2019 Summer China Trip
Maxiang Elementary school visit
On Tuesday, IOF members Ellen, Tiffany, Helen, Alex, and Yanli got the opportunity to visit a new rural school called Maxiang Elementary School thanks to Zenan’s family’s connection. We donated (x amount of money) to help fund Zenan’s mom’s donation of a (item 1, item 2, item 3, etc) for each student. Ellen, Tiffany, Helen, and Alex introduced IOF on stage in front of the whole school during the welcoming ceremony. After the ceremony, we split up into groups to lead our individual activities. Ellen showed the students VR technology, Tiffany facilitated a marshmallow tower building contest, and Helen organized a game of charades. At the end of the day, we passed out an envelope to each student that included a handwritten note as well as one of each American coin. It was a wonderful experience getting to interact with a new group of students, and IOF plans to return to Maxiang next summer!
Changyuan Elementary school visit
On Wednesday, IOF visited Changyuan Elementary School for the second time. The students rushed down to greet us with warm welcomes and smiling faces. We kicked off the day with a welcome ceremony where we gave away scholarships, watched performances from the Changyuan kids, and introduced our new members. We then enjoyed lunch with the principal and other teachers. In the afternoon, we did the same activities that we did with the Maxiang school and also gave out goodie bags with American snacks in them at the end of the day. Seeing the Changyuan students again and seeing that they were just excited to see us the second time was an extremely touching experience.
Meeting VMA students
On Saturday, Ellen, Tiffany, and Helen spent the day with four kids from VMA. First, we met up at the Shenzhen Civic Center where we gave them some gifts from the United States. We walked around the area and stopped for boba and then played some card games and riddles before going to lunch at Pizza Hut. Ellen, Tiffany, and Helen tried durian pizza for the first time and loved it (with the exception of Helen). After lunch, we walked around some more and then took a taxi to a trampoline park. We spent an hour and a half at the park and tried out a variety of activities (see pictures). After the trampoline park, we drove to the mall the dinner place was at. We looked at some shops and then enjoyed a delicious dinner of coconut chicken, another new dish for the IOF members. After dinner, we watched a beautiful light show by the Shenzhen skyline. Finally getting to meet the VMA kids in person exceeded our highest expectations, the connection was strong and instant and made for an amazing day filled with new memories.