Thursday 17 October 2019

Day 6 - Jinan (to Xi'an)

Today was our last day in Jinan. We had an early start with a morning call for 6:30 as we had to leave and check out of the hotel by 7:30. We then had an hour bus ride to Jinan Middle School, I slept the whole way. 

Once we arrived at the school we met the Principal and had an introduction. During this we were comforted with some warm tea and water which was very nice. After this we went outside to watch the students do their running activity. There were 3950 students running in time with each other, it was really cool to watch. 

At 10:15 we started lessons, first we had English class. In this lesson we were partnered with a Chinese student and the teacher gave us time to introduce ourselves and get to know each other.  Some students were asked to share with the class. It was hard to talk to the students as most of them didn’t understand what we were saying. In this class we were given a worksheet, this was a listening task. We were asked to listen to a phone call if someone booking a plane ticket. We had to fill in the missing words which was extremely easy for us. 

 After the English lesson we went outside to play basketball. We did warm up exercises which were very different to what we usually would do. The first one we did was where we named the directions. North was Jinan, south was Australia (Ao da li ya), east was panda (Xiong mao) and west was kangaroo (Dai shu). The teacher called out the name and we had to jump towards that direction. This was difficult because we couldn’t understand his Chinese very well. We then paired up with someone and did some arm stretches which was kind of funny. After warming up we played a mini game where we had to bounce the basket ball and knock down cones and the Chinese had to put them back up. The winner was the one who had the most down or up.

 We lost the first round but won the second. We then played a game of basketball where we smashed them.

After this we had lunch, this is where we met our buddies. Alannah and I had buddies who weren’t very good at English so it was very awkward at first but then we started using google translate to communicate which worked better. After we finished eating we went into a music room to hang out and talk. Their lunch time goes for 2 hours as most of them go home for lunch, so we had a lot of time to spare. We sang songs together and got to know each other more which was lots of fun. They are really good singers which was fun to listen to. 
We then had a music lesson. In this lesson they had many performances to share with us which was really entertaining. We then played a game where one person had to be blindfolded spin around 5 times then they had to find the piano and play and sing twinkle twinkle little star. Once they finished singing the other person had to use chopsticks to transfer ping pong balls from one ball to the other. This was really hard and I was very bad at it. At the end we exchanged gifts and took photos which was really nice. We left at 3:10 to go to the train station to catch a train to Xian.
It was a very fun day of meeting new people. It was very interesting to see their way of school and how different it is to Australia, especially because their school day goes from 7:00am to 8:00pm. I loved today and even though the language barrier was hard we all made friends that we will keep forever.

Lauren Booth

On the train to Xi'an

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