The Statue of Liberty in China (Guangzhou)
You too can win bets that there really is a Statue of Liberty in China. Just go to the 72 Martyrs Memorial Park in northeast Guangzhou at Huanghuagang (located near the zoo) and you'll find it.
This is a memorial garden commemorating the revolutionary uprising in Guangzhou on April 27, 1911 which eventually led to the fall of the last dynasty nearly 5 months later. It's a beautiful park with gardens of flowers and bamboo, yet the focal point is obviously the presence of the Statue of Liberty. Even the park's entrance ticket (8 yuan) looks like a souvenir of Ellis Island.
There is a shaded corridor which leads toward the monument. On the left are signboards with pictures that tell about the history of the park and its famous statue. The Statue of Liberty was removed twice; once by the Kuomintang and then again during the Cultural Revolution. Another interesting aspect of the Statue of Liberty monument is the different overseas Chinese organizations that donated money toward the park's construction. You will see blocks on the statue's foundation which name the sponsoring organization, including Chinese from all parts of the world. I was surprised to see several American Chinese sponsoring organizations from places in the United States that one doesn't usually associate with overseas Chinese communities; Nebraska and Utah, for example, as well as one from Cuba's Guantanamo! (See additional photo)
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I'm gonna level with ya, NEVER, NEVER rent a car and drive in Guangzhou. After watching the way they drive there, I could not believe there were not like 100 vehicle accidents a day! Take a taxi, it's cheap, clean and better than riding the bus that at times is crammed full of people.
Mopeds everywhere! You would think some families were in the circus because they would pile 3, 4, or 5 people on one moped!! I saw a family driving down the highway with husband driving, mom was riding side straddle and hold a newborn baby and they were doing 50 mph. Blew my mind how "he who dares, goes first" attitude of the drivers but, the 5 days I was there, I only saw one accident.
Guangzhou Museum of Art Collection.
Of special interest in the museum's collection is a huge room devoted to the Liao Bingxiong, a political cartoonist of the 20th century whose works have a surrealistic edge... The image pictured here is from another room that was filled with small figurines like the one you see here, which seems to depict a sage at rest...
Kids, Kids, and more kids
"The best thing about teaching...."
So I've traded in little monster's for bigger monsters. Yes, that's right...I'm no longer teaching little children, I have entered the land of teenagers...and English speaking ones at that. Oh well, it will be challenging. However, I'm sad; how could i not be when I'm leaving behind such great little people. Oh well, everyone must grow up at some point.
"Cute and smart"
I was so lucky to get this group of kindergarten students. They were honestly the smartest students I have had, and they were only 5 years old. Plus, they were extremely cute, so how can you resist them. I was smart enough, or not, to teach them words like monster, ghost, skeleton, and hungry, so I spent countless hours on the playground being "a hungry ghost" and chasing after them. But it was all in good fun.
The never ending symbol for peace has made it's way into virtually every roll of film of taken. For some reason, the Chinese students love to do this is pictures. But when they look this cute, how can you blame them.
Even though kids are cute when they're little, they're a lot of fun when they're big too. My 6th graders and I at Sha Mian school used to have a day called "Talk to random foreigners." We would walk around the Sha Mian Island or hang out around the White Swan Hotel and I would encourage my students to talk to foreigners that were willing to talk to them. We actually had some great conversations with people, and some of the students even got pen pals out of it. Encouraging cross-cultural relationships is why I'm here I guess.