Our friends from Taiwan have arrived safely back home. We had a wonderful visit with them and wish it had not passed by so quickly.
While they were here, they taught us how to use Chinese Yoyo’s and shared
the art of calligraphy. We learned about their culture and traditions, and they experienced our learning and home environments.
We exchanged many gifts. They presented our school with 20 Chinese Yoyo’s
for our physical education classroom. Our friends also gave us a beautiful set of traditional Chinese puppets and these are on display in our rotunda. Each year, we present Raey Guang with a piece of student art work to showcase at their school. This year’s piece was created by Matthew Jonkman.
There were many more gifts, but the best gift we received is their friendship. Enjoy these photos…and sincere thanks to our host families for helping us to make this experience so special. Each year, our Taiwanese friends tell me that their favorite part of the trip is staying with Georgetown families. Thank you to the Baars (Quinn and Bryce), VanHaitsma’s (Kassidy and Jenna), Troyer/Impens (Emily), Fords (Ty), Eggers/Clark (Hannah), Schuur (Makiah and Emerson), Norton (Leah and Lucas), Brewer (Melia), Burget (Kenzey), Owens (Annabel), Baker (Zac) and Conkel (Nate).
Halloween of 2012 will always be remembered as one that we shared with our friends from Taiwan. The children from Raey Guang experienced their “firsts” for pumpkin carving, costume making and classroom parties with traditional games and activities.
I am in the process of collecting photos from teachers and parents for a special slide show to share later this week.
Until then, enjoy this photo of Emerson and Makiah Schuur taking Mindy and Angela trick or treating for the first time!
Our good friends from Raey Guang arrived today…bringing with them lots of excitement and energy!
We celebrated their arrival with an all school assembly, listened to presentations about the culture and foods, learned some mandarin phrases, watched a traditional puppet show and learned how to use a Chinese Yoyo.
This evening our friends are staying with Georgetown families, engaged in Halloween preparations and much more.
I have been receiving photos from families out and about this evening. Over the next couple of days, I will collect these for you to watch in a slide /show.
Enjoy the slideshows created by two teachers below!
To help our students and staff appreciate the distance our Raey Guang sister school friends are traveling to meet us, I created a screencast video using two great free apps: SCREENR and GOOGLE EARTH.
This video will take you on a virtual tour from the United States to Michigan to Hudsonville and our school to Taiwan then Pingtung County, arriving at No. 86 XingFeng Rd — Raey Guang Elementary School.
If you’d like to brush up on your mandarin and see introductory videos of our friends, visit these two prior posts:
Mr. Brain Kleinsmith, the Mandarin teacher at BMS and RMS, created some tutorials to help us prepare for our visitors from Pingtung, Taiwan. They will arrive on October 29 and stay through November 1.
As Mr. Kleinsmith shares in his introduction, our visitors are so very honored when we use these simple greetings. Speaking in their native language is a wonderful way to say, “We are so glad you are here!”
You can practice some simple phrases by listening to them here.
Our sister school, Raey Guang Elementary (Pingtung, Taiwan) will be visiting us October 29 through November 1. This will be their third visit to our school and we are thrilled to host them again.
Making the trip are 20 children (ages 8-12) and four teachers. There are twelve Georgetown families that are hosting our guests. The host family stays are the most memorable part of the visit–our Raey Guang friends never forget the kindness that is shown to them.
We have posted the photos of our visitors paired with their host students on a board in our lobby. You can also see a display in our rotunda highlighting features of the Taiwanese culture. Mr. Chen, one of the teachers, created a special blog to introduce each student.
The purpose of the trip is to expose the Taiwanese children to American culture, education, language, food and traditions. They are very excited to spend time with us during the holiday of Halloween.
Did you know that you can see the school of Raey Guang in the town of Pingtung by using Google Earth? If you have this application downloaded, paste this address into the site: No.86, Xingfeng Rd., Pingtung City, Pingtung County 900, Taiwan. Here is a photo of the school entrance using Google Earth. Isn’t technology amazing?!
During the visit, we will share photos on our blog. We are counting down the days to their arrival.
The ADVANCE Newspaper featured Georgetown and our Taiwanese Sister School in their May 5 edition. We are so honored to have a friendship with the teachers, children and families of Raey Guang Elementary.
Throughout the weekend, I will be photos of the host family activities as well as school day activities on the blog later this weekend.
Many thanks to these families for hosting our sister school representatives this week: Owen, Mattingly, Baker, O’Brien, Bouwen, Brouwer, Greenlund, Conkel, Gardner, Brajkovic, Gelder, Keur and VanderStel.
This morning, we officially welcomed our friends from Raey Guang Elementary School! They arrived on Wednesday morning and we have spent the past 36 hours learning about one another’s educational, cultural and social traditions. As a school, we celebrated our international friendship with songs, gifts and more together.
Mr. Bowen, one of our fourth grade teachers, created a slide show with highlights of the ceremony. You can watch this below!
Our Raey Guang pen pals are now in New York City! They are busy touring many sites in the Big Apple from now through Tuesday. Posted below are some photos they sent our way via email. We can’t wait for their arrival on Wednesday…and we are hoping the sun shines while they are visiting us.
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