Raini and Sienna, Minna and Kathy and Jaana and Yiwen kept in touch during the Spring 2016 via WeChat. WeChat was the best option, because it worked both in China and Finland. It was also possible to use the Web WeChat with the computer, so it made communicating and sending attachments more convenient.
In China the volunteers also created the Finland-China chat group, that we used to communicate and share information about the conference. Tiina, Raini, Minna and Jaana also had their own group, that was easy way to keep in touch and share pictures while everyone was in the different school building.
All Finnish-Chinese co-worker pairs wrote their project plan together about the theme that was suitable for both countries, for the students of both teachers and also for professors and team leaders in both countries. During the Spring all pairs chatted, sent attachments, shared ideas, improved the project plan many times and also Minna and Raini had a few Facetime voice calls with their partners before the Finnish team arrived in Beijing.
After arriving in Beijing the Finnish team meet their Chinese partners for the first time. It was exciting moment for them all! After talking and getting know each other a little bit better, pairs started their work with students. All 25 students were at first very excited, because they didn’t know each other or even the Chinese teacher. That’s why on the first lesson we had to get to know each other by playing different kind of “getting know each other” games. The students also made the name tags by using their English name.
All teachers and students worked together in Beijing for 3-4 days before the demo lesson. During working Chinese professors and Tiina gave them advices how to improve their project and also told them how well all pairs worked together. It was nice to get positive feedback, because all teachers worked hard before and after arriving in Beijing.
After every hard working day we had dinner with Chinese or Americans. In Beijing we got a chance to have a dinner in Mongolian Hot Pot restaurant. Guali ordered us the traditional Chinese food, f. ex. boiled chicken legs – that was new for all of us. During the dinner time we enjoyed also a traditional Chinese performance and saw how the noodles were made longer and longer. On the another evening we had dinner with our Chinese teacher partners. Then we tasted the Beijing roasted duck – it was so delicious and we also liked a lot of the dessert called “Bomb”.