HOME SWEET HOME: Day 117, Thursday April 03 2014

We went to the Tai Chi hot spot: Hero mountain, but our teacher wasn’t there, so after practicing our moves a few times we followed a strange woo woo woo sound that came from a flat dirt space at the bottom of the mountain.

A Diabolo is known as a Chinese yoyo. The sound is caused by this plastic  top-like “toys” being spun around on strings. There was a large gathering of people there that day practicing.  I’ve included a tutorial video from youtube for anyone who’s interested.

One man, dressed in black, was doing all sorts of tricks. He would flip the thing around his back, front, and under his legs. He’d toss it in the air and catch it on the string.

When the man in black came to sit down for a rest I asked him if I could try. Click click click the cameras went off from an entourage of Chinese onlookers. The whole team of people out practicing became my teachers, all laughing as they tried to show me how to get started. When I was done Nate was encouraged to try. He stood up and one of the women walked over to help him get going. She came up to just above his waste and her eyes grew bigger and bigger as she looked up, up, up to his face! 

We got a package from home today! It arrived in a beat up shoe box, multi coloured candy-bits had burst through the ripped cardboard and stuck to the tape. Some of the candy was crushed, but most of it was still edible. The delicacy was maple syrup chocolate from Laura Secord!

I’d also gotten a letter back from my class’s Canadian pen pals. The kids went crazy when I brought it into class. They’d gotten a card, a map of guelph (where their pen pals are from), and a photo of guelph. The children from Canada had each drawn a picture of their family. For some reason everyone thought this was hilarious! I’ve noticed that every child in China draws the same way, as if they have been taught specific instructions for how a mommy, daddy, and child are supposed to look. It must have been strange for them to see all sorts of creative drawing styles (some of the drawings looked like spiky balls with faces).

I let each child take home a picture from the school in Canada. It went over really well, other then one student, Steven, who crinkled his up into a little ball and threw it on the floor. I rescued it and smoothed it out. I told him that the drawing had come all the way from Canada for him and this behaviour was not ok. Shirley translated to make sure he understood. He seemed very upset at the end of class and asked for the picture back. I gave it to him and he carried it out of the classroom with great care.

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