Suzhou - twelfth week 26 Nov - 2 Dec 2012

Trip Start Sep 05, 2012
1
16
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Trip End Dec 06, 2012


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Flag of China  , Jiangsu,
Monday, November 26, 2012

Last Week's Teaching

By golly! Time flies really fast. The last week in Suzhou is over and we must prepare for our departure next Monday. We taught the 3rd graders (nine classes) for the last time and sang their favorite songs. And they memorized the lyrics as well as the fourth graders. We found a new easy to draw cartoon because we didn’t want to challenge the third graders as much as the fourth graders. "Hello Kitty" is simple with only a few “help lines.” We also prepared a new PPT presentation “A fish has scales – and a riddle, what animal has no tail?” 

On Monday, the technical equipment wasn’t working and we had to improvise. Fortunately, we memorized the drawings and used the black board to draw “Hello Kitty,” “Tweety the Bird,” “Bolt the dog,” and “Fang.” Just in case, we also prepared how to draw “Sonic the Hedgehog.”

The other days, the computers and its equipment worked so we could show all presentations with the overhead projector. This was a big help because without prepared Chinese instructions in PowerPoint presentations, we have to use our limited Chinese and explain the steps. But the Chinese teachers helped us and all students drew “Hello Kitty” very well.

At the end of each class we gave the students a little gift.
 
Big Thank You

This was a very emotional week for us and the students. We found a small printing shop in our Suzhou neighborhood and they printed pictures from us in business-card format with the inscription: “We will remember you always. Michelle and Dieter.” When we distributed it to more than 700 students they piled up in a very long line outside of our office and asked us to sign it. Yes, we understand the word for sign: “Qiānmíng” or in Chinese “签名”. This sounds like “Jimming” or “Jimmy” to us Westerners and I sang to the melody of “Gimme” from Brittney Spiers the “Jimmy-Song.” We also received from the students little gifts and self-made good-bye cards with very sweet words. One girl wrote our names on rice paper in calligraphy and gave us this gift. Some of the boys and girls hugged us, something very unusual in the Chinese community. Oh, we love these children and they love us too.


Embroidery Institute and Garden

On Tuesday, we had no classes and the school was very kind to give as a ride to buy our bus tickets for next Monday’s shuttle to the Shanghai airport. On the way to the ticket office, we had some time and stopped by the Embroidery Institute and Garden. We learned that embroidery has two types of stitches: single and green-cross. There are also double-sided embroideries with different motifs on each side. This is a difficult process and the artists are experts. This type of fine embroidery cannot be done by machines. We also visited the connected garden. It is similar to other gardens we visited before but smaller.

Lunch with the School’s Principal

After the excursion, the principal, Mr. Meng, invited us for lunch at our special 'Snail Restaurant,” just across from the school and around the corner of our flat. This time, we had lunch in a separate small room in the third floor for non-smokers. Wow, we didn’t know that this is possible. Normally, you see non-smoking signs in restaurants but this seems to be only a recommendation for the hard-core Chinese smokers. We were joined by the vice principle, the English supervisor, our English head teacher and the driver. The food and the wine were excellent. Thank you, Bibo School, for this outstanding treat.

Lunch with our Teacher Friends

At the end of the week, our teacher friends Li Chunhua, Si Ma Yun Yun, and Luan Xin Qin invited us for dinner in a different restaurant close by the school. Fish, pork, beef, and veggies were excellent and we also enjoyed the soup with dumplings. Thank you very much. And we will definitely stay in e-mail contact.

Packing Suitcases

Saturday and Sunday is time to pack our suitcases. Fortunately, it is raining off and on and getting colder, so it is no fun for a last sightseeing tour. Maybe after packing we will have a snack at the bookworm – downtown Suzhou.

We heard that it is snowing in the northern part of China and we hope that we don’t get snow before our departure. 
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Comments

Debby Polley on

Dieter,

I enjoyed your blog. It was so great to get to share in your and Michelle's experience in China. It sounds like the two of you left an impression on all of the children. I'm sure they are sorry to see you leave.

But, we will be glad to have you back. Hopefully, we will see you at Christmas.

Paul Mercier on

Thank you Dieter for sharing this very special trip. I wish you and Michelle all the very best in your future "adventures"....

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