Thursday, June 4, 2009

Chengdu Waldorf School

By Mike
June 2, 2009

Chengdu. Once a starting point of the Silk Road, it is now a tourism draw of its own with the Panda Breeding and Research Center not far from the city. It's also a bustling city of 3 million people. The Chengdu Waldorf School. What a different sense of calmness w once you step onto the grounds. The teachers and children were all so welcoming, going out of their way to call me over to be included in their mid- morning snacks or to join the kindergarten at play. While the language was different, the gentle play of the children, the circle games, and the sword making projects reminded me so much of my own children's Waldorf kindergarten days.

Today is my last day here. I've been speaking with Harry Wang about starting a craft business of hand-painted silks that we could help market but with revenues going to benefit the school. The last hours were spent on those tedious, but necessary details of business records, packaging, labeling, and shipping.

I had brought some of our silks as gifts for the kindergartens and these were eagerly examined and put into action. What fun! I was touched when the teacher tenderly folded up and put the rainbow silkscape away at the first sight of a child pulling on it. She seemed to think it was too precious to keep it out.

One of the funnest moments for me was when I was asked to come to a kindergarten teacher training meeting at then end of the day to teach them string games they had seen me do.

It's been a great time- just wish I wasn't so jet-lagged! Now it's off to another ancient city of silk - Suzhou.

Here are two pictures from the School. They are both pictures of the kindergarten. One is inside at lunch just before they sang a blessing. The other is a playhouse outside in the courtyard.

Here is a picture with one of our silkscapes.

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