As you know, I am the Blessing Hands intern for Summer-Fall of 2007. Currently, I am preparing to travel to China on June 24th, first arriving in Beijing and then in Yangshuo (where I will remain the majority of my stay). I will return to the United States on July 13th. During the weeks in China, I will be very busy with many different activities, including: visiting Blessing Hands scholarship candidates, hosting an art day, photographing the area, and meeting with schools around the region to discuss becoming "Sister Schools" with those in Morehead. I will try my best to blog during this time... however, because access to this site while in China is not guaranteed, I may have to post my experiences when I return to America.
I still have a fair amount of preparation to do (especially packing -- what a challenge that will be!), but I am extremely excited about the trip! As an Elementary Education major, I am very interested in the school atmosphere and love working with children. I also am a huge photography buff, so I can definitely reassure Mrs. Cutts that I will be taking pictures of anything and everything! Most of all, I am looking forward to the opportunity to serve others.
Yes, I sometimes get a little nervous about the trip... this voyage is definitely out of my comfort zone! However, I believe I need to challenge myself, to experience another culture, to see what life is like outside of the United States, to open my eyes to the needs present all around the world. What better way than to serve through Blessing Hands?
This internship is definitely an opportunity I will never forget. I am extremely thankful and blessed to be apart of something so much bigger than I. I can not wait to hop on that plane and get started!
Now, if I could just automatically become fluent in Chinese....
Thursday, June 07, 2007
We are applying for a grant. The Friendship Grant will encourage exchanges of pen pal letters, art, and Sister School relationships between Rowan County, Kentucky and our Blessing Hands students in China. Megan Mraz, our Morehead State University intern, will help get friendship exchanges started with a Friendship Art Day in Yangshuo in July, while she is there with the Morehead Sister Cities Delegation. The Blessing Hands students and other Yangshuo high school students will be invited to a Friendship Art Day. They will be encouraged to create a painting to send back to Morehead for a Friendship Art Show in our new Morehead Arts Center. We expect 95 of our students to send paintings for the show.
A people's choice award will be given at the show to the winning painting, which will be sent as an entry to the International Sister Cities Young Artist's Competition to represent Yangshuo. People at the International Sister Cities Conference in 2008 will see it, and if it is chosen to win there, it will become part of International Sister Cities promotions. Megan will also encourage the students to write to pen pals in Rowan County, sending them paintings.
Megan will be visiting schools in Yangshuo County, which want to be sister schools with Rowan County schools. She will take pictures and gifts back to nine schools in Morehead that might want to partner with them for Sister School exchanges. On the outgoing trip her suitcase will be full with gifts for teachers and schools. Coming back she will be carrying paintings, letters, and gifts to schools and individuals in the USA. All this takes money, so we are applying for a grant to help with the Friendship Art Show and pen pal letter exchanges.
When Megan returns, she and I will be visiting Rowan County Schools and organizations to show some of the paintings and encourage students to view the Friendship Art Show in person and on the Internet. You can see the paintings on the internet too. Megan plans to be an elementary school teacher, so she will enjoy teaching an English Class at Xingping Primary School and interacting with Rowan County primary students when she returns. She will also help with mounting the pictures for the art show and display some of her own photos from her trip to Yangshuo. She is an artist in her own right. I have asked her to post to the blog as well. She will be a busy young lady, but she will get college credit for her work with Blessing Hands.