Laura Healy Tuesday 20th October on ‘China and all that’
An experience only dreamt of by her peers, 18 year old Laura delivered an enthralling, clear and visually exciting account of her year with a charity, teaching English in Xinjiang Province one of the poorer provinces in China. After initial training in Beijing she travelled for 6 hours to the far west of China, to the town of Shawan, which would be her eventual home for a year. Laura described the surprising mix of cultures in the area from throngs of Muslims in traditional religious dress to those who wore Western apparel. The school itself had class days from 10.00am until 7.30pm and we were informed, of the 60 pupils per class, the perception that all were eager to learn and disciplined, was not the case. The pupils ranged from the disruptive, the interested, the disinterested, to the impassive. Just like home she added!!! Although when they were introduced to learning games, even like ‘Hangman’ most of the class became involved. They loved this way of learning. Because this province saw very few Westerners, often, in public, Laura was stared at, photographed and generally viewed with amazement by all inhabitants she encountered. Her wonderful experiences in China has helped Laura change the course of her career, resulting in a decision to study China & Business at Edinburgh Uni rather than a law degree.
John Laughland gave the vote of thanks