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China: Internship Program, Summer 2012


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Talent From The Heart

An evening of talent to benefit thechildren of migrant workers

Join us for a celebration of talent fromfar and wide with all proceeds going tothe De Xing School.The event will feature a wide variety of talent includingsinging,dancing,film and a specialmartial arts performance by the DeXing students.The money raised will gotowards purchasing clothes and schoolsupplies.Tickets will be sold at the door.

Sunday,July 22nd

7:30pm-9:30pm

NordicaCulture Center Xi Ba Road No.101Chuang Ku

Price:50yuan

爱的奉献

为农民工儿童(和部分孤儿)献爱心的慈善才艺秀

快来加入我们为帮助德馨学校而举办的多种多样的才艺秀活动吧!这项活动会包括一些美国青年艺术家们带来的唱歌,舞蹈表演,以及短片放映和一系列德馨学校孩子们带来的特殊的武术表演。此次慈善秀所筹集的善款将为孩子们添置衣物或补给学校开支。门票将在诺地卡入口处销售。

7月22日晚6点至7点

西坝路101号创库内诺地卡文化中心

门票价格:50元

Sunday,July 22nd -7:30pm-9:30pm -Nordica

Culture Center Xi Ba Road No.101Chuang Ku

Price:50yuan

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China: Internship Program, Summer 2012

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We Got Talent

I-Team,China: Internship Program, Summer 2012

Description

Talent From The Heart An evening of talent to benefit thechildren of migrant workers Join us for a celebration of talent fromfar and wide with all proceeds going tothe De Xing School.The event will feature a wide variety of talent includingsinging,dancing,film and a specialmartial arts performance by the DeXing students.The money raised will gotowards purchasing […]

Posted On

07/20/12

Author

I-Team

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Throughout my time in KunMing, I have taken a fancy to the method of transport known as walking. I've done this for a multitude of reasons. These include the horrendous traffic (see "A Treatise on Traffic"), the wide availability and cheapness of a nice bottle of soda (it's approximately 50 cents a bottle, quite a steal no?), and the excercise necessitated by all those cheap bottles of soda. But really the biggest reason has been the feeling of adventure and discovery that walking around an unknown city offers. It's a remarkable feeling to be walking along an unfamiliar street, the foreign babble of mandarin Chinese forcing you inward, alone with your thoughts, and then to be hit with the sudden realization that you've seen that oddly shaped structure before, or that the nearest street sign can point you in the correct direction. Stumbling upon the shopping center known as Wan Fu Jing purely by accident after walking for nearly an hour completely stopped me in my tracks as I was overwhelmed by the sheer sense of discovery. It was really an amazing moment that had me muttering celebratory exclamations for the next five minutes. But sometimes your alone time with your thoughts and desire for discovery areinterrupted by the sudden urge for a 50 cent Coke or Fanta, and a whole new adventure presents itself. The often brief situational conversations that can happen at any moment on the streets of china are another thing that keeps me walking rather than calling a cab or hopping on the bus. Just the other day, I went to buy a soda from one of the independantly owned small food and drink shops that pepper the streets of KunMing where two locals stood contemplating their purchase. As I waited for the two folks to conclude their pondering, one of the men spontaneously inquired what I was going to buy. "Sprite," I responded, utilizing my newly learned Chinese grammar patterns to their fullest. The fact that I was able to respond with a reasonable amount of confidence brought a grin to the man's face. He muttered something to me which I did not completely catch, but by then the shopkeeper had brought me my Sprite, so I settled on the response of "Sprite is quite tasty." The man chuckled an agreement and then we said our goodbyes as I walked off with my carbonated beverage, feeling rather pleased with myself. Even inconsequential conversations such as this one have a strange power to make me feel just a little less like the gigantic, out of place foreigner that I am, and make my day that much better. It makes me a little upset that the high rate of construction and subsequent increasing of rent will probably lessen the amount of these sorts of brand-less snack shacks and take away opportunities for profound psychological discussions such as the one I had a few days ago. A final boon to using the most basic form of transport (aside from crawling I suppose) would be the simple act of observation. Strolling about rather than zooming by in your gasoline powered vehicle allows you to enjoy the journey rather than just the destination, and through doing so you can glean insights into the world transforming around you. After a 4 day absence from a certain street due to the mid course excursion and other complications, I returned to find that a tarp over a gravel heap had somehow transformed into criss crossing scaffolding. The mystery of how this transformation magically occurred still eludes me, but it was a really cool moment for me personally to think about how rapid the change is occurring in this relatively unknown city of 6 million people. As the Ferris Bueller quote goes, "Life moves pretty fast. If you don't stop and look around once in a while, you could miss it." Among all the practical and more random reasons to walk around (once you realize there are no traffic rules, being a pedestrian becomes almost like a game of Frogger), I think our whole group could agree that walking about the city of KunMing is really the best way to get around.


