The day started promptly at 8am, where we were introduced to the neonatal department and were informed about the importance of infantile touching, acupuncture and the traditional baby massages used within the Chinese culture. I believe I can speak for all of us when I say, we were astounded by the quality of English spoken by the lovely Jan, our nursing instructor, who was more than happy to accommodate for our lack of skill in speaking the wonderful Chinese language! The session itself was very informative and it was fantastic to see how different the Chinese methods of treatment are to those in England. Jan had the loveliest of natures and was very passionate in what she was teaching. It even made us feel relaxed just watching her demonstrate the acupuncture/ baby massages! We received some lovely gifts from Jan as the session came to a close; it was unexpected but so very much appreciated.
11:30 was fast approaching, so we all decided to head over to the canteen, escorted by the lovely students who had taken time out of their days to chaperone us on our action-packed adventure. One of the students asked what my favourite foods were, in a bid to help me narrow down the options which were provided to me in abundance. Lunch is always a fantastic opportunity to shape up on our Mandarin and to build friendships with other students.
After lunch, we eagerly rushed off to our accommodation, which is absolutely gorgeous might I add, to freshen up and get ready for our tour of the Ironman Museum. We were all just about to make a move to the bus patiently waiting outside for us, when we heard a rumble above our heads, loud enough to set a car alarm off, quickly followed by torrential rain! Our initial reaction was to quickly run to the bus to avoid getting soaked, however a selection of the students grabbed their umbrellas and kindly sheltered us from the rain, which to our amazement was another example of how truly generous and considerate the Chinese culture is.
The drive to the Ironman museum was a pleasant one as we got the chance to see more of Daqing and to take plenty more pictures. When we arrived at the museum we saw a group of young children in pristine uniforms, which we could only imagine were our equivalent to ‘scouts’ or ‘brownies’.
Once inside the Museum we felt honoured for the guided tour of the history of Daqing’s oil rigs. We learned that Daqing means ‘Great celebration’ and that they were so thankful and proud of Wang Jinxi as he was the leader of the drilling team, deputy director of Daqing revolutionary Committee amongst other titles. He was known as ‘the iron man’ for his dedication to the oil fields. We found it extraordinary that he used his own body to mix the cement and mud together regardless of his injured leg.
We topped off the day with a student conference; we were completely overwhelmed with the effort and preparation that went into the presentation given by the students. The presentation was followed by a game of ‘pass the flower’ which was an ice-breaker where the person holding the flower when the drum stopped had to stand up and choose 1) whether to introduce themselves, 2) Sing a song or 3) Answer a question on the Chinese culture. As well as that, they performed for us and we were absolutely blown away with how talented and confident they all were. We tried our best to join in singing along in Chinese, whilst linking arms with them. After receiving such powerful, moving performances we felt the need to give something back so we decided to dance to the Cha Cha slide and involved them all. Michael took the lead and started off our presentation by offering a speech and singing the Liverpool chant ‘ Si Senior ‘.
Soon after, a small group accompanied us for typical Yorkshire tea, otherwise known as a ‘proper brew’, this was very beneficial and emotional due to the lovely friendships we have made and will continue to form.
With love, from China x x
Blog post by Natasha Gaskell on Tuesday 11th June 2019