Tuesday, June 12, 2007

Day 2 in Hunan

Our team in Changde has just completed the second day of the PT camp. Things continue to go very well as hearts and minds meet to help the children. Here are two views--one from Tingting and one from Angie--of the day's activities:

Tingting wrote:

"Today we spent some time observing the classroom to see how kids behave when they are in a group and in their familiar setting. Dr. Zhang is very interested in music therapy, so we spent more time on each child by trying out music. It turned out that one of the boys really enjoyed it and Colleen started to dance with him. He usually wasn't interested in anything but he started to smile as he and Colleen danced-- it surprised all the staff, too. His caregiver is this really kind and patient granny. We all love her so much. We asked her to try to dance with the boy. She was so shy at the beginning and wouldn't dare to do it, but after she saw how this boy reacted to the music and dance she stepped out without hesitation and led the boy to dance. We all clapped our hands for her courage. She was so patient and so desperate to try everything she could to help him. We were all so touched by her.

When we took a taxi for lunch, the driver was very curious about why we were in Changde. Stephanie told him that we came here to help the orphans. After we got out of the taxi and tried to hand him the cab fare, he refused to take it. He kept saying, "Forget about paying me. You came here to help our kids. This is the least a local guy like me can do for you." We were all so touched by his kind gesture.

Angie brought a lot of great materials to Changde. Every time Dr. Zhang looked at Angie's extensive preparation, she would say, "Wow... this is so good. " Angie brought some really good tape that can be used for kids' fingers. Dr. Zhang applied it to the kids who needed it. Again, I am just so impressed by Angie, Dr. Zhang and Colleen - they make such a perfect team!! "

Angie wrote:
"This morning we were able to see the school. The children were very glad to see us. Prior to our arrival, they passed out candy. Many of the children had their pockets stuffed full of the treats by the time we had arrived.

One little boy grabbed my hand, had me sit down, handed me a book and sat in my lap. It was obvious that he wanted me to read to him, but there was just one small problem....it was in Chinese. Stephanie, one of the LWB facilitators, was nice enough to help. He then had a great time going through my purse. He tried on my sunglasses, took pictures with my camera and wanted me to open a package of Wetnaps. He was very disappointed to find out it was just a cloth in the colorful package. The other children were very interested, too. Colleen did a fantastic job coming up with ideas for the classroom.

I am very impressed by the staff and the ayis caring for the kids. They truly have the best interests of the kids at heart. The staff is very interested in learning as much as they can. They listen very intently and take thorough notes. I really enjoy working with Zhang Min, the Chinese PT. I have learned a lot from her and find it fascinating that despite our different backgrounds that we have so much in common. Of course none of this would be possible without Tingting. She has taught us so much about China and is a master interpreter. I can't wait for the rest of the week!"