I know it’s been a while since my last blog/email and it’s simply because I’ve been chilling and relaxing with the team and doing stuff around the city and because I’ve been lazy. So I hope I can sum up all the days that I’ve missed but there has been a lot that has gone on since last Tuesday. Wednesday and Thursday can be summed up as just regular days at camp with the children running around, kids hanging off my shoulders/arms, and some capture the flag which they turned into defend the country’s national treasure. Then came Friday, which was a very interesting day. First, some background information: CMC is getting a sports complex built by Barclays (a rich British bank) and Barclays wanted some publicity on their investment. So they brought in one of England’s most famous football coaches and a famous soccer player to the camp to play with the kids. Before Friday, it seemed like a cool idea and I thought that the kids would have some fun playing with soccer players. What it turned out to be was a typical publicity stunt for Barclays. The coach and player came in, said some words to the cameras, and watched as local soccer coaches taught the kids some basic football skills. Then they took numerous photos and gave the kids tons of gifts but did it without any real meaning. When we gave the kids gifts of candy and stickers, they ate their little hearts out and gave us some of their stickers. When Barclays gave the kids water bottles and pens, they had puzzled looks on their faces like, “What do we do with these?” Also, the British ladies who were running this little publicity stunt were not too thrilled to work at a dusty community center with migrant children. They complained soooooo much! Then, one of the local coaches gathered the children by saying, “Okay! All the migrants come over this way!” This would have been extremely offensive but luckily the kids could not understand what he was saying with his thick British accent. The one good thing that came out of that day of camp was meeting with Jonathan Hursh and at least having a brief conversation with him about CMC and how far they’ve come in only it’s three years of existence.
After the craziness of that day, we went to lunch and then were told that there were extra tickets to a football tournament in Beijing and wondered if we would like to go. We watched two football matches that night in a tournament that had three British teams and only one Chinese team, Team Beijing. I had a blast at the tournament and it was fun because one of the volunteers from the camp, Becky, came and watched with us (she’s British!). The Beijing team was not that good and got fourth place in the tournament. The second game was for first play and was a good game. Plus, there were tons of fans that came from England and I just loved cheering/yelling/singing with them. Most of my China team just ohhed and ahhed over the attractive and athletic footballers. That was such a fun night!!! The next day was just a lazy day for us and our team trying to figure out what to do the next week since our other camp was also canceled because of the swine flu. In hindsight, we were lucky to get in at least one camp since most other teams/organizations that came to China didn’t get to hold one camp or were quarantined because of swine flu. But as of now, we do have an option to run some English camps just outside of Beijing so please pray that we might get to do that. Sunday we went to church and the Pearl Market again so people could finish up some last minute shopping and I got some cool stuff too. And then I got one of my favorite things in the world… A FOOT MASSAGE!!! I should probably stop getting those since it’s eating into my pocket but they just feel soooooo good. Almost better than a head massage (wow, did I just say that?). Anyways, that’s all I have for now but I will give you another update as more stuff happens.