2018-4-12 – Caroline Mehner – Hohhot No. 35 Middle School

Today was another super long, exhausting day. We got up at 7am and we had to be downstairs, and ready for the day by 8:40. We went downstairs to our meeting place, packed up the bus, and drove to the performance center.

We had a chorus rehearsal with the Mongolian students for the third time this trip. It was very interesting to notice the different ways that chorus classes can be taught. In the classes we’ve had so far, were handed our music and expected to follow the program. I noticed struggles from some of the group because not many are knowledgeable when it comes to reading music. I was however very impressed by the amount of effort everyone put in. They were respectful and tried very hard to figure out the music.

After we got done singing, we got to go up onstage and dance with the students studying dance at the arts college.  We started off by dancing the An Dai dance that we learned earlier in the week. Again, seeing the focus of the students and seeing them be engaged in whatever they were being told by their dance partners. I have gained a good relationship with a lot of the girls who were helping me out. They are all very kind and trying very hard to make sure everyone is getting the same amount of help, or the help that they need to succeed in the moment. We also learned a modern dance which we ended up learning the entire thing and having a fun time in doing so. Then we went to lunch, and had break time afterwards to rest, or just relax. I read my book in the windowsill until the break was over.

After break time, we left the hotel again and went to a middle school to have a campus tour and to do some activities with the students. The campus was beautiful with a lot of windows and cool architecture. The activities consisted of either hand crafts or painting. I chose to  do the painting class because I really enjoy painting, it calms me down, and gives me something to think about for a while. Since it is spring time, we got to paint flowers and spring like objects. When the class was over, a little girl approached me and gave me the painting she made and started jumping up and down. She asked for a hug and we talked for a little while.

Then we had to leave the school to head back to the arts college to have dinner. We got back relatively early, so we hung out in the common area outside by the track and field place. We then ate dinner, which was yummy as usual.

From dinner, we went to our rehearsal for the drums from 6:30-7:00. Then we had a chorus rehearsal from 7:00-8:00. It was very interesting because the teacher told Karlie that we were going to learn two Mongolian songs and that she wouldn’t be able to teach an English song. We were surprised when the teacher said that but the songs we ended up learning were both very beautiful. I just wish we were able to know the lyrics to the songs better because we can only sing the songs on a certain syllable.

After our rehearsal, the group went out and consumed our body weights in pizza!!!! It was strange to be having pizza in China but it was completely worth it and very yummy.

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