent the day sorting through some of the stuff I bought. We decided to sort out the flowers and see if we can get a flower shop to come over and buy them all. Dawn said she knew of one place and would contact them after her Yoga class.
Walked along the river and saw a water taxi at work. A merchant going home with her cart yelled at this guy and they took apart her cart and loaded it on his bamboo raft and off they went
Two of my friends stopped by the Juice Bar and we just sat around all day talking about other places in China and Asia I should visit. They have travel around a lot and had lots of ideas for me. Told me I had to go to Thailand. I do have a friend there who just bought a hotel on the beach. Maybe a place to schedule for next year.
Had another good size group for Open Talk, they keep wanting to call it English Corner.
Most the talk tonight revolved around business and how to start and how you know a good business. They really want to become involved in owning their own places. Everything from a mountain ski retreat to a small pet shop. Had a big group from the Hainan school stop by. They have to start school on Saturday to make up for the days lost during their vacation. Crazy. So they will go to school from 7am to 9:30 pm for Saturday and Sunday.
Friday, October, 9th: Shelly called she had arrange for me to meet the Headmaster, and 8 English teachers at her school. They are all interested in the Penpal exchange program
At the meeting I discovered a few things that I was not aware of. They really want to do this exchange but they do not have very many computers and the ones they have are used for computer labs all days and are old and out of date. They really need to get at least one computer in each classroom but even then with 70 kids to an English class that will be hard. If anyone has any ideas on how they can get some computers so they can begin writing to the world please tell me.
This evening was nice so we had Open Talk outside
Saturday, October 10th: They had tutoring all morning I said in on the classes and had lots of fun with the kids. It is amazing how fast they learn with songs, books and games all combined to reinforce their language skills. This is going to be a very good program.
After classes it was time to do some cleaning. We are not to busy on weekends so all hands on deck. We did a real good cleaning this time. Had some people in from Isreal and they told us all about there adventures traveling all around China for the last 2 months. They said the best people and best scenary was right here in Yangshuo. I invited them to come to Open Talk but they had tickets to the Impressions Show.
Open talk was good tonight had a couple more foreigners who stoped by or should I say were kidnaped and brought by the Hainan girls. They really want to learn English and take every opportunity to meet foreigners. It is great.