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Published: July 21st 2012
Yesterday, as everyday, we woke at 6:50 a.m. with the usual wake-up call. We very quickly prepared ourselves for morning Kongfu exercises. These sessions, from run from 7:15 a.m. to 8:00 a.m. are led by teachers from the camp. It’s comical to watch each other try to master this art since we all demonstrate various levels of competency and energy levels at this early hour.
Immediately following breakfast we attended our first session which was Chinese Language. Again, various levels of competency are demonstrated by our classmates during these Language sessions. Moving on to more exciting activities, we were also introduced to the ancient art of calligraphy, using ink and brush, and then painting, using only your hand as a brush.
Practising the art of holding the calligraphy brush correctly and then working with the ink while maintaining just the right amount of pressure on the bristles, proved to be a challenge. In the end though, we each produced an impressive banner.
The painting session was somewhat easier but a whole lot messier! We rubbed different coloured paints into our hands and pressing various parts of our hands onto the paper, created
insects, farm animals and more. As you can imagine, masterpieces were created during this session.
After lunch our final session was weaving with slippery silk. Some of the pieces produced during this session will no doubt last for years, while others’ pieces didn’t make it back to our dormitory in tact. It’s a whole lot harder than it looks.
After dinner we were surprised to learn that an additional Kongfu exercise session had been added to our itinerary. This activity was not welcomed but Ray made it bearable with the promise of a rowdy soccer game following the session. That was fun.
This morning began with the same routine as before, up at dawn and onto the field for morning exercises. Up to this point these exercises had been led by a likable teacher from the camp. Today’s surprise was that our session was led by one of China’s national Kongfu champions. After a brief demonstration, he proceeded to lead all 150 campers, along with Wenjie, Ray and Steve, in a grueling 45 minute session. You can only imagine how desperate we were to exercise our newly acquired skills on someone
after such a long workout.
Immediately following breakfast, we began preparation, in class, for the oral communication evaluation. For some of us the preparation time in the morning was a breeze, while for others it was not so easy. We spent the entire morning in preparation for this examination which we did this afternoon. We let off some steam in the afternoon with a friendly Language competition between counties. Represented in our class were students from the USA, Malaysia, Switzerland and Venezuela. We choose Mexie to represent CANADA and boy did she rise to the occasion! The goal was to talk about things in the room with as much descriptive detail as possible, in Chinese! Watching Mexie in action was something else. She spoke circles around the other nations making CANADA victorious. This was followed by a friendly talent contest. We paired up with Switzerland and sang a rowdy rendition of “That’s what makes you beautiful.”
The evening’s Kongfu exercise session was cancelled – HURRAH!
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