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Joan's HomeLi Yang's Crazy English Camp; Artists Yuan Xikun and Liu YuanAugust 1 - 12, 2006

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Li Yang's Crazy English Camp; Artists Yuan Xikun and Liu Yuan

August 1 - 12, 2006 |

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Being a foreign teacher at Li Yang's Crazy English Camp in Tungzhou, China, 45 minutes outside of Beijing, was one of the most intense and satisfying experiences I have had to date. Li Yang is one of China's most famous motivational speakers. His goal is to teach 300 million Chinese people how to speak good English, which is almost a necessity, since Beijing has been awarded the 2008 Olympics site.

We had a very busy week, but we only sold 140 CDs out of 1000. I took individual photos with all 400 students here and about 300 students at another camp. I did a lot of pronunciation and articulation for the kids and Li Yang is very happy. I sang four of my songs for them and explained the concepts of each song. Today, the last day, the foreign teachers and Li Yang were judges for 13 of the best students. More photos!!! and we signed books that are gifts for the winners.

My assistant and Chinese daughter, Lisa (Zhou Shan Shan) and I went to Beijing and hung out with Carl on Sunday. I bought a phone. We went to the outside of the Forbidden City, where we plan to visit this week all day long, and we also visited Tenneman Square. We ate at a wonderful Tibetan Restaurant called Mayke Ame. They had a one-hour show and we took lovely photos that I will put up on my travel site soon.
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Also, we went to CD Jazz Cafe and I met the owner and gave him my CDs. Maybe I'll sing there in the future. Then we went to Suzie Wong's where I gave the DJ my CDs. He says they are looking for a jazz singer for the little lounge they have there. So, there are two possible gigs for me in Beijing already!!!

We moved to Beijing on Tuesday, August 8, from Tongzhou, 45 minutes outside of Beijing. Lisa and I did some exploring and found a park where a wonderful art museum houses the sculpture, drawings and paintings of Yuan Xikun, China's most famous artist, who is in charge of the artwork for the 2008 Olympics. We had a great lunch of organic veggies and special mushrooms with Yuan and his daughter, Diana.

On Friday, August 11, I did a lecture with Li Yang for 300 college students who are selected volunteers for the 2008 Olympics and on Monday we will do another lecture with 1200 students. (Photos in another journal)

Saturday night, my friend Jacob Di took us to the East Coast Live Jazz Club, where I sat in with some great musicians. See photos in journal dated August 13, 2006.

On Sunday, a friend of Li Yang's took us to the gorgeous gallery of artist Liu Yuan, who was commissioned to do a mural for the 2008 Beijing Olympics. We drove about 40 minutes out of downtown Beijing and spent the day at this incredible artist's gallery. We had lunch at a beautiful restaurant with a Tibetan menu, then visited the Fragrant Hills Hotel designed by one of China's foremost architects. It began to drizzle, so we couldn't hike up the mountain, but we enjoyed every minute of the tour around this beautiful hotel, which has a garden with a huge pond and waterfall.

Next, I'm on to Tianjin, where I will sing at Carl's favorite restaurant, Broadie's Tavern, owned by his friend, Chris Hagen. I'll be there until Sept 11, when I fly back to Shanghai for a day or two, then on to Japan.

Locations Visited: Beijing

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