A Father’s Volunteer Vacation to China with his son

This spring, David Cohen took his 11 year old son Andrew to on a Vacation to China for 10 days. Inspired by Mark Solon, and organized through Globe Aware, David and Andrew worked in a school for the children of migrant workers who have no government services. David’s goal was for his son to experience more of the world and to learn how many others are not as fortunate as they are. “Mission accomplished,” relates David.

Globe Aware is pleased to share their daily observations, impressions and experiences while on their volunteer vacation in China:

Day 7

up at 530 again – when the ruckus started.


Just outside the school gates.

at school by 7am. at 7 andrew and i helped students with morning reading (english) and then had a great abacus lesson. it’s really interesting how it works. the abacus teacher was a cool old man. he said they used to have to learn it in school, but now the kids learn it just as tradition. he spoke no english, but marcus translated. everything takes five times as long this way.

next we had to teach the kids a dance or a song. andrew had a dance he wanted to teach. it was fun, i even did it. i wasn’t good, of course. he was. the kids got it in about 20 minutes. then they taught us a dance too. lots of video.

at lunch, andrew had rice only and i was able to pick out a few vegetables to identify and eat. i didn’t eat the meat, which i think was supposed to be pork. random parts.


Andrew teaching “popcorn” dance.

next up was english class. andrew loves this part. he taught the class, and we both helped with pronunciation. he gave out more pencils. i think he will remember english class as his favorite thing from this trip.

then lots of basketball with the kids. an extended pe/recess. it was good to do sporty stuff with andrew and the other kids. i could tell he was getting better as basketball as the day went on. it’s really fun to play with the kids – reminded me of qamea in fiji with volleyball. just good simple fun, nobody trying to dog anyone, just sharing the ball and being happy for each other making shots. no competition, no drama, just fun.


Learning the abacus.

there was a 2 hour basketball game, where they called different students to play against each other, co-ed. the whole school watching their friends and cheering for the almost made baskets and occasionally even made ones. super fun and funny to watch.

dinner at a chinese restaurant. that’s all they have here, pretty much. marcus took us and the chow mein was good again. andrew was even able to eat a little. also chicken kung pow was very good. and spicy green beans. no health issues so far, knock wood.

andrew fell asleep by 8. the day at the school was very long.


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