Volleyball team in China: Day 2

May 22, 2013

The Emporia State University volleyball team and Coach Bing Xu (back row second from left) pose with second-grade students in China.

We started the morning off with team breakfast at 7:30 although most of us woke up hours before that because of the time difference, which is ironic because I think it’s safe to say that almost all of the girls are not morning people. The Chinese breakfast was different from any breakfast choices than what we have in America, but we were all open to try new things.

ESU volleyball players present information about Kansas to a second-grade class at Beihang University.Immediately after breakfast we headed to the Beihang University elementary school where we spoke to a class of second graders about our culture. As we entered the classroom they were all singing a welcoming song and cheering because they were all extremely happy to have us. After giving a presentation a couple of students who weren’t too shy asked some of us players questions. 

We were impressed with their ability to speak good English at such a young age. We then went outside and got into groups and played volleyball with the students. It was one of the most amazing feelings to see how happy and excited the kids were to have us there. This was definitely an experience that we will never forget. 

Next, we went to a Beihang University physical education class where we did a team work activity with college students in that class. The language barrier made it difficult at first, but we found a way to communicate and work together in order to finish the activity. We all thought it was cool to work with students our age but of a different culture.

After lunch and a much-needed few hours break, we headed to practice with the Beihang University volleyball team. We quickly realized that this practice was going to be much different from what we’ve ever experienced. It started with their warm-up which was comparable to one of our workouts that we would do in spring season. The team was very disciplined, had a good work ethic and a lot of skill.  We look forward to getting the chance to play them in a real game and see how our skills match up, should be a good game!

ESU volleyball players and a fifth-grade volleyball team.Immediately following practice we headed back to Beihang elementary school where we played a game with the fifth grade volleyball team. It was amazing to see some of the talent and passion that these young players have. It was interesting to see how fascinated spectators were of us when we were playing with the kids. It made us feel like celebrities to have people staring and taking pictures of us.  We had a blast being able to play with them and this will be another one of those memorable experiences from the trip that we will cherish.

To end day No. 1, we went to KFC to have an “American” meal (not exactly the same but it did the trick).  Although we’re open to trying new things, it was nice to have something familiar to us.  After dinner we headed to a mall, similar to Rodeo Drive, but unfortunately only to window shop because everything was out of our budget (You’re welcome, moms and dads, for not making you go bankrupt).

The architecture and scenery on the way to the mall was very intriguing, but got very distracted by the crazy drivers!  There were definitely a few moments where we all were bracing ourselves for impact.  After a long and exhausting day we were relieved to be in bed by 9 to get some rest for tomorrow.

Did you miss Day 1's blog? Click here.

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