Soon after writing writing my last post about the lack of practical China experience, students here left on a “language practicum” to the home of a Chinese family. This is exactly the kind of activity that is so valuable to student studying abroad. Simply interacting with Chinese people in a traditional setting (the household) results in volumes of learning in a few quickly-passing hours.
We split into groups of 6 and took the bus (yes, a first for some students) to another part of town (the hospital district). We went to a tiny danwei (company-esque entity) provided apartment on the second floor of a back alley. We were welcomed and sat on small stools awaiting dinner. Dinner itself was delicious array of Chinese cuisine.
I don’t think a single one of the students used a grammar pattern we learned in the last two weeks. We simply observed, listened, asked questions when we could. I did an okay job of understanding and translating fast Chinese into slow Chinese for my classmates to understand. In some facets, the essays we read in class were accurate depictions but until you see for yourself a three-generation household, you don’t fully understand the culture.
Picture of the Day: A few days after the opening of the ice-“rink” at the large park near our school, i nabbed this shot of the fencing, bridge, and toboggans? Click through for some other park pictures.