Tuesday, August 5, 2008

Last days in Jingdezhen

Home in Glen Ellyn with English headings on the computer once more after a blackout of a few days with no internet access in Shanghai. We sneaked in to OHare safely just ahead of the storms.

The last days in Jingdezhen were busy and rewarding. There was a closing ceremony that was not just a bunch of Key Education People seech-ifying, but the students presenting songs and stories in English which made us very proud. Their confidence in speaking improved so much! They sang farewell type songs they could find in Karaoke including "I'm a Big Big Girl," a love song from the Titanic, and a never to be forgotten rendition of Auld Lang Syne. And one last reminder of what it is all about: the Hicky Pukey!

Parting gifts are important to the Chinese as is toasting with Chinese wine which just let me say is not Chablis! Moonshine comes to mind. The "drain the glass" cry is "goomba!" Gifts usually reflect the city speciality so are often silk scarves, jade neaklaces, etc. Remember Jingdezhen is the porcelain catial of China - in fact the term "china" we use for all sorts of pottery things here is actually an English misinterpretation of the original name of this city. But porcelain does not often come in a size Small - our gifts included coffee sets, bowls, large vases and - for me - a 25lb Laughing Buddha. Interesting packing challenges!

Many pictures and tears and a sense of having made a difference for 60 teachers that will spread far wider when their school resumes in the fall.

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