Dr. Lomino in China. February 19
February 19: Another Celebration!
Jecky told me Friday that I am to make another presentation on Sunday at the annual Parent’s Dinner at a downtown hotel, owned by one of the school families. Walking into the multiple-storied hotel lobby it appears quite elegant. A gold carving, covering the entire multi-storied wall, provides the backdrop to the reception area and a gigantic crystal chandelier hangs from a dome. Several of the teachers are here waiting. We were told to arrive by 12:30, even though the program is scheduled to begin at 3:30, so we wait together enjoying animated conversation. I learn more about the teachers every day, and I already feel like one of them. Interesting that the language barrier doesn’t seem so daunting anymore. So much can be communicated through body language and facial expressions! Most of the teachers can understand and speak basic conversational English. Now that I’m forming bonds of friendship, language really doesn’t matter that much. I just enjoy being with this group of people!
Some of the corporate officers arrive and we are invited into the dining room where the program will take place. It is quite a lavish setting with satin chair coverings and tablecloths and formal table settings, including several small dishes, unfamiliar to me, and even a matching ceramic chopsticks holder. (I later discover that one of the small dishes is to hold the steaming towel that is brought to each person right before the meal is served.)
The Lions Education Chinese New Year’s Celebration video is running on a large screen at the front while parents are being seated. Around 4:00, the formal program starts with awards given to teachers and parents. Jecky sits next to me and translates much of what is said. I am introduced a couple of hours later and go to the stage for my power point presentation about Forest Kindergarten in America and what I have learned so far about No Boundaries Kindergarten. I am pleased to give commendations about what is happening here and also to the parents for the wise decision they have made in sending their children to the first Forest Kindergarten program in China! Danny, the CEO, is sitting in the front and smiles throughout my talk—an affirmation that I appreciate. After my talk, Danny and one of his investors speak to the parents about their goals for increasing the number of Forest Kindergartens in Guangzhou and beyond. They receive an enthusiastic response.
The meal is served and as expected, it is bountiful. The first dish is my favorite—rice-stuffed lotus root, followed by many delicious vegetable dishes and of course meat as well. One of the advantages for eating with chopsticks, at least for now, is that my bites are quite small. I’ve not yet mastered the art! We stand several times for toasts as parents and others make their rounds from table to table with well wishes for the future of No Boundaries Forest Kindergarten.
I arrive home about 9:00 after a very full and successful day.
Today’s Insight: Celebrations are the same the world over. Food, good wishes and great expectations!