I just returned from a whirlwhind of traveling. Our school takes the students on a cultural trip in the spring as part of our curriculum. We visit parts of the country so that the students learn more about the land they live in. This years trip took us to many famous places. All of which included a heavy amount of walking. As we walked, and walked, and walked I realized something. I walk like my dad. I have known for years that I share many of his features, but I really noticed during this trip how slow I walk. My dad walks pretty slow and takes everything in. That is exactly how I walk. My husband has now started calling me Gimli from Lord of the Rings. But enough about the slowness of my gait, I would like to share some pictures from my journey.
On the first day we visited Qing Ming Theme Park. This park was like Colonial Williamsburg, people who work here dress up like ancient Chinese. They have carts that you can ride, river boats and several shops that would have existed during that time. While the kids were exploring, in groups of four or more, the leaders took this opportunity to dress-up in ancient Chinese garb. It was a lot of fun!
That afternoon and the following day we visited Yuntai Mountain National Park. We were able to see some truly gorgeous scenery. The water at the park was clear and turquoise colored. I have never seen water in such a bright color. Each of the chapherones was in charge of a group. I was in charge of the 7th and 8th Grade girls. The seventh-graders are in my earth science class and so being the teacher that I am I took this chance to discuss types of rocks. As we were walking through a cave one of the girls said, “Look Mrs. Caldwell erosion” as she pointed at the water dripping from the rocks. Then a drop fell on her hand and she quickly replied, “Oh no I have erosion on my hand.” Too cute, right?
On the final day of our trip we visited The Longmen Grottoes in the morning. The Longmen Grottoes is a series of caves each containing an ancient Buddha. THere are at least 1000 of them. It was interesting, but the students found it a bit boring. In the afternoon we visited Shaolin. That was one of the highlights of the trip. We watched a kung fu show and played outside on the training equiptment.
At the end of the trip I was exhausted, but it was worth it. I got to know my students a lot better and we were able to learn together about some of the magnificent culture in the country around us.