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Sarah in China part 5 July 30, 2009

Posted by markgeil in Uncategorized.
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This day was to be Sarah’s last day in Beijing before traveling to Henan, but as you will read the Swine Flu changed their plans. I have no idea what the teddy bears are all about, by the way, but will be sure to ask when the kids return.

July 18th Quarantine and CRAZY

I woke up early, 4:45 early, to journal! I journaled for about an hour before I showered and then returned to the room ready to see the Forbidden city. God had other plans. Madeline told me all the news, that we were quarantined to campus all day long, and would no longer continue with activities. I called home again to tell them, but they already knew. Mommy filled me in with the details that there were 7 confirmed cases, (4 UK 3 US) of the Swine Flu, and they were hospitalized, and their groups in hotels, and  (to many ands!) that we would be temperature checked even more drastically, deciding later if we would still fly to Henan tomorrow or not.

After a long breakfast we played spoons and espionage in the cafeteria. When they kicked us out we went to the school store, and then played some more near there. The sun was shining for the first time in China that day, so it was hot! Our small group walked around, Tyler and Thomas crawled through a window thoroughly scaring me.  We finally decided to attend a paper cutting class where I made a butterfly. It was just girls for a while, but later the boys joined us in the craft session because they could not find “shuttlecock”. After cutting, and cutting, Tyler, Tomas, Shelby and I walked around some more, and took pictures by a gate, showing how badly we wanted out. Lunch slowly approached to end our people watching session and we ate and then played cards for a while. We are now in the computer lab trying to figure out my jump drive. I figured it out! Finally! I also realized that I bought a 32 gig hard drive for less than ten US dollars. I was disappointed on market day, because that was my first purchase and I thought I could have bargained harder, but was redeemed when I realized how much storage it held, plus it is a pretty green color!

Maria asked me to buy her an ice cream, so I did and when the store would not give change, I ended up getting one too! I did not choose the pea flavor, and chose vanilla even though it is ultra boring. They left soon after and I wandered a bit, not feeling at all like I was in China. I found Mrs. Watts and the other Chinese teacher and they invited me to their room, where I talked with them until dinner. The majority of North Cobb students emerged from the dorm and I joined them for dinner. We ate, food that was slowly becoming recognizable, and I tried some egg drop soup that to my disappointment, was extremely sweet. After not eating anything sweet, even the ice cream was not very sweet, the soup was an unexpected shock. We ate and then Shelby and Walker met up and introduced us to their Liverpool friends. The opening ceremony was approaching quickly and Tyler needed the key to their room to get their teddy bears so I went to find Walker, who was nowhere in the building to be found. I grabbed my bears and we sat for a while watching people debate what they were wearing to the ceremony. Someone told us it was formal, so I ran back up to change. We had our meeting and went to the ceremony.

On a turf soccer field 1500 little stools were set up with various gifts on them. We found three different seats, stools, before we finally sat as we were told, all in a row. Unfortunately I was towards the back. They started by translating a bunch of welcomes and talking to and thanking many important Chinese men. This lasted for about an hour until a talent show show of sorts started. A group from camp would perform followed by a professional Chinese talent group. This included students reading poems, singing (Chinese songs, Let it Be, and You had me at Hello) and other random acts. The more impressive acts (not that students were not amazing) included amazing Plate Spinners, a few songs, acrobats, and the Chinese opera that was more of a loud aborigine drum beat thing. While these were amazing, I was exhausted, and my eyes started drooping and even shut all the way sitting cross legged on my little stool. They were opened wide at the words “last act” and even more so when they announced what it was,

“We are going to end this opening ceremony with some American style — Hip HOOPPP!!!!” [applause] So a group started The Cupid Shuffle and I watched as many students ran up to the stage to join in this dance I had never seen before but is apparently quite popular! This closed the ceremony and we all headed back to our rooms, well I did, most stayed up and partied later. I fell blissfully asleep to end another great day in China.

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