Yesterday was Jingju's last day of summer camp. We so want to thank our friends, Sally and Bill, who run the museum camp, for their incredible gift of a scholarship to Jingju to attend all summer long. Jingju just blossomed there in so many ways. We were worried about her shyness with other children, and by the end of camp she had made many friends. Her vocabulary has expanded to include such words as, menagerie, magnet, musical instruments, sandpaper, curiousities, crocodile, colorful, castle, electric, insect, and pottery. Each week she built a different project around a different theme or concept from building a cabinet and filling it with treasures, to creating a circus or learning about how to make electricity. My favorite parts of my day for the last 8 weeks has been dropping Jingju off at camp and picking her up. Jingju was in the camp's before and after care, which she really enjoyed. Basically it involved playing at the museum's outdoor water lab, hanging out with her friends and counselors and playing endless games of Uno. Every afternoon I'd pick Jingju up and find her either caked with sand, dappled with paint and/or soaking wet from her head to her shoes.
This child, once she feels safe, hits the ground running with arms open, eyes wide, with a desire to do, to touch, to try...everything, while laughing hard, smiling big, and as Jingju says, holding on "really really tight!" This experience at camp plugged Jingju into a world of play and learning, creativity and ingenuity, as well as a community of wonderfully talented and giving people...and with Sally and Bill around, lots and lots of humor always.
So... thanks Sally, Bill, Wanda, Melissa, and all the other counselors at the E.W. M. for helping Jingju to adjust and acclimate to her new American life. It was the right experience at the right time and we are forever grateful.