Plus, think of all the excercise you get!

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China: Internship Program, Summer 2012

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Musings of a peripatetic wanderer

Sam Levatich,China: Internship Program, Summer 2012

Description

Throughout my time in KunMing, I have taken a fancy to the method of transport known as walking. I’ve done this for a multitude of reasons. These include the horrendous traffic (see "A Treatise on Traffic"), the wide availability and cheapness of a nice bottle of soda (it’s approximately 50 cents a bottle, quite a […]

Posted On

07/19/12

Author

Sam Levatich

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The location of the financial firm I am interning in has many advantages. Among them is the fact that it lies in the center of Kunming, home to the most modernized, western influenced part of the city. The center is home to bustling traffic with the constant meloldy of the cacophonous honking. Home to the most modern malls of the city which boasts American brands such as Nike, Levi's, KFC, and Dairy Queen. The center serves as the popular pathway not only for many foreigners, but for the younger generation of Chinese that seek to adapt a Western style of dressing.

And so this was the energetic yet familiar environment that surrounded me as I sat in one of the outside tables of a coffeeshop (Starbucks), reading the newspaper before going in to work. Half reading the newspaper, half peering out to look at the people walking by, I encoutered what I believe were disdainful stares from the younger generation of Chinese that I mentioned earlier. I looked to my left and sitting in one of the tables close by, another Chinese man in his early 30's also gazed at me. I stared at him as well with determination, with a look of "yes, I am a foreigner but I am from Earth, please look away and mind your own business". After a couple of seconds I noticed he was not going to look away so I gaveup the staredown and continued with my reading.

Five minutes later the same man pulled up a chair and sat down right next to me. He spoke English. What a relief. He wanted to practice his English and so decided to approach me, he told me. After the ordinary and redundant small talk and introductions I figured that I might as well take advantage of this opportunity. And so I tackled him with serious questions about China, questions that played the center of controversies among many debators and democratic countries, questions about the future of China, questions that allowed me to feel the perspective from an ordinary Chinese man out of the 1.2 billion that live here.

We talked about traffic regulation. About how I thought it was a disaster here in Kunming when it came to cross the street or change lanes when driving. About how he didn't understand the concept of fines and penalties when it came to transit laws.

We talked about China's economy. About how he felt it was developing very fast. About how he felt about the the wealth gap between the lower and upper classes. About how I felt about China controlling many European and American debts and the way it sought to fortify its economy with the creation of a strong middle class.

We talked about the 'one child policy' in China. About how I thought it would affect the the social behavior of the next generation and how it would even affect business. About how he thought it was necessary because of the overwhelming Chinese population.

We talked about the Chinese government. About how he felt about the many flaws of a communist government. About how the government....

....he had to leave and our conversation was cut short. Cut short in the part of the conversation that I was most looking forward to hear about. A topic that I feel (from what I have observed in my short visit here) many ordinary Chinese don't have a developed opinion about because of that same reason; because of the Chinese government.

I'll go tomorrow to Starbucks and sit outside to read the newspaper.

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China: Internship Program, Summer 2012

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That Stranger in Starbucks

Luis A. Ferre Sadurni,China: Internship Program, Summer 2012

Description

The location of the financial firm I am interning in has many advantages. Among them is the fact that it lies in the center of Kunming, home to the most modernized, western influenced part of the city. The center is home to bustling traffic with the constant meloldy of the cacophonous honking. Home to the […]

Posted On

07/11/12

Author

Luis A. Ferre Sadurni

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So we were all asked to go out in pairs and observe traffic in china and take down our observations, and then yak about them, so without further ado:


First off, a quick description of Chinese traffic. It's quite the strain on the senses. The driving mentality (and this goes for pedestrians and motorists as well) is "every man for himself" with the car horn being the tool used to alert others that if no one does anything a crash will occur. Thus, as you can imagine, what results is a congested conglomerate of cars accompanied by a cacophony of crazed honking (check out that alliteration). It's almost like a twisted real life game of Mario kart, albeit with much higher stakes and less fun.


