Lanzhou's Summer English Program
Lanzhou is the capital
city of Gansu Province in northwest China. It is a province with a high
level of poverty. The Lanzhou program is unique among Amity's SEP
sites, in that the students in this program, instead of being middle
school English teachers, include doctors, nurses, and students in training
for health occupations. The Lanzhou team, Laura, Jill, Karen, and
Stephanie, have established a strong program of oral English as a
continuation of several years of Amity summer teams.
After the opening ceremonies, the teachers conducted interviews with
students to determine the level of their oral English skills. The students
were divided into four classes according to that level.
began the next day and ended on July 30. Each teacher teaches three of
the four class groups, so that each student has three teachers. The goal
is to stimulate the use of English through conversation, games,
discussion, projects, songs, dialogues, role play, and other activities.
The school building, hotel, and Amity's
western coordination office are all in the same complex of buildings run
by the health bureau. There are a number of hospitals in the area and
many of the nearby shops are related to health.
Amity's Village Doctor Program
Gansu is one of the most active
provinces in Amity's village doctor program. The program, conducted in
cooperation with the local government health bureaus, provides 18 months
of training for villagers who then return to their villages and set up a
clinic. We visited a woman doctor in a village in Ding Xi county,
southeast of Lanzhou. It required a drive of two or three hours, including
a stop in Ding Xi town to speak with local government officials, who then
accompanied us to the village. The Amity-trained woman doctor focuses on
women's issues, particularly pre-natal care. After an introduction to the
doctor and clinic, we were treated to simple fare, but the best they had,
and more than we could possibly eat, particularly considering that the
government officials in Ding Xi had already arranged for us to eat lunch
there. Potatoes are a staple crop in that area, and we learned to break
open a baked or steamed potato and eat it along with a green dried
vegetable. We were also served a homemade flat bread, very heavy, and
delicious nectarines. After the introduction and snack, we toured the
village and surrounding area.
Baby and Maternity Hospital
Craig visited a hospital dedicated to
babies and mothers. As part of his visit, he also saw the Amity mobile
medical clinic. When the vehicle is fully operational and deployed in the
countryside, the surgery unit of the hospital has to postpone surgery,
because they don't have enough equipment to maintain both.