25.05.2011 - 25.05.2011 16 °C
Well ladies and gents.
Last night was the 10th Annual "Ying Ying" (English champion) Competition here in Minzhong. Started off like any other competition when we foreigners have been asked to "judge" (ie. not play favorites with the contestants), dinner with the heads of school. Which was yum for your information, stomach and maggots anyone? (*gag*) Stack to veges, they are always yummy here in Yunnan.
Drove back to school, chilled in the flat for a bit with Nat, Lew and Poochie (Lewis got a dog, I'm not kidding, English name is Poochie, Chinese name is ZaiZai. Cute ball of fluff!) Anywho... off to the competition, Poochie in a shower tub with a towel, he was immediately taken away by one of the teachers (Mike) who refused to give him back until half way through the competition cause he wanted to keep him.
24 speeches .2 hosts. 6 acts. 4 hours. It was pretty cool and of course quite monotonous at times. Well; some of them had OBVIOUSLY been copied off the internet. Some of them had obviously told to do the topic by their teacher. And some of them were just so downright nervous they were ready to pull out. It is this last that brings me to one of my Grade 2 students, Eli. Absolute doll. Now I know I'm not supposed to have favorites, but when I found out it was him that was doing the speech I inwardly squealed in delight. Such a character Eli is. He is like a Chinese Martin Luther King Jr. I swear! Eli is a somewhat cool but nerdy looking kid, on who i do not even reach his shoulder (may be a slight exaggeration but he is realllllllly tall) and has a wicked sense of humor and is sweet as. Very nice kid. Anyhow. His topic was "take me to your heart" and the poor thing was on the verge of pulling out he was sooooo nervous. I'm so glad he went ahead and did it. Was absolutely amazing! His hands were moving, his eyes roaming, his voice all over the place. Heck he OWNED that stage man!!! Was so proud of him, just wanted to hug him. (yes, it would seem that I've grown a heart here). This kid's English is amazing, he debates with me in English sometimes about whether or not people should learn it (I play devils advocate) and they are really interesting! Eli was not the only student that made me feel really proud last night.
Have I told you about Gin? (I may have referred to him as Lady Gaga on occasion due to his absolute obsession with Lady Gaga). Well, Gin's speech was about English and the benefits of learning it. He was so natural! I swear he seems more comfortable speaking English than Chinese. Amazing kid. He also OWNED the stage! Walked out and in perfect English "Hello guys! My name is Gin and I'm here to tell you about English..." He then proceeded to walk around the stage, using his hands, his voice, his eyes he then proceeded to jump off the stage and get the audience to do things that he told them to. Freaking amazing. Wanted to hug him, was so proud..
I can't really describe the feeling, but I suppose it would have to be something similar to seeing your brother, sister, son or daughter do something absolutely monumental (like graduating the top of their class, getting married, going to school for the first time). Wanted to cry, laugh, scream with delight and hug them all at the same time. It was this moment that it absolutely hit me square in the chest. I was going to have to leave these people in little over a months time. These people that I have spent almost every day with for the last 3.5mths. I may not see them again, I may only ever see them once again in our entire lives. Pretty gut wrenching actually.
But hey, enjoy it whilst it lasts I say. Life is the here and now, it is impossible to live in fear of what is yet to happen.