An interesting contrast Adam and I noticed was the contrast between governing styles (at least for America and china); china's communist government is not much bigger on the collective whole (class unity and all that jazz), yet the driving system is very focused on the individual. Contrastingly, in the states, our public highway system is governed by some rather set in stone rules, and is more controlled by the government than by the people (which is a bit opposite to the ideals of democracy in a way). While this may just be a weird coincidence and totally unrelated, we thought it was kind of interesting to think about.


So yeah, now that we have discovered the absolute truth behind the crazy Chinese traffic (not really), we will all be able to sleep easier tonight and we hope that you will as well. China is great so far, and the traffic woes are easily forgotten in the hectic (but super fun) day to day schedule of our little dragons coterie.


Zai jian!


-Sam (yeah, Adam made me write it)

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China: Internship Program, Summer 2012

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A treatise on traffic

Sam Levatich & Adam Soll,China: Internship Program, Summer 2012

Description

So we were all asked to go out in pairs and observe traffic in china and take down our observations, and then yak about them, so without further ado: First off, a quick description of Chinese traffic. It’s quite the strain on the senses. The driving mentality (and this goes for pedestrians and motorists as […]

Posted On

07/10/12

Author

Sam Levatich & Adam Soll

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Yesterday, in the crowded, trash filled streets of Kun Ming, Gina and I found a jewel of a place; a second hand workshop where Li Yuan and Yu Ping, two of Alyssa’s friends, ran their business, A’BU and Jeans Family. The workplace was a small, clean room, with one wall lined with shelves of fabric, cloth scraps and boxes of buttons. Tables with two antique looking sewing machines stood on the opposite wall, and three rambunctious kittens ran around underfoot. Prototypes of their latest items ranging from denim bags to wallets to pocketbooks hung from pegs on the wall. Their products were made of recycled clothes and scraps of donated fabric, and each sported the company’s logo, a simple yet adorable elephant head. Yu Ping proudly showed us around, telling us how the company originated and how it had grown to three other locations all around Kun Ming. The atmosphere of the whole place was friendly and everyone was excited to tell us about their progress. As Gina and I walked out, thanking the team profusely, Li Yuan gave us her name card, inviting us to visit her store, which is conveniently located closer to the program house in the heart of Kun Ming. We promised to return, eyeing a couple of bracelets made of recycled jeans for only 30 yuan. Walking down the six flights of stairs Gina and I could not stop raving about A’BU and Jeans Family; we both believe more value and recognition should be giving to entrepreneurships and small businesses such as the second hand store. It was amazing to see such creativity and independence thriving in the heart of a city overrun with never ending globalization. We can’t wait to extend our ideas and knowledge gathered at A’BU and Jeans Family to our work at Heart to Heart in the following weeks.

Cheers,

Kat and Gina

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China: Internship Program, Summer 2012

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Day in Kunming

Kat Harling,China: Internship Program, Summer 2012

Description

Yesterday, in the crowded, trash filled streets of Kun Ming, Gina and I found a jewel of a place; a second hand workshop where Li Yuan and Yu Ping, two of Alyssa’s friends, ran their business, A’BU and Jeans Family. The workplace was a small, clean room, with one wall lined with shelves of fabric, […]

Posted On

07/10/12

Author

Kat Harling

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hey!

So I want to start out by saying that my host family is awsome! From day one they have made me feel welcome and involded in everything they do. They act normally, almost as if im not there, which makes me feel like i can be myself and be comfortable. My first weekend with them was great!

