Today was one of those days.
After a successful day of fun classes and review games, myself, all the other teachers, and 8 select kids, waited around the school for about an hour to go out to dinner together with Mr. Siu. While waiting, I was able to do one of the raddest things ever: watch those kids play and practice their Chinese instruments for our upcoming Christmas program at the school. Yes, all those beautiful, mysterious, Asian sounds so stereotypical to this region, were being plucked and strummed right before me. Two of my students showed me how to hit a few notes on the Yanqin, another few let me attempt to play on this little violin type thing called an Er-Hu (which when I tried, ended up sounding more like a dying chicken rather than music), another few let me plunk on the Chinese piano, or Guzheng. Absolutely amazing. wow. SO beautiful. SO rad. SO very fun!!
We then all piled into vans and headed to a Northern Chinese restaurant. It was so fun to listen to the kids giggle and watch them enjoy this special feast. They got to show off their English knowledge to Mr. Siu and the other company guests and I took pride in hearing them answer with confidence my English questions. It made me feel like all my hard work in teaching these past 2 months is truly paying off. They are indeed learning.
After dinner, Mr. Siu, myself, Jimmy, the kids, and Mrs. Wong all headed to McDonalds to get ice cream - or "bin qi lin", as they say in Mandarin. It was here my "I have the coolest job in the world" feelings were completely confirmed. Why? Because after stuffing our faces with chocolate sundaes, I got to crawl around the McDonalds playplace with my kids. Oh yes, teacher Jen, waaay to big for the slide, slid anyways, surrounded by the sounds of laughter, cheers, applause, and hands pulling me up, in, and down over and over again. It was absolutely amazing. These kids don't have much, and seeing the joy on their faces was priceless. Their smiles, their sweaty faces, their laughter was so worth my dirty knees, being crammed in a plastic tube reeking of stinky feet, and crawling through a space far to small for my 23 year-old body to go.
I truly have the coolest job in the world.
Here are some photos to share with you just a glimpse of it. They're not good, but they say so very much, and they are priceless.
1st Grade - captured from Jimmy's camera phone