Saturday, May 29, 2010

Children's Day

By Ruth
This morning Kevin and I were the special guests at a primary school outside Weinan. Today is Children's Day, and one of my students had asked us to come to the school she works at on the weekends. They were having a special celebration and could we come sing songs and play games with 100 children?

This morning we piled into a van to begin the bumpy “1 hour” trip to Dali, a small town which is actually at least an hour and a half away. It's funny, because things always take longer than expected, always, but for some reason I still set out thinking, “One hour.” I never learn.

When we walked in the small school building, a group of students sat inside the door, staring at us interestedly through their makeup and costumes. “Later they will perform for you!” my student said. She said they told the students to come at 9:30am (about when we arrived), but many of them were so excited they had arrived at 7:30am. “They hadn't even eaten breakfast! We tried to get them to go back home and eat, but they didn't want to miss anything.”
[Waiting Eagerly]

We went upstairs to where the students were waiting, crowded around the walls of a small room. It looked like less than 100, but then they were all pretty small and sitting very close together. The headmaster said there were 90 students at the school, and I doubt any of them missed our visit.

We started with B-I-N-G-O, which some of them already knew. Actually, when we started singing, “There was a farmer had a dog...” they all cried out “EI-EI-O!” So later we sang that song as well. We did Hokey-Pokey, Simon Says, Ten in a Bed, and some other songs, with my student helping to translate the instructions for the students. If nothing else, they loved to do the actions and shout out the words they could remember. After about half an hour, my student said, “Okay, we can take a break and watch their performance.” Two groups of little girls came and danced, first a Chinese dance and then a cha-cha. They were all decked out and mostly very serious, quite good for 8-12 year olds.

Then it was time for more games and songs, another half hour until I ran out of items on my list. I was pretty tired by that point, from all the singing and shouting and jumping up and down. The students then began to process up with little gifts for us – pictures and cards they had drawn, paper-folded shapes and animals – it was really quite cute. Then they gathered round for group pictures with us before being sent off.

And seven hours later, we were back. Naptime!
 [The little girl in orange I just thought was too cute!]
 [This little boy is holding the folded paper bird he made for us.]

[One of the classes getting arranged for picture time with the foreigners.]


Nate and Molly said...

So that's what the games'idea post on fbook was for! I'm glad it went well! Looks like fun!

wynd said...

TOO. CUTE. A couple of Chinese kids just about reach capacity for adorableness. I can't imagine 90!! In one place! At one time! I don't think I would have been able to process all of the adorable there was to be had.