Tuesday, July 31, 2012

Social Butterfly

Well the past 48 hours have been full of adventures.

2 days ago I got to hang out w/ my 2 'sisters'.  They got to come see my apartment and we all ran in my room and just dove on my bed.  It was such a surreal feeling.  Something so simple but to incredible for me.  Later that evening I asked them if they ever thought we'd actually get the chance to go out shopping like we did and they both said no.  Being able to spend so much time w/ them apart from a camp schedule is a dream.  We walked around LC and went to dinner and did some shopping for my apartment and then headed back where we parted for the night.  I'm going to spend the night at Jenny's house tonight too!
This is the view from outside of my apartment.  My  building is the one on the left closest to the camera.  It's beautiful!
Yesterday... yesterday was the big day though.  I got invited to the birthday 'party' of a guy I met last summer at camp.  His dad is my supervisor.  So all I knew was to meet outside my apartment at 9:30 am and we'd go to B (a city by the L's).  I woke up to the loudest thunder I'd ever heard and lightning that lit up my whole apartment.  Secretly, I was hoping things might get cancelled.  I was worried that Neil would be the only english speaker and I'd have to eat some sketchy food that would make me sick.  I had no idea what to expect and I was kind of nervous.  I got all ready to go, rain jacket and all, and headed out.  He picked me up, we grabbed a few other girls and a whole extra car full of people and headed out. The whole drive was like going to the farm and for some reason it just seemed extra breath taking.  I get to spend a whole year here.  This place is proof that I have an incredible Father.  You can't look at something like this in a situation like I'm in and doubt.  I may want to at times, and every day has its ups and downs, but just looking around me I know that I am just a small worker with this incredible harvest all around me.  So.... we finally get to B (which I've been to before just not like this). We got to the lake and grabbed stuff from the cars and headed down.
We set up 2 little tents and took about an hour setting up this tarp.  I felt like I was on survivor.  The guys used a machete to chop down some bamboo and we tied the tarp to it and rolled over boulders until we got it all to stay.  It took forever and I got a super strange sunburn but once it was set up the party really began!
We picked up a cake on the way there.  If you remember my picture from Lonnie's b-day you know that cakes here are gorgeous.  And delicious!!! Fruit on top, whipped cream frosting, fruit filling, just good!  We had cake w/ the b-day boy and then started making lunch and playing games.  The girls taught me some poker game which doesn't make complete sense but I know it well enough to win at least! haha.  I taught them Egyptian War and we had a blast w/ that.  There was a lot of yelling going on and everyone seemed to love it!

Lunch was pork and this ham stuff which was pretty much spam (which I like).  We had some snacks too.  Dried cherry straws w/ sugar, chips, dried pork which tastes just like beef jerky.  It was all really good.  And we had some fruit juice, orange soda and pepsi so I survived...  but just barely ;)
Once we packed up and headed out we went to some restaurant halfway between B & LC.  I got to eat some sweet corn, drink some tea AND learn to play Mahjong.  I've had that as a mental goal and accomplished it in the first month of being here.  It's awesome!  We had a traditional feast basically and Thad gave me some really good mango juice to take back with me.  When I thought it was time to go home I was wrong.  Neil said they were going to head to a pub in town so I decided I would join.  Why not right?
We got a room upstairs and I think all I heard all night was an acoustic Justin Beiber album.  It was nice to hear english.  [Side note: all day I heard more Chinese than I've ever heard before.  They spoke really good english but the majority of the day was in Chinese which actually proved to be really helpful for me.  Immersion into living here, that's for sure.]  So we got some deep fried chickens feet (yes I ate some) and some lemon marinated potatoes (not a huge fan) and some fruit tea which was really good.  One of the girls started explaining some card game and I knew I recognized one of the words she kept saying but I couldn't remember what it was.  Jing Cha: police.  We played Mafia all night long! IN CHINESE!  I told them I wanted to learn so they spoke in Chinese for all of the details of the game.  It was awesome.

I ended up getting home at midnight.  14 hours of hanging out w/ 10 typical Chinese students.  It was such a good day.  Blue skies, learning language, eating new food, making new friends.  Loved it!  Sorry for how long this post is but I had to share as much as I could.  It was a day that I stressed over initially but, after much yarping, it turned out to be an unforgettable day out of many I plan on having this year!

Zai Jian

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