Thursday, July 8, 2010

Where are we?

We are at Camp Shamineau East.  We are here to teach English and share our lives. Shamineau East is in Inner Mongolia.    Inner Mongolia is a part of China, not the country Mongolia.  However, there are Mongolian's and Han Chinese as well as Russian's doing business and other Chinese minorities.  This part of Inner Mongolia is sparsely populated grassland and it is truly beautiful.  The sunsets are spectacular every night.   Since we are so far North, the sun rises around 3:30 AM and goes down after 9:00.  Last night, I went outside around 10:30 and saw a clear black sky with sharp white stars.  The Milky Way was spectacular and the Big Dipper clearly defined.  I saw two shooting stars.  It was spectacular.
There isn't a lot of money in this part of Inner Mongolia and few parents can afford to send their children to camp here.  The camp is supported by the generosity of others who want to help these children progress and grow.
The children here are a mix of Han Chinese and Mongolian.  There is separation and some tension.  The kids are an odd mix of very mature and astoundingly immature.  Many are only children and quite pampered.  Few know how to pick up after themselves. Most have nicer cell phones than I do (cell phones and cell phone service is cheap here).  There is a lot of training to do.
The kids are here to learn and practice English.  We have a basic curriculum but have worked on expanded it.

We brought two more-or-less willing workers with us to help make games and other curriculum.

We have a fairly heavy schedule.  The teacher's actually start at 6:45 AM with a meeting.

There are many spontaneous teaching opportunities.

Playing a "Getting to Know You" game.

English learning can happen over carpet ball.

We are here for 12 day and half way through the course.  We are tired but enjoying ourselves.  We came here three years ago and I am glad we came back.

1 comment:

Tanya said...

Sounds like an incredible experience.