I went to China this year, for 2 reasons. One, to visit families. Two, to participate in a Youth Volunteers Event organized by KCCAA Youth Hope Fund – teaching English in the KC Friendship School. The school we were teaching in was in a small town in the deep rural area in Shan Xi province in China, called Yanzibian, a mountainous village that was close to the heart of the catastrophic earthquake in May 12, 2008 in China. It was a seven hour long bus ride to get from Xi’an to Yanzibian. One thing I noticed was mountains. Lots of them. And to get hrough them we had to get through tunnels, 77 of them. Mom and I actually counted, but I stopped counting half way through, because there were so many. Mom counted all of them and even wrote down the majority of their names, and others, ones that she missed and didn’t miss, were no-names. We had never been through so many tunnels.
Now you’re probably wondering, Who’s ‘we’? ‘We’, (Cindy Wang, Tammy Lee, Grace Brentano, Eric Koch, Eric and Katrina Zhao, Promethium, and I) are a group of volunteers from a group called KC Youth Hope Fund. Every year, a group of student volunteers and parent volunteers travels to a rural, poor, and needy area in China to teach English. I decided, Sounds interesting. So, I took part this year.
We arrived Yanzibian at about 4pm. The ride into that small town was quite bumpy . We were greeted by a group of teachers including principal Mei. He is the principal of the Yanzibian Central Elementary School. We were anxious to see the KC Friendship School right away, but were taken to the Yanzibian Central Elementary School which was where we would be teaching. This school was actually better than I thought! In my mind I thought it was only going to be one story, though it was 4 stories tall. I thought that there was no playground, no real bathroom, but there was an acceptable playground, a real but smelly bathroom, and AIR-CONDITIONING!
That day we walked to the Yanzibian Central School and were just visiting. We dropped by each of the classrooms to see how their English was doing. Then each of us did some one-on-one with the students by their desk. Eric Koch, the Blond freshman from Pembroke who can kinda of speak Chinese, (better than most kids), was trying hard to speak to the kids. Whenever during a conversation of English with the kids, and the kid looked confused, Eric would say, “woe dee jongwen boo hao.” （我的中文不好。）