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Drumming, soccer and more!

Junio 20

El domingo, nosotros fuimos a la casa de Nico y Miguel para almuerzo.
Nosotros comimos en una pequeña casa separada de la principal casa. Nos pareció que al
padre de Nico y a Miguel le gusta cocinar. El tiene un horno muy grande y
cocina hamburguesas y pizza para nosotros. La pizza estuvo muy rica y tenía mucho queso.
También, nosotros comimos aperitivos y bebimos refrescos. Después de almuerzo, nosotros
jugamos juegos de cartas juntos. Nuestro juego favorito fue “Spoons” juego muy competitivo
y muy energético. En el juego, hay cucharas en el centro de la mesa para todos los jugadores
- excepto uno.

El lunes fuimos a un lugar que se llama Tamborilearte después de una clase historia.
Nos encontramos con Fernando, el dueño de la tienda. Nos enseñó tocar los tambores .
Él comenzó enseñar cómo pegamos los tambores, entonces nos enseñó el ritmo correcto. Nosotros
jugamos un juego de ritmo y después de nosotros empezamos a aprender una canción. Nuestro maestro
fue muy cómico y un amigo de Roberto. Nosotros todos teníamos diversión y vamos a tocar los
tambores con Fernando otra vez.

El lunes pasado, fuimos al Museo de la Memoria. El museo habla de la dictadura en Uruguay
y nosotros aprendimos mucho. La dictadura fue en 1973-1985. Había mucha censura y violaciones
de derechos humanos. Aquí es de donde proviene la frase "libertad o muerte".

Muchas personas fueron detenidas y algunos desaparecieron. Se llaman “los desaparecidos”.
El museo es dedicado a recordar los desaparecidos (esta es el razon por el nombre
“Museo de la Memoria” ). El museo es impactante y estamos contentos que pudimos ir.
China Immersion 2018: Hong Kong!

Post written by Melvin Mercado '19 and Ethan Lam '21:

As our trip came to a close, we spent our last two days in Hong Kong. Hong Kong, a beautiful city in China, was a British Colony for most of the 19th century and also part of of the 18th century. It is now a part of China despite having to go through immigration (customs) to enter the region. With British and Chinese influence, Hong Kong is a very unique place. For example, in Hong Kong people speak both English and Chinese (Mandarin and Cantonese). Currently it is Hong Kong’s rainy season. Its temperate  climate makes for a lot of humidity and rain. We were lucky our two days in Hong Kong were sunny and dry. 

Our first day in Hong Kong, we drove a bus to Shenzhen where we were met with long shuttle lines and many people trying to enter Hong Kong. As the Dragon Boat Festival was that weekend, many wanted to spend their holiday season in Hong Kong. After an over two hour wait, we drove to Kowloon, a district in Hong Kong. On our way there, many of us noticed that the car's steering wheel was on the right side. As many people like to call it, the British way. After lodging at the Oriental Lander Hotel, we walked to our rooms that were smaller and about half the size of an average room in Crossley dormitory. Having stayed in a suite (comparatively) in Shenzhen, we were explained how the property value and cost of living in Hong Kong was one of the most expensive in the World. After meeting our tour guide, Benny, we went to Hong Kong island and drove up to Victoria’s Peak. At Victoria’s Peak, there was a shopping center with both high-end stores and affordable clothing. Many students enjoyed being in the first city in China that allowed many to use their credit cards. Others were relieved that they could use English to communicate with people. All of us were amazed by the spectacular view when we reached the top of Victoria’s Peak. We could see all of Hong Kong Island and parts of Kowloon. After our free time at Victoria’s peak we made our way back down to the island. We were on our way to dinner where we were met by one of our Trustees, Justin Wai. 
Justin Wai, a native of Hong Kong, went to NMH for four years and graduated in 2002. He then went to Cornell University and is now working at BlackStone in the greater China region. He invited us to enjoy a spectacular dinner at the Ding Kai Feng restaurant. From what I saw, our entire group enjoyed the Soup Dumplings. A very hospitable and welcoming host, we had very good dinner conversations about his experiences at NMH and about Hong Kong. I had the pleasure of sitting next to him and getting to know him better. After our dinner, he took us to the MTR, Hong Kong’s Subway System. As many people on the trip may know, I (Melvin) am fascinated and in love with trains. Walking into the train station Justin guided us through purchasing tickets and then took us to the train. We were met with a modern, bright, and efficient train system, unlike anything in the United States. There are glass doors to stop people from going into the tracks, the trains are quiet compared to the United States, and very clean. We took the Blue Line and then the Red Line to Prince Edwards Station. Along the way we parted ways with Justin. After getting off the train we got a little lost walking back to our hotel, but made it back safely. Afterwards we enjoyed some rest to prepare for our last day in Hong Kong.
We enjoyed our last day in Hong Kong with a trip to see the Big Buddha. We took the NgongPing 360 up to where the big Buddha was located. Most of us thought it was a short Gondola ride, but it stretched over beautiful mountainous views. We could see the airport perfectly, the district and the nice water. Despite the view, many were afraid of the height of the gondola. Hank for example, was very scared the whole way, he closed his eyes and longed for it to be over. Once at the site, we walked to the Big Buddha. We walked through 12 famous generals that represent each animal of the Chinese Zodiac. We looked for the snake, horse, and dragon generals as all of us were either 2000, 2001, or 2002. After walking past it, we made our way towards the Big Buddha Shakayamuni. The steps were a bit steep, but it was nothing we had not done before. When we reached the top, it was a little foggy but there was a beautiful view of other mountains and rivers in the area. We saw many praying at the top and walked in a refreshing breeze. After the Buddha we took the Gondola ride back and then drove to Kowloon for our last destination, Ladies Street. 

