Wednesday 25th July 2018
The Closing Ceremony!
Today began with a lecture to all schools about a Chinese folk-tale which told the story of a frog and its lost tadpoles. First, we were shown a video animation in Mandarin and then it was acted out as a role-play by the Chinese students. Little did we know, this introduction was to model the script that we too would be expected to perform! When we received the scripts, we decided parts and actions and had a practise of reading it in Mandarin.
Later in the day, we attended the Closing Ceremony and what a ceremony it was! There was a programme agreed by all schools to demonstrate our many talents. In the ceremony, we got to enjoy singing and dancing from the Changzhou Senior High School’s ‘Glee Club’, as well as an incredible pianist and violist whose music was haunting yet mesmerising. As well as this, we watched two students play unusual Chinese string instruments; the Erhu and the Guzheng. This was particularly intriguing as one of the students used plastic picks that were taped to her fingers to strum, pluck and gently and elegantly play the instrument like a harp. Again, awe-inspiring to say the least! Intermixed with the Chinese students, the British students were listed on the programme to demonstrate their talents. Alex Oswald sang ‘My Way’ first and set the standard, demonstrating his confidence and tone in a controlled and sophisticated manner appreciated by all schools (even the rival British ones!). Following this, Ella H showed off her unique and lively ballroom dancing skills when dancing the ‘Cha-Cha’ and, again, thoroughly made us all proud in dancing a solo in front of all students and teachers from the 5 schools. Following this, Emily, Adam C, Ella H, Alex and Amber showed their learning of Tai-chi in a sequence of moves they learnt in class. Finally, Sam Groarke performed a classic piano solo and showed his musical talent in a performance of ‘Music of the Night’ which was thoroughly enjoyed by all.
After the performances, Miss Cox was invited to receive the Changzhou Senior High School flag and Mr Redfern to receive the certificates for completion of the summer camp. The final celebration was an award for success at the Chinese Summer Camp which was awarded to Ella J for her efforts and commitment to all aspects of life in camp, both inside and outside of the classroom.
At the end of the ceremony, it was time to say goodbye to our Chinese buddies and Chinese teachers and thank them for their amazing hospitality. We shared our cards and well wishes and some of us even received bags of goodies from our buddies. Our final symbol of gratitude, and a means by which we hoped they would never forget us was when we gave each buddy one of our yellow ‘#TeamSPH’ t-shirts. Some of our buddies asked us to write personal messages on them and, then we took our final group photos as a camp and went to our rooms to get dressed for our last supper in Changzhou…how sad!!
This evening, Mr Redfern and Miss Cox took us and our honorary member of the group (No. 15: Xú Xiāo Yǔ aka ‘Ollie’) for a special meal to celebrate the end of our time in Changzhou. This was probably our favourite meal as there were lots of delicious dishes to choose from and the atmosphere of the restaurant was vibrant but elegant with luxurious seats and beautiful flowers. Towards the end of the meal, some of us became a little more daring and decided to try a fish eyeball! Adam Cole led the way fearlessly and described how it popped in his mouth but not in a wholly unpleasant way. Then, Sam G tried one too and described it as tasting like, ‘carbonara’!
After this, we went back to the dorm to pack. This was a serious struggle for most of us who had made ourselves at home in the camp and bought additional keepsakes, souvenirs and presents…meaning that for some of us, we needed an extra bag/hand luggage to even begin to contemplate the journey back to Beijing!