Since we arrived in China the trip has been flying by. We’ve had such a productive time and we have been able to connect with so many caring individuals. We have been in Qinhuangdao for four days already and we have had many opportunities to learn and share our knowledge with others.
We had dinner with the mayor of Qinhuangdao on our first night here. We were able to share what we are doing in China. Paul and Vicky were also able to talk to him about the work that they do here. That way, the government is more aware and can possibly help support future projects that help disabled children and adults. It was our first meal here in this city, so we tried to copy everything the mayor did so that we didn’t mess up. We tried our best to not look ridiculous using chopsticks. We ended up dropping our food anyway. It was an interesting experience and it went pretty well.
Each day we start with lectures. We’ve all presented in our area of study to a large group of teachers. These teachers work at a local rehab school that serves special needs children. The lectures last about 3 hours, then after lunch we go to the school and do various activities with some of the kids with autism. The teachers watched us for the first few days and now we are watching them take over. We got to watch the teachers interact with their students and make suggestions on how to improve.
Some activities that we would do involved testing the kid’s sensory, motor and lanuage development as well as problem solving skills. We used toys, clay, beads and made obstacle courses to make the activities fun. We have already learned souch about autism and we are grateful to have the chance to help.
We have also been invited to visit the Qinhuangdao Women and Children Healthcare Center, which is the best in the city. We all got to tour the hospital and the NICU. Here in China, as soon as the babies are born they put them in tiny pools to swim with a floaty around their neck. We got to play with the little ones in the water, so cute! We are headed back to the hospital on Friday to play with the children with autism that are there. They mentioned that they have 70 kids with autism there and they are at maximum capacity. They are hoping to get more funding by the government to be able to open new facilities to help these children and their families.
Fun little tidbits:
-The duck tacos are making us miss Taco Bell.
-When it’s hot out, the men here create crop tops out of their shirts and embrace the dad bod.
-“Toilets” are basically a hole in the ground that flush, and toilet paper is a rare commodity.
-Pizza hut is a 5 star dining experience.
-Chopsticks are hard, but we’re killing it.
-The lines on the road don’t mean anything to the Chinese people. They make their own lanes and have little regard for motor cycle riders and pedestrians. We haven’t seen any accidents yet! *Knock on wood*