At the end of the day, we went to Ladies Street and had some free time. It was just like every other market that we had been to. Just as crowded and lively. This one was less like the one in Beijing in that it was made by tarps and not indoors. This was the highlight of my trip (Ethan), partly because, Hong Kong has been my favorite place to visit and I love to bargain with  the venders, although I am not very good at it. After walking around the street we went to get some bubble tea and walked around some of the retail stores, like Adidas and Forever 21. It was a very good way to end our trip. To conclude the trip, we had our last dinner and got an interesting sight: Next to our table, there was a tank with king crabs, lobsters, sea snails, and fish. We got to see a King Crab deface and eat a live lobster. It was a free episode of Animal Planet at our footstep. As a city boy, I don’t frequently see a true take its course, and of course it was mesmerizing. Afterwards, we went back to the hotel and packed to part our ways. It was an overall great trip! Thank you to everyone who helped organize the trip and for making our experience in China truly amazing! 
China Immersion 2018: ShenZhen!

Post written by Cole Ammons '19 and Walter Ainsworth '20:

After a seven hour train ride from ZhengZhou, we arrived in the sparkling, new metropolis of ShenZhen. Only 36 years old, it's known as the Silicon Valley of China, housing such companies as Huawei and Ten Cent. We arrived late in the day, heading directly to our first meal of Southern cuisine, which we found to be plain and flavorless compared to our earlier meals, which is not to say it tasted bad.

The next day, our first and only full day in town, begun with a trip to Splendid China, a theme park with scaled down versions of China's most famous landmarks and attractions. We revisited old favorites such as the Great Wall and Shaolin Temple, and some new places, including the Stone Forest and Longmen Grottoes. For lunch we had another full meal of Southern food, but had pigeon meat. Afterwards, we went to the beach and, to varying degrees, had fun in the sun and waves. For dinner, we had Cantonese hot pot, where various meats and vegetables were boiled in rice water, along with some pu'er tea.

Overall, Shenzhen was a fun city, and we had a good time.

China Immersion 2018: Deng Feng!

Post written by Seiya Nakajima '19:

The NMH squad went to Deng Feng where we visited many places including the Pagoda Forest and Shaolin Temple. As for the pagoda we learned that every pagoda is built for famous monks whose followers donated money in order to make the pagoda bigger. So if the pagodas are tall, it means that whoever the pagoda was dedicated to had a lot of followers. There are also communal pagoda which are for multiple monks that does not have many followers. As for the Shaolin temple, we encountered a tree which has a saying that if you take a picture with it alone, you will be single as in relationship forever. Obviously nobody wanted to be single forever so I did not see anyone take a picture with it.(let me know if you have). Also at the temple we saw the Shaolin Zen Music Festival which was for me one of the most fantastic shows I have ever  watched in my life. It included well coordinated dances by many girls, live action of boys using long staffs and also floating old man. Over all I enjoyed the experiences in Deng Feng and I hope I get to see the music festival again. 

