Dr. Lomino in China: February 12
February 12: Flying Kites- An Introduction to the School Family
The trip by bus and metro took us through the middle of Guangzhou to a large city park where teachers, company officials, marketing staff, current school families and potential families are gathered for a spring celebration. It is a recruiting event, but also a time for relationship building between staff, parents and children. The brisk weather the past few days has been replaced by a strikingly pleasant Spring morning. I’m still wearing a sweater, but as the morning warms, I find it unnecessary. The crowd gathers and introductions are made. I am introduced as the new foreign director from America. Holding the mike I say, “It fills my heart with joy to see these happy children and their wonderful families. I am so glad to be here and l look forward to getting acquainted with each of you. We are going to have lots of fun together! Thank you!” I wave and am greeted with smiles and clapping.
Jecky introduces me to several parents including a mother who wants advice from me about setting boundaries for her son. Giving her my best grandmotherly advice, Jecky translates. I also have a wonderful conversation with Sarina, who speaks excellent English, and is the mother of Fae Fae one of the three-year old students. She tells me that her mother directed her every choice including her career path. Sarina has a Ph.D. in bio-medicine, but she says that she’s not sure this is really what she wants to do. She tells me that in China, many young people are forced to take courses of study because their parents want them to, and she experienced a great deal of stress all the way through school to make perfect grades. She said she doesn’t want to be that kind of mother to Fae Fae, but she wants her daughter to be successful. Sarina wants my opinion about the benefits of Forest Kindergarten and how it will help her little girl be successful in school. Of course, I eagerly shared my passion for nature-based education and how it will benefit Fae Fae.
In groups, the children and their parents put kites together and the fluttering paper kites are soon airborne. The morning concluded with some special picnic fare including avocado sushi, fried tofu and fruit bread.
The afternoon was spent shopping for warmer, smaller clothes. All the walking and eating new foods are contributing to more weight loss, which is a very good thing for me!
Today’s Insight: Meeting the parents and children bring me closer and closer to the reality of my work here and the privilege that is mine to help support the efforts of Lions Education to bring Forest Kindergarten to China!