Saturday, May 7, 2011

Middle School Spring Adventure

The time has finally come when I was roped into writing a blog post. It's not that I am opposed to blogs, its just more of a Julie thing than me. Anyways, onto the pictures. This year the Middle School took a trip south to Qingdoa 青岛 and the area around the city. We were able to visit Confucius temple, climbed Taishan mountain, saw Eric Liddel's memorial, and looked through an old German bunker from the 20th century. It was a very good trip.

The following are some pictures from Confucius temple.

This is a stone slab with some of Confucius sayings inscribed on it.

This is the teaching area - Confucius would sit in the middle and his students would sit around the outside and listen to the lesson.

This is the main temple at the park. It is ironic that Confucius never wanted to be worshiped or idolized, he only wanted his teachings to be heard. Yet people still offer prayer and incense to him. In this picture you can see people burning incense to Confucius.

There are 11 dragon pillars on the front side of the main building. Apparently there are only 35 or so in the whole country, and 30 of them are here at Confucius temple.

The day after we visited Confucius temple we were able to climb Taishan mountain. This is the 3rd largest mountain in China - about 6,666 steps up. The mountains in China often have steps going up the entire path, which is kind of a bummer cuz stairs get really old to climb over and over again. After this day whenever we climbed stairs some of the students would always refer to "Taishan".

I took a picture of this guy shortly after we started climbing. He was carrying this load up as were some other people. There was a midway point on the climb with some resturants and things, but all the way up there were little shops selling all sorts of things. Most people would take the cable car up and supply their shops that way, but not this guy. He took his supplies up on his back the whole way up. When I got to the top I was able to look back and see him coming.

This is a picture from the midpoint area of the mountain. It was a little bit of a bummer having to look up and see how much farther we had to go.

This is a picture from the top, you can see in the distance some of the stairs we had to climb on the way up. Needless to say it was a long hike up.

Cable car on the way down.

These are some pictures of the kite museum we went to. They only let us take pictures of the entrance way.

This guy is one of the kite makers, he builds them all by hand. He let us come into his shop and take pictures of him working as well as some of the kites he made. He was excited to see us there and he showed us his photo album. He had been to quite a few places; DC, San Fransisco, Vegas, Paris, even London.

We also went to Eric Liddell's memorial. We were able to see the internment camp wear he was held by the Japanese. (Now its a Chinese Middle School except for a small building with some information as well as propaganda.)

Thursday we went to an old German bunker. The Germans invaded Qingdao around 1890 after the death of 2 German missionaries. They stayed in the city until the Japanese took over in the 1920's. After the Germans defeat in WWI they pulled out of the city and the Japanese occupied it until their defeat in WWII. The Chinese military used the bunker until the mid 80's when they turned it over to their historical society.

The main torrent of the bunker. Obviously the cannon has been removed the it still rotates.

Some picture of the city from the top of the hill.

This is the oldest castle in the city.

Some pictures of a Protestant Church in Qingdao - the church was built in 1909 and is still used for service today.

Finally some pictures of our very small hotel room.

Over all the trip was a great experience. We had some discipline problems after the 2nd day, actually had to send 4 boys home for leaving their rooms after curfew. Needless to say no one will do that again any time soon. But its always a lot of fun to spend time with the kids and get out of the classroom. You get to see the kids in a different way and they see you not always being a teacher.

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