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Wednesday, August 03, 2016

What did you do this summer?

What Did You Do This Summer?
Flower Greeting from Anlong High School
Flowers Greeted us at Anlong High School 

Franzini Family Volunteered for our
Summer Camp in China
What did you do this summer!

Maria Franzini helping a camper prepare for the talent show.
Maria Franzini helping a camper prepare for the talent show
The Franzini family has a very interesting answer to that question. Carolyn Franzini, her daughter Maria Franzini, and Maria's son Theo all volunteered at our Friendship Summer English Camp in Anlong County of Guizhou Province. The camp was organized by Anlong No. 1 Middle School in co-operation with Blessing Hand. Carolyn taught English and US culture classes while Maria was the camp music and dance teacher.

Theo Swank, who is ten, was a great friendship ambassador because of his outgoing personality and red hair. The Chinese students had not seen many Westerners, especially cute ones with red hair. They all treated him like a movie star wanting to take a picture with him and get autographs. Theo took it all in stride and graciously participated in all the camp activities from the talent show to sports.

Franzini Family with a Chinese Friend
Franzini Family with a Chinese Friend
Anlong is a minority Buyi area in central China. Just getting there required two planes and a bus. Guizhou Province is one of the poorest areas of China according to Chinese statistics. The Franzini three generation family found eager students and appreciative educational and government officials. The students especially enjoyed Texas line dancing and folk dancing.

Maria Franzini is a music teacher at Lexington's Providence Montessori School, and Theo attends the School for the Creative and Performing Arts in Lexington. Grandmother Carolyn Franzini is a retired educator and serves on the Morehead City Council. Since Morehead is a Sister City to Yangshuo, China, Carolyn has taken part in many Sister Cities exchanges including carrying art back for a planned art exhibit of Yangshuo professional paintings at the Rowan County Arts Center in January, 2017. 

Carolyn, who has traveled to China ten times, stated, "I love international travel, because I feel it is a great educational experience to learn about other cultures. As a result, you look at your own culture with new eyes. The Anlong students were very eager to get to know each of us. They were very curious to learn about the US culture. I know they learned that we don't all live like we are portrayed in the movies."

Maria, Carolyn and Theo
Maria reported, "It was an amazing cultural exchange. It was inspiring to work with such dedicated students. They applied themselves whole heatedly to learning new music and dances.  It was also very interesting to learn how China's schools are different from those in the USA. "

Theo wants to go back again. He said, "Everyone was so kind to me at the camp. The locals in China liked to take pictures of me because of my red hair. I was a little unsure about the different toilets, but I adjusted just fine. "

Six teachers from the USA served in the camp along with eight volunteer translators. The students' usual English classes were taught by the Blessing Hands volunteers for three mornings, and the Anlong teachers enjoyed afternoon teaching methods classes with the volunteers. On the last two days of the camp, only the Anlong High School students supported by educational grants from Blessing Hands and Community Roots got to participate in a special US type camp with fun activities.  
Carolyn also got to see her Blessing Hands Scholarship student_ Wang Pinliang in Guiyang.
Carolyn also got to see her Blessing Hands scholarship student, Wang Pinliang (王品亮).

College Scholarships Needed

Carolyn Franzini shares support of one of our college scholarship students, Wang Pinliang 王品亮, who is studying statistics at GuizhouUniversity of Nationalities. Pinliang is from the Buyi people.  

Alisa (Zhengjin 正金) needs a new sponsor for her second year of college. The video below is her thank you video to her sponsor, who now can't help her due to financial problems.  We are looking for someone to help her through the next three years of her studies in finances. Her scholarship is $650 a year. 

Wang Zhengjin has lost her college sponsor.

Alisa Wang Zhengjin needs a new sponsor.
undefined  Give a $650 college scholarship.
undefined Give a $350 half scholarship.

Wu Xiaotong ___
Wu Xiaotong 吴晓彤
Wu Xiaotong

Good News! Two of our students in Gansu Province have qualified through entrance exams to go to Baiyin Experimental High School. The bad news is that Wu Xiaotong does not have a sponsor. These are her words.

"My family only has 3 persons. My father is usually not at home. He must make money for my family. It's so tired to work. My grandmother is very old, and she is not healthy. She is sick and weak, but she has to look after me. Life is harmful. Because I am young, I can't reduce it. I want to change my family's life. I want to go to a senior high school that is a boarding school that is the best school here. I have made up my mind to study well to pay back your kindness."

Wu Xiaotong_s grandmother is 82.
Wu Xiaotong's grandmother sits by their home.
The tuition expenses, books, and food will be much more expensive in high school. Wu Xiaotong will need $416 to afford high school for a year. Her father has no education, so any job he gets does not pay much. They have no land to farm. She has a 82 year-old grandmother who is not well. Xiaotong is 15 and a good student. Please sponsor her.

Thanks for your continued support of our Blessing Hands students.

Betty Cutts
Director of Blessing Hands
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