Monday, May 31, 2010


Living in a new culture that has different expectations, different time scales, different priorities, as Americans we often feel frustrated feeling that nothing has been accomplished. A typical Peace Corps mantra is "Be flexible and redefine success."

I redefined success a lot in Africa. I redefined it in China. The new definition of success had a simplicity about it, a personal one on one type of impact. I felt successful whenever I would leave my African house, would meet a new person, would carry rocks with the community to the mosque, would help a student with a math problem. I felt success when someone finally understood my Chinese only after one try, "Where is the W.C.?"

In Peace Corps success often comes in little packages.

However this past week, wow... super successful! Incredibly so!

In April, we went to Chengdu for a workshop and planned a project to motivate more students to visit the Tree House English Resource and Community Center. It is now almost June and we are slowly reaping the benefits of participating in that workshop.

Tuesday's Tree House workers want to host a nature festival where there will be dancing. They invited a foreign teacher from another school to come and teach how us to dance. Friday night over 50 students came to learn a dance from Israel and Greece as well as the cha cha and the twist.
Saturday was knitting club. The girls are getting really good at reading English knitting patterns.
Monday's Tree House workers want to host a dinner party to learn about Western manners. Tonight about 20 people came to the Tree House to get their dinner party invitations by participating in a short lesson about Western and Chinese manners. At the desk students read about Western manners, discussed them with the teachers, and then wrote a few rules on flip chart paper. In the couch area, the Tree House workers planned a skit for the dinner party and picked out the background music.

1 comment:

William said...

awesome! really happy to see things going so well :)