On Saturday, February 13, The Institute of Texas Culture, located in downtown San Antonio, hosted the annual Asian Festival in order to let Texans from all over celebrate together the Chinese New Year, Year of the Monkey.
Elizabeth Whitney, Summer of Service's Chinese educator, organized for SOS, STEM, and all Robert E. Lee high school, a thorough experience of this year's Asian Festival for all students.
"I think everyone should be here today. Today is all about bringing good fortune for the upcoming year, and I hope all my students get to engage Chinese culture by experiencing firsthand. . . here we can try Chinese cuisine, see Chinese art, and above all else, bless our summer's trip to China with good fortune for all participating. "
The future SOS ambassadors to China spent all afternoon indulging in the activities the festival had to offer. By the time the fair was coming to an end, all SOS members agreed they were excited, energized, and looking forward to their future summer travel to China so they can further the learning of Chinese culture outside of San Antonio, and be guided by Elizabeth all over China for an experience of a lifetime.
January 14, 2016 Summer of Service (SOS) held their first official Wuxi, China Program meeting for the student participants and parents to begin the team building process between everyone involved, and had the first presentation to go over the trip happening July 1st - June 10th, 2016.
Students arrived at 4:30 to hear from each of the four teachers traveling with them to China, and participate in a series of icebreakers to introduce themselves and start learning about the culture surrounding China. From learning about Chinese New Year, proper chopstick etiquette, and even some common hobbies between them, the students started the foundation for a successful SOS traveling group. Important objectives students started going over were:
By 7:00, all participants had a chance to ask any questions to all four teachers so by 7:30, everyone left for their home feeling informed, excited, and prepared for the 2016, Summer of Service: Wuxi, China Program.