Thursday, September 6, 2012

Meeting My Small Group

Well, a lot has happened in the last few days and almost all of it has been great.   We'll start w/ Tuesday.

I had my second class!  It went so well.  Much better than the first week, which also went pretty great I thought.  We played my edited version of Scattegories which ended up taking forever but proved to be really good.  They have an incredible vocabulary!  I spent the second half of class (classes are an hour and a half w/ a 10 min break in between) doing our first culture lesson: American families.  I had to mention the school system a bit and I got to watch, and hear, their shock at how little time we spend in school.  AND then I got to grade papers once I got back to my room.  They weren't too bad and it helped me get a glimpse into what their lives are like outside of school.  I was able to make up my grading system for the semester too, finally!
This is my view as I leave my apartment and head to class.
Tuesday night was dinner w/ one of the first people I met in China - T.  She is the english teacher at the #1 school in town.  We met at the school and walked up the street to a little restaurant where her friend met us.  Her friend - K - happened to be a girl I've heard about all summer who wants me to help her w/ her English.  We ended up being there for 2 hours just talking about everything.  It was an incredibly successful evening and the food was phenomenal.  In 2 hours:
-I got invited over to T's house for the Mid-Autumn Festival which happens at the end of this month.
-K agreed to teach me Chinese if I help her w/ her English (which needs no help).
-Both of them are going to come over to my apartment occasionally to teach me to cook Chinese food!!!!!
-AND I got a package from my parents which included a whole bunch of happiness!

I walked back to my apartment as one ecstatic girl!


I got all ready to go to lunch w/ my first group of girls and one of them, Evan, called me to make sure we were still meeting.  I walked up to a group of 7 girls and was a bit surprised.  They all ended up talking and just decided to come together.  So I only ended up having one lunch, which will make this a bit shorter, but still great!  I got introduced to all of them and told them to decide where we should eat.  They kept asking me things like, "Can you use chopsticks?" or "Do you like Chinese food?" YES to everything.  I'm in China. Of course I like the food and can use chopsticks.  We ended up at a place about 20 feet outside of the school gates.  OH MY GOSH!  Gorgeous place.  Delicious food!
The girls were all super sweet and helpful and their english was great as well.  Some stronger than others though.  I started asking them about their summer and what their favorite parts of camp were and their answers led straight into them coming out to learn more after camp.  I asked if they wanted their own 'books' to learn more and a few of them got super excited about that possibility.  I ended up asking if they wanted to get together once a week for a certain period of time and I would teach them more from the book so they could learn and practice their english at the same time.  ALL of them agreed.  I asked what day works best and they all broke out into really fast Chinese as they decided, almost instantly, what day and time worked best for all 7 of them.  SOOOO.....

Starting next Thursday, I will be leading a small group for 7 beautiful girls for the next 6 weeks!!!!

It all happened so easily. I left feeling strange about it.  It almost seemed too easy.  Not that I'm complaining at all, I was just surprised.  But I know it is probably all of the yarping that happened leading up to it so thank you.  I know good things are going to happen because a bit of chaos has happened since then.

That night, as I was going to bed, I found out that my grandpa had a little hospital visit again.  Thankfully he's home now and things are good there.  But yesterday morning I went to deal w/ visa stuff w/ my boss and the person my boss talked to in the foreign affairs office didn't seem too happy.  I didn't understand a word of what was going on, I just knew it wasn't very good.  In that moment though, I realized how much I like it here and how much I want to stay here.  I thought about the worst case scenario (because that's what I do).  What if they won't provide a visa and I have to go home?  Then what?  Do I just say 'oh well, it was a good 2 months'?  That was when I realized that everything has just started for me.  Wednesday was the day that my purpose here began.  If for some reason I got sent home, I would come back.  I'm not done here.  I've barely started.  I can't just go home knowing the possibilities that are right in front of me at the moment.

Back to the reality of the situation though.  The FA person doesn't like foreigners.  She doesn't trust us and because of the way this visa thing has happened (against visa laws technically) the best she will do is give me a 6 month visa.  After the 6 months we'll have to do it again (the right way) to get me another 6 month visa.  But she promised that I will get one, even if she isn't too happy about it.

There's a huge pattern here.  When the Father starts to work, the enemy tries to show him up.  You can't NOT feel it here.  It's huge.  BUT, He is good and big things are about to happen in these next 6 weeks that will hopefully lead to a continuous cycle of 'big things'.  AH! I'm excited!

Now I'm just hanging out at the farm.  We went to a birthday party on the other side of the farm yesterday for one of the staff's kids.  He turned 2.  When they asked him how old he is now he said 2 but held up 4 fingers.  And one of the men yarped before we ate.  Oh man.  My first experience hearing  someone yarp for a large group of people in their language.  Beautiful!

I got to hang out with this gorgeous little girl yesterday!  She's precious.  She's only 4 months old but she thinks she's on the verge of walking already.  Can't sit up or crawl, but tries to walk when you hold her up.

I finally went on a little hike behind the farm.  I've been wanting to do that since I came out here 2 months ago!

That little blue tarp is where my dad helped build a well this summer.

Can't wait for Thursday!  Keep on yarping for these girls please.

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