Recent Blog Posts

Post written by Connor Wall '19 and Sebastian Shin '19:

On the 8th, we started the day off early, traveling from SIAS University to Jiyuan. Although it started to rain that day, we still were fortunate enough to receive dry weather on our way to monkey mountain. Many monkeys climbed on us while we walked around the mountain, explored the beautiful scenic area, and watched a talent show performed by monkeys. For dinner we had the chance to celebrate Abner’s birthday at a local restaurant, eating delicious dumplings and fruit cake, then arrived at a local hotel where we rested after the long day. 

       Saturday, leaving Jiyaun Hotel early, we arrived to Jiyuan middle school to meet our first host students. We then participated in various classes such as English and math, fully immersing ourselves the process.  Afterwards, we arrived to the host students’ homes to meet our host families and had a restful siesta. After eating hearty lunches we returned to the school and were greeted with a performance where students both danced and sang, NMH students singing the school song Jerusalem and Chinese traditional song MO LI HUA. We painted masks in traditional Beijing Opera style with our new friends then returned home and spent time getting to know our families.
        The next day, we climbed WANG WU SHAN, the location of the traditional folktale widely know in Jiyuan. It tells a story of WAN WU, a simple farmer who defies all odds by persevering, themes of reliance and tenacity. We then traveled to another mountain and ate a traditional lunch from the local area. We started our climb up this mountain over various obstacle course like paths until we reached the top, enjoying the cool breeze and beautiful view. We had the opportunity to either slide down the mountain or walk down peacefully until we reached the bottom.
        The next morning started off bittersweet as we met our new host family on the West Campus and left our first host family. Following a similar routine, we learned math, history and geography, Chinese, and had the opportunity to teach english in various classes and talk about American life. Later in the day, we cut intricate paper designs in the shape of hearts with our host students. After class we played a basketball game against the school’s team and went home to have fun and eventful evening with our host families.
        The next day, We visited Number One Jiyuan High school where Liu LAOSHI once graduated and learned about several Chinese traditions in a classroom setting. After quickly eating great lunch in the high school’s cafeteria, we visited a local kindergarten class where we practiced speaking pinyin and taught them “When the Wind Blows”, a traditional American game. Before we left the school, we had the pleasure to see the kindergartners perform the play “The Emperor’s New Clothes”, dance to music, and intensely play basketball. After that, we returned to our host families to enjoy our final celebration filled evening in Jiyuan before waking to say goodbye in the morning.