Being part of the China Connections global project with Julie Lindsay and Katie Grubby has provided students in our remote rural school with some amazing opportunities to develop their understanding of the Chinese culture, language, history and geography etc. (Students in our school learn mandarin Chinese.)
One such live connection involved a group of year 9/10 girls using a skype videoconference call with Blair Li, a young girl who is passionate about developing the sport of surfing in China. She came from Xinjiang far away from sea to a Hainan, discovered the Baysurf club and obtained work at one of the resorts.
As our school is located approximately 25 mins from the sea in a highly popular tourist area and as surfing is a popular sport there, this was of high interest to us. There is something surreal about taking a virtual tour of the resort, seeing the bar where the tourists are sitting and capturing an insight into the outdoor setting that Blair was part of.
Skype was used for the vidoeconference. Blair talked a little about her work, what life was like, the fact that this current resort area used to be a Chinese village etc. The girls had pre-written questions to ask her. Unfortunately our connection lagged as we started this process and it was difficult to catch the answers.
Their questions included:
- What do you like about surfing?
- How did you learn about surfing?
- How did she discover that she likes surfing?
- Was it a hard decision to make – to leave your stable job?
- Why did you give up your job to teach surfing?
- How many people know how to swim? Children?
- How do they learn to swim?
- Are there any other surfers like you living next to the surf?
- How do Chinese people look upon women surfing?
- Does the sea scare you at all?
- How good and reliable is the surf where you are? Can people swim there? How big are the swells?
- How hard is it to get people interested in surfing? What do you do to encourage them to surf?
- Do you have to teach people how to swim first?
- Do you surf in competitions?
- How does rural China differ to the city China?
Thanks Blair for a fascinating connection.
Read more about Surfing Hainan