I’ve visited schools before, but I’ve never had my name on the marquee…until I came to China. “Welcome Dr. Karen and Mrs. Andy.”
I’ve never gotten flowers on International Women’s Day before…until I came to China!
It made flying 18 hours to China worth it.
Karen and I knew how apprehensive and excited we were to visit a Chinese school, teach the teachers about creative ways to teach English, and work with the children. We had no idea how excited both the teachers and the students were to meet us. They wanted to find out about our lives, our cars, our families, where we lived and life in America.
We had prepared a zany presentation introducing ourselves to the teachers. (Karen’s great idea!) Pictures and simple sentences in English that showed where we lived in America, our homes, our families. The English teachers enjoyed it and asked questions in English. They shared with us how interested the students were about us and America.
The first day we showed the presentation to students, they oohed and ahhed after each slide, but when the slide of my husband Mike with his puppy Anna came up, they could hardly contain themselves. They asked question after question. What is her name? How old is she? What kind of dog is she?
But the picture that brought the house down was Mike next to his restored 1950 Ford. Those kids wiggled right out of their seats. They wanted to know why it looked so new. I had to get help from the teacher to translate that answer. They even wanted to know how long it was. I had to get Mike to measure the car for me and let them know later.
These children know about dogs. They know about cars, even if they don’t have one in this car-glutted city. They want to know about America and Americans. It is the human that connects us all.
It was an honor to be their first Americans. And, it was fun to sign autographs.
Dr. Karen and Mrs. Andy
Andy Hawkins, with her cousin Karen Robinson, will be in China for six weeks from March 4-April 15. They are teaching English at Xijuan Experimental Primary School in Guangzhou for a month. The last two weeks of their visit, they will tour other areas of China. During this time, Andy will post a blog “Musings from China” with pictures once a week or as often as she can get the technology to work.