It was a while we wished to visit charity schools but we never so far put our thoughts into action.
So last week we packed our car after contacting two charity schools and decided to share with them our passion.
The first school we visited is called Sangjimeiduo, 300 km from Dali on the way to Tibet.
The school can host up to 90 students, but only 14 of them were there when we came.
We had a full week-end with them and from morning to evening we were free to provide any activities.
We introduced 3 balls juggling, poi spinning, contact dancing, acroyoga, some acrobatics, slack lining, stilt walking.
Also we had some workshops teaching them how to build their own juggling balls and handicrafts.
The evening we taught them how to use DJ and VJ equipment, and performed the last evening.
I really appreciated there open minds and their ways to take part in all the activities. They always try harder, never fight or have conflict with each other, show patience during explanation, it was a real pleasure.
This school is a tibetan charity school. It offers education (chinese, english, tibetan) to kids coming from poor family or not accepted in the normal school because of some physical handicaps. The manager and creator of the school is a Beijing woman educated in Germany whom chose to become a monk, offering her time to those in need, the school exists for over 10 years now.
Two years ago, some of the kids attended some our juggling gathering in Dali, and came to our home theater accompanied by Ben, their english teacher whom invited us to the school.
Coming to this school made us quickly realise that we are just a drop in the ocean and our contribution is so small compared with those spending years after years totally committed to those kids. But even such a short time gave us a tremendous amount of good energy, we promised to return and somehow find a durable way to work with the oldest kids.
We then took the road again toward Deqin, the last town before the Tibet border, and the main attraction there is Meilixueshan, a very beautiful mountain range, but the sky was very cloudy so we couldn’t see it clearly.
On the way back we passed to the second school we contacted, we understood the kids were preparing exams so we gave up on holding workshops but we anyway did performances.
This school is much bigger than the previous one, 131 students, managed by a tibetan monk. we bought some school books and pencils that we gave during the stilt performance.
Kids were really excited and loved it, they were all very curious asking when is the next performance, could we do two more, holding me by the arm, asking loads of questions.
At night fall we set up a small stage and performed fire show. They, one more time, didn’t lack enthusiasm and greeted up warmly with applause.
When we finished performance , one of the teacher came to us and gave us Hada, a white silk scarf around the neck as a sign of purity, honesty and respect.
I felt very moved, it was for me the first time I received hada, and I felt very grateful for this time.
The next day, we left the place. one more time the heart full of positive energy.
On our way back to Dali, we crossed Shangri-la (ZhongDian) a tibetan city. Many of you have heard of this place, famous for nearly totally burning down in march 2014. 2 years later, everything has been rebuilt, but something changed … tourism dropped and prices of rents have raised. Result, street empty, most of the shops are closed. But still at evening time on the main square people are happily dancing in rhythm on tibetan pop music. Among the touristic spot in Yunnan, Zhongdian is one of my favorite, i felt sad to walk those empty streets. If you have a chance to visit Shangri-la, it is very beautiful, it’s worth a visit especially Napa lake.
The next day, we dropped by in Baisha, a small village next to the most touristic city in China : Lijiang. Particularity of the place is the Naxi culture. They have their own ancient scripture (cf photo of the wall), makes the place quite unique.
We found a very laid back and relaxing village with few streets and many antique shops.
That was the end of this one week short trip in Charmful western Yunnan.
We ll be back !