Panzhihua (攀枝花) is a small town–for China–nestled in a mountainous area of southern Sichuan province. Back in July I spent 2 weeks as part of a group of Peace Corps Volunteers offering training to local Primary and Middle School English teachers. It was a 14-hour train ride south from Chengdu through some lovely countryside.
There were 6 Peace Corps Volunteers and 180 teacher trainees. It was a hectic time during which everyone felt exhausted. Although 1 week would have sufficed–the teachers gave up their summer and were already quite capable–it was a success. It was important to be a presence there as a foreigner to share new teaching ideas, exchange culture and fellowship, and to help them improve their own English skills.
Other than being a small mining town, Panzhihua is also known for mangoes, and I had a steady flow of those the whole time. One of the teacher trainees even mailed a box of mangoes to my apartment so I could continue enjoying them at home.
5 responses to “Summer Project 2017”
I love looking at your pictures, and reading about all the things you’re doing with your students! Wow, you’re giving those students such a rich, hands-on education. In the midst of it all, you look joyous and beautiful, and I hope you’re indeed experiencing joy in your good work.
Four days ago I had brain surgery (it sounds like a joke when I say that!) to remove a cyst filled with fluid that had been putting pressure on my brain, and to install a shunt to continue to move the fluid from my brain to my GI track. Uff da, I’ll say, but I’m so very grateful to be living in a time and a place when something like that can be fixed. So I’m at home recovering, a bit weary and worn from it all, and at the same time filled with so much gratitude. I’m absolutely astonished at the technology that has me at home so soon, walking around and doing most of my usual activities.
You must have quite the amazing collection of pictures of your time there. Are you planning to come back this way anytime soon?
Thinking of you, and holding you in my prayers,
Oh my, what an update. Thank you, and I’ll keep you in my prayers for a continued recovery. I have traveled quite a bit during this summer break and will hopefully get some posts up soon about that (some travel in China, but I was also able to get to Indonesia and see my dear friends there).
I have 1 year left serving in the Peace Corps, but I may briefly visit the US during the winter (some health issues in the family). I am not certain yet, but am aiming to find work Stateside once I’m finished.
It’s very fun to see these beautiful pictures of you–in action :*)!–and to see the people and places in your life there. It seems that you have such a rich and full life there.
I’ve been a bit incognito this summer and fall, especially in the past several weeks since having brain surgery five weeks ago to have a cyst removed (not malignant, thankfully). I’m glad to have it behind me, and grateful that things went smoothly. I’m just now starting to see people again for spiritual direction.
Do you have any plans in the near future for a trip back this way?
May all be well, and sending a prayer for much peace and joy, each day,
Dear Jackie, many blessings to you. I’m glad you are recovering well. I have just sent an email about what’s up with me.
[…] Then, utilizing connections to primary school educators in the United States, I gave an introduction to the US education system with specific information and stories from two different elementary schools. I presented that lecture twice–once to fellow English teachers at my college, and again to primary school teachers during a training this past summer. […]