This is the latest blog entry from the IPS delegation in China. Chris Collier, Ann Mennonno and Amy Wackerly started the journey with an Elementary Education conference. This describes their last day in Beijing. As you read this, they’re on the way to a school in Chengdu. Ann Mennonno, the new IPS Teacher of the Year, prepared the following post.
June 18, 2013
I woke up early this morning and walked to a local park. Many local citizens were there exercising. I sat for quite a while to watch them. It was beautiful. There traditional dance like movements were so peaceful. Others were dancing with long ribbons and some with swords. The meditative process and way they used every part of their bodies was amazing. There were people of all ages at the park exercising, even in their 80′s and 90′s. They were doing strengthening, stretching, and breathing exercises along with self-massages and acupressure. It seemed much more complete, balanced, and relaxing than my normal power walks at home. I will definitely research this more!
Our sighting today took us first to Tiananmen Square. The gardens here were magnificent. We strolled the square then headed to our second site — The Forbidden City. The Forbidden City was the Chinese Imperial Palace from the Ming Dynasty to the end of the Qing Dynasty. It sits in the middle of Beijing. The Forbidden City was completed in 1420 and consists of 980 buildings that cover 7,800,000 square feet. I have never seen anything like this palace before! Being the history lover that I am I thoroughly enjoyed learning about this palace. The one down side to the visit was how busy it was — it was Disney World busy!
We rounded out our sightseeing visits returning to Houhai again to do a little gift shopping. We have learned that you always ask for a lower price (I’m not good at this!) But there was a nice chess set I was interested in that was marked at 700 Yuan (which is about $119) that I got marked down to 100 Yuan! We also met two Americans that we briefly chatted with. We found out they were from Baltimore and huge Raven fans so we sent them on their way Just kidding – we showed them our Hoosier hospitality!Tomorrow we leave Beijing and head to Chengdu to begin our adventure all over again. Amy and I can’t wait to meet the students in our Chengdu school that we have been FaceTiming with for the past three months.
Tomorrow’s blog will be our wrap up thoughts of Beijing – we have listed many things we can’t wait to share.