Being our last evening in Shenzhen city, we had to pack and prepare for the near 2-hour drive to Huizhou yesterday, the city of 5 million where the OVO (pronounced like the letter names O-V-O). Our last day in Shenzhen, however, was delightful:
We were invited as guests of honor to a teahouse where local news crew and photographers documented our students as they participated in the first day of cultural exchange between OVO School and Middleburg Academy. This program, according to the Chinese, was entitled “Chopsticks Bridging Cultures”; a peaceful symbol of the cultural exchange between our students and the Chinese.
We had our first opportunity to meet Samson, the President and CEO of the OVO School in Huizhou (this man founded the school where our students will be teaching for the remainder of their time in China). Our students participated in a variety of traditional cultural Chinese activities: playing the zither, making tofu, and performing a tea ceremony- a traditional (and very intricate) Chinese ritual. They were all gifted traditional Chinese garb which they ported handsomely.
Link to news story: http://v.youku.com/v_show/id_XNzI4OTY4MDAw.html?x
After the morning at the tea house, we then went on to a famous calligraphy studio in Shenzhen, where three Chinese calligraphy masters taught us about the art of writing and painting in the calligraphy tradition. Here, student learned how to write their name in Chinese, which is no easy task!
After finishing a lovely three days in Shenzhen, we moved on to Huizhou home to the OVO International School. It was a long day of driving, opening ceremonies, and adjusting into the dormitories, but our students have transitioned and are beginning their lessons. Students woke to begin the day with a lesson in Tai Chi, an ancient tradition spawning from the Kung Fu practice in China. Tai Chi is a mind and body art that is said to be good for your mental and physical health, promoting longevity (one of the three principal Chinese tenants). Today, the first day of teaching, will be the responsibility of Sarah and Mackenzie, who will be talking about the geography of both the US and our home state, Virginia.