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Yunnan Day 10: Let’s Take a Walk

Day 10

 

Showered but decided to catch the sunset with Isa just now. We took a short walk out to the main road. It was nice to walk a different route and view the Ice Mountain from a different spot!

There’s no facilitation today but we have welfare night activities in 4 min, but meanwhile I’m lying in bed in a very comfortable position as sleepiness creeps up on me.

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Side note: The plums here are my favourite! I ate the one the Lijiang Uni students gave and it was really so much better when it was ripe. Tastes pretty similar to our plums but the skin is less sour?

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Yunnan Da–error404

As I have mentioned in the previous post, most of these reflections of mine are lost in time, and so these are the days where I wrote down the reflection questions but didn’t manage to articulate my thoughts into words:

Day 6?

1. what changed today and what triggered the change 2. what are you going to improve on tomorrow? 3. how has the captclouds journey been thus far and who is one person you want to get to know better? 4. affirmation

Day 7??

Try to balance the facilitation with games. Play games/hands on games before starting the progs. What they want: soccer, tennis, handicraft

Setting expectations for next day

Day 8

1. Did you manage to achieve what you wanted to improve on yesterday?

– If yes, how did you do it?

– If not, what do you plan to work on?

– Highlight any changes in their behaviours if any.

2. How has your perception of the kids changed over the past few days?

Not really my perception of the kids but more of my mindset in interacting with them.

3. What do you hope to achieve over the remaining 2 days?

Interact with more of the other kids, the boys, He Jing the girl who doesn’t really understand a lot of pu tong Chinese.

4. Affirmation

 

Day 9 Questions

– how was today? the planting, and the engagement.

– what was something that struck you/ one takeaway that you have from the engagement?

– what is something that can be improved from the engagement? and do you think we should do it again?

– affirmations?

Yunnan Day 6/7: War of the Walls

 

As I sit here and create these posts of all these previously unreleased reflections, I really wish I had taken more time to organise everything because I feel that the reflections are messed up along the timeline. I guess the only person who would doubt my credibility and reliability now would be you dear reader, no?

That day I was assigned the scribe so here are some of our reflections (I really hope you guys don’t mind):

1) What are some potential problems we faced today & how do we intend to tackle them?

Joshua: Group of the cool girls, they treat it as a homework and a competition, and so that defeats the purpose of reflection. They are generally disinterested in what we have to say. We will try our best to talk to them and hope that they eventually warm up to us. One girl was ostracized because she cannot really understand so best would be if one person to follow her throughout the next few days. Simplify the questions for her.

Chong Ming: We need to take the soft approach first before we jump into sharing. They are quite scared to share their dreams despite the fact that they do have dreams. Slowly nudged her to use art to communicate.

Van: It was initially quite difficult to break down the first wall. But they are actually very prideful and they tend to follow each other. When one boy finally shared, the rest eventually shared and they were actually interested and shared well. Does it really meet our purpose if we continue to do things like an interactive play? Perseverance is key.

Jia Jue: They were very rowdy and unresponsive. But when we started sharing ourselves, they listened and gained more trust. Even though they tend to bully each other a lot, they are quite willing to listen. The key is really about opening up to them. But they also treat the dream journal as homework.

2) How do I feel now?

Jia Jue: at the end of the lesson vs the start made me less scared to face them tomorrow

Milton: as one of the ICs I was bouncing around and one of the potential problems is that since they are already very noisy, with everyone trying to help get their attention, everyone was kinda doing their own thing, it was difficult for the class IC. At the start, I was very angry but I knew it wasn’t the way. It’s good to have these frustrated thoughts but it’s what we do with them.

Jan: It would probably better if all of us go to the back except the IC so that the kids don’t get distracted by us.

Van: I was glad to see them grow up a bit more compared to last year that there was less physical bullying even though they were still pretty rowdy!

