A Travellerspoint blog

Back in Beijing!

We arrived back in Beijing and the weather is beautiful!

We left the hotel at 4 AM (too early) and headed for the airport. When we arrived in Beijing the weather was beautiful, about 42 degrees. I took an adventure and went solo in a cab to Tian Yi, which is a famous center in the middle of the city. Please don't be fooled, my Mandarin has NOT improved- there was a lot of nodding and gesturing involved!
Tian Yi was nice. Although it was rather far, I walked back to enjoy the day and the sights and sounds. I will sleep good tonight. I have attached a fews pictures I snapped on the way back. My favorite one is of the "petshop on wheels". The vendor really wanted me to buy some turtles!!! I did manage to buy a Coke Zero on the walk back to the hotel and this certain was a BIG win.
Our group has all split up to head their separate ways home. Great friends were made and I especially will miss the crews from GA and MA!! Eddie is off to attend school at Shanghi Ladder-still waiting to hear how his arrival went :-)

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"petshop on wheels"

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This picture is for you. Emily. It is the cutiest dog I have seen in all of China!

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These are all the bicycles "parked" along the main boulevard. There are almost as many bicycles and mopeds on the roads as there are cars.

Posted by chinastace 03:50 Comments (1)

Back in Action: Students Final Extravaganza in Chongqing!

Sorry to be absent a few days....under the weather, but firing on all four cylinders again :-)

Today was the group's last day in Chongqing. We will leave for Beijing at 4:30 AM. Today was an international day of celebration. We rode the bus to Chongqing Normal University for an international friendship tree planting ceremony. Afterwards we had a farewell "extravaganza", with many students performing a brief skit or Chinese talent. If you observed the group, I am sure you would never guess that less than two weeks ago, we were all total strangers!
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Sorry to only write a little bit-I will post again from Beijing!

Posted by chinastace 02:30 Comments (0)

Visit and ceremony at Chongqing Renmin Primary School!

Partnerships in education: Cooperation to support student achievement

Today we had a very special visit at Chongqing Renmin Primary School. Renmin is a school of about 350 students. It is located in urban Chongqing and serves students 6-12 years of age. The purpose of this special visit was to participate in the official signing ceremony which formally establishes Chongqing Renmin Primary School and Bernard Elementary Mandarin Chinese Magnet School (of San Diego Unified School District) as cooperative educational partners and "sister schools". Bernard Elementary had the unique opportunity to send two students to Chongqing to participate in the ceremony. Along with the students, Mr. Edward Park, principal of Bernard, and Mary Taylor (principal, San Diego Unified School District) were able to make a special trip to attend the ceremony.
We were all warmly greet by staff and students alike. The school took great preparations to coordinate the ceremony and provide our delegation with a gracious welcome and student centered dialogue. Renmin principal Catherine Yang gave a delightful speech and spoke of the wonderful opportunity students will have (at both schools) to learn from each other while deepening their content knowledge through meaningful interactions. We were also presented with beautiful Chinese gifts which was very generous and display of their robust hospitality.
The school plant itself is beautiful and the students were joyous and charming.
I hope that through continued collaborative efforts we can work together to establish additional sister school relationships specifically between Fallbrook Union Elementary School District and local Chinese schools.
A big thank you to Justin and Sophia for acting as our welcoming committee and tour guides. Also, a special thank you to Vivian Peng, for serving as a host family and coordinator!

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Eddie and Victor become offical Remnin Pioneer with their red scarves.

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This young man is the artist who created the beautiful caligraphy that was presented as a gift to Bernard School.

Posted by chinastace 00:10 Comments (1)

Taiji, Bashuluneng Middle School and Competition

Go team America!

We started today with a Taiji lesson at Chongqing Normal University. The students and teachers were very engaged and focused. I think we are all now ready for starring roles in Kung Fu Panda #2!

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Take a look at what a beautiful school Bashuluneng Middle School is.....

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Watching student from all over the world compete was very exciting. The students performed elaborate skits and musical productions to show off their Mandarin language skills. This event is much celebrated here and all the competition days have been televised! Imagine a modified version of American Idol and you have the 3rd Chinese Bridge Language Proficiency Competition! Take a look at these pcitures to get the idea...

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Tomorrow we will visit Chongqing Ren Min Primary School and we are looking forward to meeting the students and faculty.

Posted by chinastace 06:40 Comments (0)

Sunday, October 24th: Da Zu Stone Carvings (800 years old!)

Da Zu is an amazing place to visit. They people of Chongqing say that if you have not been to Da Zu, you have not been to Chongqing. I agree!

The two hour bus ride from the hotel to Da Zu was well worth it. Da Zu is home to 800 year old carvings, carved out of the stone in the side of the mountains. The greenery in the park is beautiful and the carvings are amazing to look at. The carvings bring together the three religions of China; Buddism, Taoism and Confucionsim. Of course there are stories from each of these religions that the carvings depict. The guides did a great job of relaying the stories to us and the stories help one to understand much of the symbolism that we see in typical Chinese art and culture.
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The two and a half hours bus ride back to the hotel (longer due to the rain and traffic) went by very quickly due to our (the teachers) passionate discussions around the differences between Chinese and American educational systems. While most of the students slept, we talked about the benefits and weaknesses of each system. Naturally we concluded that each system could benefit from the integration of elements from the other but most importantly- we all want the best for our students!

It is 7:00 PM and we are all to meet up stair for another very spicy Chongqing style dinner (we sit 10 at a table).
Tomorrow we will be at Chongqing Normal University and Chongqing Bashuluneng Middle School- hen hao.

Posted by chinastace 04:06 Comments (1)

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