On Saturday I woke up feeling rested and ready to do what my family had planned. I opened my door, grabbed my book and sat on the couch to read for a while. My host mom came over and asked ifI wanted to go vegetable shopping with her. I jumped up excitedly to go get dressed and accompany her. We walked down the street a little way, I looked at my surroundings still not familiar with them. She stopped along the way to the market to buy some shrimp she saw (still alive and moving in the bag). We arived to the market which was huge and had many stands vegetables along with meat and noodle stands. Wishing I had brought my camera to take pictues of the rows of stands, I followed my host mom down the isles. Stopping at various stands picking out mant different vegetables and paying what seems extreamly cheap to me. After that we moved on to a meat stall where we purchaced some pork. Right infront of the meat stall was a noodle stand where we bought some noodles and tofu. We carried many bags of food back to the house, upon ariving my host mom asked ifI wanted to help make dumplings. This turned out to be one of a kind experience, we made everything from scratch. First we made the dough, then I was put to work chopping up the pork very tiny. It was great to spend the time making the dumplings with her and laughing at my ugly dumplings.

Sunday was much more eventful. The morning was spent going to the bookstore and going to the eye doctor for my host sister. In the afternoon we went to a big park that had a huge lake, parts of it filled with flowers and others filled with boats. We bought some snacks and got a boat to ride around in. My 9 year old host sister ended up driving the boat which made for an intersting ride. Bumping into other boats and the ocasional wall. After wandering around for a while and taking picutes we came to the section with rollercoasters and games. I went on rides with my host sister. Altogether my weekend was really fun and im looking forward to more exciting experiences with them.

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China: Internship Program, Summer 2012

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Weekend with Host Family

christine weiland,China: Internship Program, Summer 2012

Description

hey! So I want to start out by saying that my host family is awsome! From day one they have made me feel welcome and involded in everything they do. They act normally, almost as if im not there, which makes me feel like i can be myself and be comfortable. My first weekend with […]

Posted On

07/10/12

Author

christine weiland

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Today,Cat and Iventured out to the streets of Kunming to observe traffic patterns. How does traffic reflect the culture? How do these behaviors signifynation-wide changes? These are our hypotheses:

1. Right of Way. We noticed that drivers do not stop - for any one. If you want to turn left in an intersection, go for it. If you want to merge lanes, why not? Everyone believes he or she has theright of away, the prerogative to drive carelessly. As a generalization, Chinese drivers seldom use blinkers or hand signals. Pedestrians jay-walk. People seem to believe that this growing country is their's for the taking. While these driving habits are dangerous, they also reveal a heightened sense of confidence and power.

2. Hierarchy. Buses/cars > motorcycles/bikes > pedestrians. While many drivers and walkers alike seem head-strong and rash at first, we realized that there is a system of respect. In many ways, roads in China are like Confucianism - some participants on the road have authority and hierarchy over others. Bikers aren't stupid. When they see a bus barreling down their supposedly bike-only lane, they move.While pedestrians aren't as smart, they still have a brain. When they see amotorcycle piercing along their supposedly pedestrian-only side walk, they generally run out of the way. VMH = vehicle mass hierarchy.

3. Development. China is growing fast. We all know it. So does the NY Times, Washington Post, CNN, Economist,etc. etc. etc.So does traffic in China. Not only is safetynot a priority when driving, so isthe quality of development in China. The point is to grow quickly, not dilly-dally with democracy,a unique senseof architecture, or the environment. (This is totally a generalization, since much of China's development is uber impressive and easily trumps America's). Similarly, the priority in Chinese driving is to get to your destination ASAP, regardless of the lane markings on the road or intersections or pedestrians. There is a quota, there is a target, that should be met.

Even though China has some traffic problems, it is still an AMAZING country with ansupurb culture, history, and people. Zai jian.

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China: Internship Program, Summer 2012

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Chinese Traffic

Michael Averell,China: Internship Program, Summer 2012

Description

Today,Cat and Iventured out to the streets of Kunming to observe traffic patterns. How does traffic reflect the culture? How do these behaviors signifynation-wide changes? These are our hypotheses: 1. Right of Way. We noticed that drivers do not stop – for any one. If you want to turn left in an intersection, go for […]