Glenda: We found the P3 teacher in charge and he was completely useless. I told MunYee and Tes to scrap progs for P3. But to scrap progs does not mean to scrap interaction. What you want to get out of this whole thing affects the way you look at the situation and the programmes. I’m grateful that the whole P3 incident happened because it brings us back to why we are here and forces us to really reflect more seriously.

Shi Yun: Quite scared that we can’t even interact with them but when we broke into smaller groups I think it was easier for them to share with us. Quite excited for the next few days and I can see hope.

3) What did you learn about yourself today?

Faith: Managed to build a bit of rapport with them and played along with them. What I learnt was to go along with their flow and stick with the progs for the sake of executing.

Jia Jun: what can we do better, let’s not hold it against them when what they do angers us because they are just a product of their environment. I also encountered moments like this where they scolded vulgarities. If you are good to them they will be good for you too.

Joshua: There were moments where I blanked out and was under a lot of stress. But to just keep going and hope that tomorrow will be better.

Joel: Personally as long as we have done our best it’s okay. whether we have set out to achieve what we wanted to achieve that’s another thing.

Chong Ming: I agree with Jia Jun and see things with perspective and you (start to) question (yourself), “Can I really do this?”

Yunnan Day 6: Welcome to Liang Mei

What insights have you gathered/ challenges you experienced during today’s programme?

They (The students) are actually just like typical children they have smartphones and watch Avengers like any other Singaporean kid their age. Some of them are quite shy however but I think it’s pretty natural especially when interacting with a bunch of foreigners (even if they get visitors 4-5 times a year).

They don’t really get the point of the dream journal and it seems as if they tend to just copy each other (giving PC answers).

What direction are we going with this dream journal? We forgot to explain the rationale of the dream journal because it is intuitive to us and not to them.

The key is to help them unlock the ability to dream.

Share a memorable encounter with one of the kids today and why it is memorable to you.

The girls I talked to today were quite shy but they were still really sweet and they were giving me (and Shi Yun) food to try. I admit I was very hesitant to try the food because it… didn’t look like the most hygenic? But I was still quite heartened that they wanted to open up to us in that way.

Any suggestions/areas of improvement for the programme.

Let’s explain to them the rationale of using the dream journal at the start of tomorrow’s session.

Yunnan Day 3: English Lesson @ 三育学校

How did it go? any challenges you faced and how was it overcome?

I think that it went relatively well taking into account that our Chinese was realllly challenged. We just tried our best.

What I noticed is that some are definitely strong in English than others. A girl even asked us how to read a passage of words.

Why do you think there is a disparity in language between city and rural areas?

Lack of resources is a main factor I guess. They don’t have enough funding and teachers to continually teach them English.

What do you think can be done to make this more sustainable? should this be carried on next year?

More sessions of English with them. And also more preparation in the method of instructions. But why even teach English to the rural schools? When they won’t have the chance to use it.

Yunnan Day 2: Paint x Plant

Highlights for today:

  1. Painting
  2. Planting

I joined the painting group. And if you were thinking that painting would have been less tiring you are clearly mistaken. Before we painted we had to cut away all the shrubbery and plants that had grown near the wall! Thank goodness we didn’t have any programme today, so at least we got to wash ups and clean. The food was much nicer today too. Yasssss.

Yunnan Day 1: Miaozu

Currently waiting to board the plane to Kunming, and it seems like we have been delayed another 15 min. Reached the airport at 2345 and now it’s 0342. 4 hours helpppo. Oh guess what in the time that I’ve typed this, it’s time to board!

Update

The views here are sick and the weather is brilliant. Very comfortable even though I am just wearing a T-shirt and jacket most of the time. The cuisine here is spicy and sour (and at the same time very salty and oily too!!) The accommodation we have here in Miaozu is not bad too. The beds are really clean and comfortable which is such a plus to keep me warm as it gets way colder at night. First day of engagement was very fast but it was mainly just playing ice breakers with the students. They are super cute and friendly so it’s easy to approach them, despite the language barrier.