July 22, 2016, was the first day of summer camp.
Everyone in our group was really excited and nervous to begin the sessions. Fortunately, the English classes went smoothly, and the children really took a liking to us. I was truly amazed on how quickly most of the students picked up on the English that we taught them. It’s funny because I know how long it took us to learn how to say basic conversation starters, and they picked it up in less then 30 minutes.
As the day progressed we moved onto our sports sessions. We played a game of musical chairs since the children really seemed to enjoy it during the beginning of the English classes. During the game of musical chairs, children who got out had to meet in the middle and cheer on the rest of their peers who were still in the game. The song “Panda” came on by Designer. The song is well known for the incorporation of the popular American dances: ‘dab’, ‘the whip’, ‘the nae nae’ and ‘hitting the folks’. So I took the initiative to teach the children those dances. They picked it up almost immediately. By the end of the song they were all dabbing and hitting the folks as if they were doing it for a long time. It was the cutest thing in the world to see the smiles on their faces as they did the dances. It really was priceless! To be honest I think they find American dances really funny and silly because they were laughing at us the entire time.
July 23, 2016, was the second day of camp and we were outside.
The lesson for that day was soccer. The kids really loved being able to kick the ball and just be outside and letting loose. Our ACE group as well seemed a bit livelier being outside. There were short races, fun and goofy stretching, and seeing who could kick the ball past the fence and possibly hit one of the domestic wandering yaks. During our time playing soccer, some of the girls got tired and decided that they wanted to play jump rope. As the progression of events went the jump rope ended up being on the ground and getting extremely dirty. The great outcome was that the children took this opportunity to teach us some dances that they all new. Kim, one of the little girls, tried hard to teach me the dances and it seemed the me and Izzy (another ACE participate) only picked up one of them. Their dances included songs sung by the dancer and included rhyming phrases. It was a lot of fun participating in the dances and getting to know what they do. I think we all agreed that we wanted to learn the harder dances so that we can do those with them. I really think it would make them happy.
I noticed throughout those two days that dancing truly is a universal language. We are all able to communicate and have fun with out saying a word.
I noticed throughout those two days that dancing truly is a universal language. We are all able to communicate and have fun with out saying a word. By moving around and just smiling we already let them know that we are interested in what they are trying to teach us. I think it really helped the children as well as us make a stronger connection to each other. It makes me really happy that we were able to break down the language barrier just by participating in some of their dances and them ours! I’m sure that for the days to come our bond will be stronger and that we as well as the children will remember each other forever. Just knowing that makes me the happiest!