Wednesday, July 14, 2010

What we are doing here.

We are at this camp to spend two weeks sharing our lives and hearts with Mongolian and Chinese youth.  We live with them in yurts, eat each meal, play games, teach English and spend our free time with them.  It's exhausting but very satisfying.   This is our second time at the camp and we've really enjoyed it even more this time.  Having some Chinese language makes a big difference.  Being used to China and Chinese culture makes a big difference.  It's just been a good time for us.
We've been teaching from a nature curriculum, discussing habitats, owls, hawks, fish and other animals.  It's been great to get these city kids out in nature and slowing down.  Getting them to turn off their cell phones is another matter.  They are glued to their phones calling their mother's and father's at every opportunity.  Most are fairly coddled and few have good healthy boundaries in their families.  The Mongolian kids come from tougher and poorer backgrounds and have sweet dispositions.  There is tension between the two groups but as a whole, there were few issues.  
There were some interesting issues at the camp, due to the multilingual nature.  When the kids played charades to act out their vocabulary, some would mouth the words in their own languages.  When we did spelling contests,  some pulled out their dictionaries to check their spelling!  We just had to laugh and not take it to seriously, while maintaining healthy boundaries.

Practicing reading.

Playing games.

Teaching kids to play Splat.


Chinese, American and Mongolian girls.

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