Scottish Charity Number: SCO36069

2nd February 2020

Nik Janus reports from China – an epidemic is surging!

Home | Footprinter Reports | Nik Janus reports from China – an epidemic is surging!

Nik Janus is currently in China working as a volunteer teacher. He has sent us a report on how he’s getting on as a new coronavirus spreads across the country and beyond. 

A surging virus

Since my last report there’s a virus rampant throughout China which is spreading around the world now it seems. Hopefully, Project Trust will not see this as a big enough crisis to warrant sending the volunteers home early.

What’s interesting is that theres isn’t very much concern among the Chinese people. The school we are at is worried but that’s because we are volunteers. However, when it comes to people thinking about themselves they don’t seem very bothered by the virus which shocked me quite a bit. Most people are just continuing on with their lives and are just wearing a mask in the hopes that it will be enough to stop it from spreading. Even while travelling, most people don’t seem to be taking any extra precautions.

Recitals & the Macarena

I was asked to do a performance for the school at which I am volunteering and was asked to do something that reminds us of our time at primary school in the UK. We danced the Macarena and incorporated a few other dance moves to make it less boring. Most of the students really enjoyed it and during most of my classes after that performance, I would be asked to dance a solo for my students. I have taught many students this dance and they seem to enjoy having a wee boogie whenever they run into me in the corridor. I also tried to recite a Chinese poem but sadly it wasn’t recorded (although that may be a good thing for me) let’s just say it wasn’t a very good recital.

Winter brings snow day rules

The winter where I am situated is very harsh. There is a digger that has to come to the school grounds to dig up the snow as otherwise, it would be extremely difficult to move around. Something that took me by surprise is that at the school where I am volunteering, if the snow gets really bad the students aren’t allowed to go home even on weekends. So snow days can only mean that the students will have extra classes. The students don’t seem to be very bothered by this but I still tried to have some more games and fun activities for the students to do to help pass the weekend in a more fun manner.

Also when there are holidays, the students need to go to school during weekends to make up for the lost time during the holiday which is very interesting. I feel like if that was implemented in the UK it would be a lot less effective than it is in China.

Chinese New Year

During the Chinese New Year not much happened! Although I expected a very large celebration, it is mainly a time to spend time with loved ones and family so there wasn’t anything going on and all the shops and everything else were closed. I watched the celebration on TV and there was a lot of very cool dancing performances during the countdown which were much more elaborate than got would see in the UK.

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