Posted On

07/9/12

Author

Michael Averell

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    [post_content] => 

Hi everyone,

This is Gina and Kat. We just arrived on an overnight sleep train from Shuan Lang, and are now sitting in the Program House in the heart of Kun Ming, waiting for breakfast and the sun to rise. We have a busy day ahead of us, meeting our Chinese teachers, volunteers, and homestay families, and getting in touch with our internship mentors. With the help of our volunteers, Chinese college students studying English, we will be shopping for clothing, phones, international calling cards and other bare necessities. We're looking forward to tonight's traditional Chinese family style dinner with out host families, and spending our first night with them. Chinese classes start tomorrow, as well as our internships, which range from marketing to finance to sustainability to teaching. Kat and I will be working together with the Heart to Heart program here in Kun Ming. For our independent project we will be teaming up with Noah, our designated group photographer, to create a documentary about a school for children of migrant workers on the outskirts of the city, and will hopefully be able to present our work at a fundraiser. But that's all in the future and as of right now we're just looking forward to a breakfast of noodles, fruit, and you tiao.

Happy early fourth of July from Gina and Kat!

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China: Internship Program, Summer 2012

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Back in Kunming (7/4)

Gina Chang & Kat Harling,China: Internship Program, Summer 2012

Description

Hi everyone, This is Gina and Kat. We just arrived on an overnight sleep train from Shuan Lang, and are now sitting in the Program House in the heart of Kun Ming, waiting for breakfast and the sun to rise. We have a busy day ahead of us, meeting our Chinese teachers, volunteers, and homestay […]

Posted On

07/7/12

Author

Gina Chang & Kat Harling

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West- crazy traffic but regulated by police officers and transit laws.

China- crazy traffic. Period.

West- toilet you can sit on. More comfortable, not as sanitary

China- hole on the ground that you have to squat on in order to take care of your needs. Have had near fall experiences in many occasions, more sanitary.

West- good manners to sit up straight when eating and bring food up to your mouth.

China- good manners to hunch over your food and slurp rice and/or noodles out of the edge of the bowl. I do not feel comfortable doing this. My home stay mother gets anxious everytime she sees me taking my food all the way to my mouth instead of slurping it.

West- wearing shoes or not inside the house doesnt make a difference

China- get home, take off sneakers, put on sandals in first floor, put on slippers if I want to go to the second floor of my house, put on another kind of slipper when using bathroom.

West- temperpedic offers a wide range of matress comforts.

China- hard bed

West- drink water with meal

China- drink tea and at times no drink at all.

West- use napkins during meals

China- use tissue paper

West- breakfast: eggs and toast, lunch: salad and sandwich, dinner: steak or chicken with rice, pasta, or potatoes

China: noodles, noodles, noodles

As I continue my adventure in China I notice more and more superficial and concrete differences between China's culture and mine. As I keep getting used to all these differences I start to notice that just like many of customs, chinese customs have a reason and method to them. I start to comprehend the Chinese mentality and mindset more and more with each passing day. When my journey ends I wish to learn from the Chinese culture more than merely understand it.

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China: Internship Program, Summer 2012

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Contrasts

Luis A. Ferre Sadurni,China: Internship Program, Summer 2012

Description

West- crazy traffic but regulated by police officers and transit laws. China- crazy traffic. Period. West- toilet you can sit on. More comfortable, not as sanitary China- hole on the ground that you have to squat on in order to take care of your needs. Have had near fall experiences in many occasions, more sanitary. […]

Posted On

07/6/12

Author

Luis A. Ferre Sadurni

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    [post_date] => 2012-07-06 00:00:00
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    [post_content] =>                  

Wow. This week has gone by so fast. We're already back from our orientation in Shuanglang (small village outside of Dali), and fully into the swing of Kunming life. This group of students is truly special... we're so proud as we see them bond and function as a group, get to know their homestay families, and then fully take ownership of their internships.

This weekend students will be spending time with their homestay families, while keeping in daily contact with instructors. Each student is relishing in this opportunity to practice their Chinese, as well as develop a deeper understanding of Chinese culture.

Again, we couldn't be more proud.

We hope that all are doing well back home. Please stay posted here, as we post more information on things such as our service project, and of course as students post more yaks about the trip!

Cheers,

The I-team

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China: Internship Program, Summer 2012

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Go Kunming!

Instructors,China: Internship Program, Summer 2012

Description

Wow. This week has gone by so fast. We’re already back from our orientation in Shuanglang (small village outside of Dali), and fully into the swing of Kunming life. This group of students is truly special… we’re so proud as we see them bond and function as a group, get to know their homestay families, […]

Posted On

07/6/12

Author

Instructors

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