On June 14th, the NMH squad visited Millennium City Park or Qingming Riverside Landscape Garden in Kaifeng. In it, we watched many shows including the opening ceremony music, water puppet, fighting show using horses etc. I thought the shows were really interesting and well done however I also thought many of the shows were way too short. After visiting the park, we went to the night market to eat dinner. It included shao long bao, lamb on a stick, sesame bread, etc. Although I did not eat any food because of my stomach I did drink a special plum juice which I thought was one of the best things I have had in China. It was so good I drank three cups of it. Overall I thought it was more on the interesting side of the spectrum. I hope to drink that juicy plum juice again. 

India Service Learning: Field trips and festivities

         Blog Post: written by Alanna Duprez

On Thursday, we had another day of shortened classes to leave time in the afternoon for a special
trip to see some temples in Dehradun with the Joybells kids. After an hour bus ride full of music and
singing, we got to our first temple, the Hindu temple. When we went in, there were dozens of bells
above our heads that everyone was ringing in order to call the spirits. After the Hindu one, we went to
a Buddhist temple; it was so colorful and beautifully detailed with little paintings all over the ceilings and
the walls. There were dozens of gold Buddhas of all different designs. Then we went and saw how rugs
were made here in India. We watched the Tibetan refugee women weaving handmade 100% wool rugs.
The detail that went into the designs was incredible.

      On Saturday, we had our normal day of classes and then our wonderful saree party at night. The
kids put on a beautiful dance and music performance for us full of Japanese, Russian and Indian pieces.
After that, we changed into our sarees with the help of the Joybells girls. After we paraded around like a
fashion show for the kids, we spent the night dancing and having fun. It was an unforgettable time!

Flores, Durazno and soccer

Hello families,

We had a few exciting days, visiting Museums in Montevideo and the countryside on Wednesday and Thursday. The kids are doing well, having fun and learning a lot. We are also watching a lot of soccer with the World Cup. First experience, watching Uruguay-Egypt on Friday and celebrating Uruguay's first victory. I’m sharing some pictures with you all. Hope you enjoy them. You’ll hear more from the students on Monday.


Caves in Flores

Cabildo in Montevideo


Uruguay, goal!!!!!!

India Service Trip participants celebrate Alice's 17th  birthday!

                                      Blog post written by Alice Villano.  
  1. Jumping back to Wednesday, we had a very notable day. I woke up to many kind birthday wishes, a crown from Atta, and a special message on my door from Lily. The sweetest surprise was the children at the morning assembly, who gave me their special rendition of “Happy Birthday” topped off with some flowers and a card. We had slightly shortened classes because of our afternoon outing, so our morning went quick. Before we knew it we were packed into two cars headed out to Dehradun. The afternoon mission was to buy some sarees and kurtas! We will be having a celebration on Saturday and want to make sure we look the part. When we got to the shop there were a million colors to choose from. Most of us were basking in the different choices, taking our sweet time, while others (the boys) looked bored and unimpressed. If I am remembering correctly, Ryan took a nap! Luckily, Jim dragged the boys away to do their own shopping across the street. The girls continued trying on various colors, mixed with jewels and beautiful embroidery. About an hour later, we had all picked out the perfect Saree and the boys had returned with their kurtas! Our next stop fulfilled all my birthday wishes, we went to McDonald's. Finally, we would be eating some American food. We all got fries, ice cream, and even chicken! Truly satisfied with our day out on the town we headed back to Joybells. We all got some rest and rallied for dinner. This particular dinner came later than usual, so we spent a couple hours running around, playing games, and dancing to music with the kids. By the time dinner came most of them were pretty drained. One of the girls, Saydima, gave a wonderful prayer and then we dug into our spicy pasta and fried rice. Just as everyone was ready to go to bed three cakes were brought out, that is right, three! One was even made special at Joybells. Everyone got some cake, but I think we were all happiest when it was time for bed. Many hugs were given and then we all retired to our rooms. It was a very successful birthday!