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Kenyans head over heels after trip to China

By XIE SONGXIN and OTIATO OPALI in Nairobi, Kenya | CHINA DAILY | Updated: 2023-11-28 08:36

Acrobats train under the guidance of Mathias Kavita in Nairobi. During their performances, they incorporate African routines with Chinese skills. WU XIAOHUI/CHINA DAILY

Excited group

In 1983, the group of 24 students could not hide their excitement on arrival in Guangzhou, the capital of Guangdong province.

Kavita said that despite not being as developed as it is today, the city left a huge impression on him, as it was the largest he had visited. He loved its mix of urban and rural life, and was struck by the numerous bicycles, which were the main mode of transportation.

"When we arrived at Guangzhou Acrobatic Arts Troupe School, we were greeted by the sight of a huge banner welcoming us," Kavita said.

As the weather in Guangzhou was warm, the Kenyans felt at home and found it easy to adapt to local life.

As the Guangzhou troupe was one of the best internationally known acrobatic groups in China, the young visitors immediately felt they had arrived at the school best suited for them.

The young Kenyan team members learned Chinese within three months, and Kavita said they could communicate well with their Chinese hosts.

As foreign students, they were allocated a teacher to help them learn the language and familiarize themselves with Chinese culture, and this assistance proved vital for them adapting to Chinese ways.

"In addition to the Chinese language teacher, an interpreter helped us communicate, so we managed to grasp the language quite quickly, because Chinese students and teachers at the school mingled with us," Kavita said.

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